Monday, July 29, 2013

Necessary Compliments

You look great!

There's just something different about you.

You seemed to be glowing.

I can see a difference.

These are a few things that have been said to me in one way or another the past few weeks.  If you are like me it is sometimes hard to hear compliments.  But I have been humbled by this time and that people can see a marked difference in me.   Those who have commented most are my fellow yogis who I had seen on a fairly regular basis this past year.  One fellow yogi remarked that I never seemed depressed throughout my 10 month transition it is just that I seem so much happier now.  And I never was depressed.  I did have moments of hopelessness and who doesn't, but my hopeful attitude outweighed that.  I have started to write this post a couple of times and each time I think no I don't know that I want to share this in this way.  Do people really care that I received compliments?  What sort of lesson is in this.  Then this past weekend I received another said compliment and thought that I should share the positive and I do think there is something to learn from this.  It feels good to accept these compliments and kind words, it feels nice and it is the truth.  I don't know even how to explain it, but I do feel different. I know that I am the same person but I feel lighter.  A huge weight that I was carrying around was lifted.  Though I had become stronger and figured out ways to carry the weight, to shed myself of it has made a marked difference.

I am really good about noticing when people are having a hard time or something is off.  I make a point to reach out to those people, check in and provide support. Because sometimes it is hard for people to reach out and ask for that support.  Do I notice when people are having a good day? Do I take time to point out the positive? I'd like to think that I do and now that I really understand what that feels like, I will certainly be very mindful of these interactions.  I will point out the good, give compliments and point out the positive changes in people's lives.  It feels really good to have people notice when life is good, have others recognize what is working and to validate positive changes.  We could all use a little more of this in our lives.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~ Leo Buscaglia

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Finding Joy in the Uncomfortable

Some things that bring me joy and cause to celebrate are live music, good friends, comfortable summer days and awesome sunsets.  I got to experience all of these things this past weekend at the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA.  A nice sized festival for this part of the state that usually has a couple of larger acts (Brandi Carlile was my big draw), some lesser known acts and a good number of local acts.  It is really a lovely festival and the most unique part is that there are hot air balloons launched both days, which even by itself is quite remarkable to see.

Yesterday in yoga my teacher spoke of this time of year, summer, being that time to find joy and moments of celebration and then she proceeded to tell us that we would focusing part of our practice on the pose Vasisthasana and I did not feel like celebrating that or felt any sense of joy as it relates to that particular pose.  I do not like this pose, I am uncomfortable and it feels like everything hurts.  It is a pose that I can not fully do and that is not the part that bothers me, it is just that I am really uncomfortable in it.  There are other poses (like handstand) that I can not do and it frustrates me because I want to but this particular pose I really have no strong desire to do.  
I know it does not really look that difficult, but for me it is!

Damn it, there is a lesson to learn here of course.  Sometimes in life things are uncomfortable, sometimes we do not want to do them, and sometimes we do not need to to do them. But pushing through the uncomfortable allows us to emerge changed and often times for the better. I pushed through in class, never compromising my safety but definitely pushing past my comfort zone and I did get deeper into this pose then I have before.  This same teacher is teaching a more advanced class later this week which I am considering going to with the full knowledge that this pose will again be a strong focus of the class.  I am not a glutton for punishment but a believer that if we can find moments of joy and celebration in the times that are uncomfortable in our life we will be all the better.  There are things in life that we may not look forward to; a long car ride in traffic, a meeting that can not be avoided, a visit with relatives, a new workout routine. How do we prepare ourselves for these uncomfortable and seemingly unpleasant moments? How do we celebrate them, find joy in them and then even start to look forward to them?

If I can find joy in Vashisthasana then I can pretty much find joy in anything! So here's to finding joy in the uncomfortable!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Yes I Will

Today at work one of my new colleagues said that one of the things she appreciated about me when I interviewed was that I really seemed to be low drama.  I thought this was kind of awesome and the fact that this came through in a fairly stressful situation (an interview) really does speak to the work that I have done on myself these last 10+ months.  What I put out there has certainly come back to me.

wrote about Redefining Jinx a little bit ago and the thought that what you put out into the world will comes back to you so instead of thinking that you may cause something to not happen by talking about it instead that only helps to manifest it into reality.

I heard this song recently by Michael Franti and it reminded me of this thought that I had and that I am so glad that I stuck to my guns, kept positive and will continue to put good energy out into the world.
"I believe that what you sing to the clouds,
Will rain upon you when your sun has gone away,
And I believe that what you dream to the moon, 
Will manifest before you rest another day.
So stay strong, and sleep long, and when you need to,
Let the morning take you out on to today.
And when you find you're at the end of the road,
Just lift your head up, spread your wings and fly away" 
"Yes I Will," by Michael Franti and Spearhead

Sunday, July 7, 2013

In memory

There are things in our life that are constants, things that exist even when life is swirling around and everything seems out of control.  That thing that you know you can depend on to be there for you even when everything else around seems to be failing you.  I know, and have talked about it on this blog, that we are always in some sort of state of transition.  This constant thing is that which is present during these transitions.  It could be a person, a physical activity like running, a pet to come home to, a spiritual practice or maybe any combination of the above.   

I was at a 4th of July party talking to a new friend and we we were talking about life and how her job was starting to get a little bit boring (she had been in the same job for some time) and as we continued talking she realized and noted how actually the job she was in had really been the only constant in her life.  And the more we talked the more she realized that having that constant stable thing in her life was not a bad thing at all.  So for her that constant good, albeit boring at times, thing for her was her job.  It made me think about what has been a constant in my life over the years.

This afternoon I was having lunch with a good friend and her very intellectual, 12 year old daughter and the three of us were talking about this and the 12 year old chimed in and said, "Like dance, dance has been a constant thing in my life."  She got it and understood the need for it.  I then somberly shared with them what I thought about when I thought about my constant, what had gotten me through move after move, job after job, transition after transition.  A year ago this week I had to say goodbye to my constant, my stability, what I came home to for 10 years.  A year ago this week I had to make the most difficult decision thus far of my life and choose to say goodbye to my friend, my companion, my little man, my roommate, my four legged friend, my Shane.  He had been the stable thing in my life at times when things seemed turned upside down.
A year ago this week started the beginning of what could have turned out to be a really bad year.  A year ago this week marked the removal of my constant.  A year ago this week I had no idea what was in store for me.  A year ago this week I never would have believed what I would be capable of.

Though this constant was no more I was still thrust head first into a year of major transition in my life.  As I look back now on the past year I can see that I had some other very meaningful constants in my life that came in the form of good friends, my yoga practice and my community.  We need constants, the things we know we can depend on to be there when all else fails. Most of the time these constants are things that just exist.  Until we take the time to think about them we may not have ever realized that they have helped us through the rough times until it is too late.  What is the constant in your life? What will you miss if it was no longer there?

In memory of my beloved Shane, April 1(ish), 1999 - July 7, 2013