I’ve been traveling the last few weeks and loving every second of it. I’ve seen old friends, clients and students. I’ve taught in familiar places and some new places. I’ve searched out my old haunts and just taken some time to be quiet and breathe.
The last six months has been a privilege in that I’ve had a lot of time to breathe and be quiet. To think about breathing and being quiet, even. It’s been six months of reflection and introspection. My friends call it my sabbatical from life. I’ve parented minimally, lived with friends, read, watched way too much Netflix and indulged in my yoga and meditation practices. But it started with pain. It was the privilege of healing in peace after my life flew apart. It has been six months of change, growth, respite and now in the Spring it has been a time of love, happiness and blossoming.
Yesterday in the air over the Midwest I read Pema Chodron’s Living Beautifully and when she described ego clinging I was struck by how she was describing me. Now, I’ve worked on ego a lot and if you ask me I would say I’m a kind and open person. I go with the flow easily and I don’t hang on to any idea too tightly. Except when I do.
My biggest struggle is the idea of One Day. I’m not materialistic enough to believe that One Day I’ll have the perfect car/house/timeshare and life will be perfect and I’m not vain enough to believe when I hit the magic numbers on the scale One Day, life will be perfect. I do, however, hold on to the idea that One Day I will have it all together.
I’ve had this notion forever. I can’t remember not thinking it. When I was a kid, it was when I’m a teenager everything will be perfect. As a teenager I thought if I could just make it out of my parents home and on to college everything would be great. In my 20s I thought life would come together in my 30s and I would know the magic answers and when they didn’t come I just happened to see an Oprah show where famously successful women recounted how things jelled for them in their forties. So I waited. And here I am almost halfway through and I’m still not sure what together is.
So slowly I’m learning to accept that there is no One Day. There’s just now. Logically I’ve known this for years, but to feel it deeply and surely is work. Over the last few years I’ve also learned that what looks like chaos from in here probably looks together to someone out there. So I can at least enjoy the facade, but from in here there’s always going to be uncertainty. There’s always going to be doubt and second guessing and trouble with self-love and forgiveness. Because that’s who Melissa is.
This quiet time the last few months has taught me a little bit about embracing the uncertainty and slowly learning to appreciate it. Maybe even have a little gratitude for it. Cause wouldn’t life be boring if I knew for certain what the next five years looked like? Or even worse the next 20 or 40 years? I’d just lie down right now and give up.
The toughest part for me is to be still in the moment. Outside of my meditation practice just being still mentally, physically, emotionally is tough. So often I’m planning, planning, planning. I take a walk so I’ll feel alert later and maybe my new dress will fit better later. I’m thinking about my mental state, my health, my life in the future. I’m doing things now for later. These last six months I’ve accepted what is here right now just for the sake of this moment. It’s made me appreciate my life and also realize how delicate and precious what I have in this moment is. Six months ago I thought I knew where I stood and where I was going. It was gone in a second.
And that’s ok. Really, the universe knew so much better than I did. The universe gave me this gift of complete upheaval and the parts that I’ve put back together are wondrous in comparison. And somewhere in the dusty corners of my mind I know that’s the point. It’s the stuff of miracles. It’s not about planning and making sure and feeling in control. It’s about the magic, the surprises, the happenstance that make our lives wondrous.
Steve Jobs says that things lead you to a place, but you can’t possibly connect the dots of the events of your life until you look back. The thing that I keep seeing is a field of dots and 100s or possibly 1000s of different connections creating different paths.
This Melissa has been here some 40 years and none of it has been static and very little of has been known in advance. I’m always, always developing, learning, changing. I sometimes hate to do it publicly and I fear that changing often makes me appear flighty. Today I can embrace that it just makes me human.
So with my new found respect for not knowing and accepting change and uncertainty I’m again changing the blog. I’m posting here very little these days because I’ve been working on the new blog. It’s my attempt at making my work, teachings, writing, ramblings more cohesive It will be about more than just yoga off the mat. This blog will stay live, but I won’t be posting from here. Please please come on over. We’re going to practice poses, cook some yummies, drink some tea, meditate, breathe and have fun doing it! Comment, share and enjoy. See you there.