Care ...

There is a whole population out there of parentified, uber-responsible, probably over-functioning people who have missed the boat on being taken care of. One of the hallmarks of this population is the absolute misery experienced when asking for help ....if they even permit themselves to do that. That's kind of a sin isn't it, this asking for help? It demonstrates some sort of flaw or weakness when we finally face the fact we can't do it alone. And it never ever occurs to us that we shouldn't face it alone! And if any one of our loved ones presented themselves to us the way we present ourselves to the world (stoic, self-contained, but suffering, miserable) we would tell them why aren't you asking for help.  There is sometimes a palpable sense of shame when asking for help, or letting the world know we are hurting. I should be able to deal with this, if I can't do this who will, I'm better than this, if I break down the world as I know it will end.  Don't kid yourself, there are times when every parentified kid has had thoughts like this.

As many of you know I have been taking yoga classes at Yoga on the Park. It is life changing. I've been struggling lately, my body not cooperating as I wish it would. My lesson in all this is to let go. I don't need to be so I intense. I can learn to relax into a pose. I can count on the pose rather than the pose count on me. That last line may sound crazy but I think I'm on to something.

It's amazing all the things a yoga practice can teach you, and all the places in your life you can apply that to. I've said more than once already that applying the principles of yogic posture - scooch  the tail, smiling collar bones, heart forward, relax the jaw, relax the eyes -  to bike riding has changed the experience dramatically.

Then there is the care. The care that lots of us parentified kids yearn for yet bristle against. Unless of course you are beginning to relax into that, to let go into the receiving of that care. No small feat I kid you not. Even more difficult, try receiving unsolicited care!

And yet, and yet .. Melting into the care offered by another, allowing yourself the softness required to receive. And it's the softness in your own heart, for your own self, gratitude for the care yes, but toward yourself for softening long enough to receive such a gift.

Can you imagine, that's available to all of us.

With a very full heart I bid you Namaste.


Of gratitude and yoga

I love Thursday morning yoga class at Yoga on the Park. I like to arrive early because I catch Joanne G. doing her routine, warming up, stretching ... doing what a yogi does before teaching. She is lovely to watch, an inspiration. This morning I padded in quietly, tried to copy some of her moves (thats kind of a joke), stretched and had a wonderful class.

Today was special as only two of us were able to make it to class. While I'm not sure how Joanne felt about it my fellow yogi student and I were thrilled! All that attention just for us!

Joanne has such positive energy about her. I feel wonderfully taken care of by her in the yoga class as she adjusts my poses, keeps an eye if I'm over doing it, helps push me just a bit past my limit. At the end of class today as we entered the relaxation pose, she came by, and with a gentle and caring touch, straightened me out, told me to give myself over to the ground beneath me, and indeed I felt I was being held in the truest of senses.

Living in the moment allows you to make what ever you will out of that moment, so today I decided I was going to relish in the taking care I felt I was receiving. Just as Joanne was taking us through the final meditation, my hearing aid battery died, the result of which gave me the sense of being a child, a wee child, lying there content, contained ... And just like a baby I only understood every few words - oddly enough I kept hearing "safely", "comfort" ... And while I couldn't make out the words, the tone was loving, soothing, comforting.

I left today's class with such a sense of peace. Walking through the park I felt immensely grateful for my life, the glorious spring day, the lushness of the trees, my home, my yoga practice. I had, I have! a deep sense of appreciation for the stillness of mind the practice brought me today. It goes hand in hand with the practice of gratitude.

Thank you teacher (s).

Namaste to you.

The Oms the Thing

I had a great yoga class today at Yoga on the Park. Joanne Gormley really worked us. At the end of it I felt literally happy, smiley, relaxed. Exhausted - but lots of Sukah!

Over the last few weeks I have been contemplating the Om (pronounced Aum). Om is the universal sound. In some religions or cultures, it signifies the beginning and ending of a prayer or prayer ritual.

I have had a strange experience with Om. When in the Tuesday class - which is really full (up to and maybe over 20 people) ... the Oms are robust and full. The unity of our voices pulls a bigger Om out of all of us, well, out of me. No one hesitates too much. Sometimes we cycle through a number of Om's and that is also beautiful.

Thursdays class by contrast is much smaller. We are not even ten most the time. At the beginning my Oms were definitely hesitant, quieter, shorter, my "mmm" shaking and timid.  I wondered over this last while whether we (I!!) hide behind other's Oms sometimes. We wait for the teacher to begin the round of three Oms. I don't necessarily own my Om.

Today wasn't like that though. Today I created the space I needed to put my voice out there. Joanne G taught last week that the Om resonates within us, releases chemicals (neurotransmitters I imagine) in the brain that are good for us, massages the sinuses and the brain. Spiritually I think that Om probably does some of that to our souls, to our psyche.

Its a lot of work letting go of the ego, the self conscious part of ourselves that judges ... that judges whether an Om is too loud, too long, just right, blah blah blah... Its more work to hang on to that.

So here is to my Om...

Namaste to you.

And thank you Joannes.

For those of you struggling with anxiety, depression, looking for focus, I can promise you that if you commit to a practice of yoga - its life changing. Much like the practice of gratitude. Put this in your took kit of self care.

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