But I guess when your car’s odometer passes 100K, you just keep on driving.
I had a post syndicated on BlogHer earlier this month and I invite you to check it out. Get your sexy on with these 5 yoga poses (some of them a skosh more difficult than the one shown below).
For a fascinating look at openness in parenting via donor gametes, check out this New York Times Motherlode piece by Dawn Bovasso, an egg donor 15 years ago and a mom via sperm donation today.
By being so willing to talk about Leo’s origins, my choice [to check the Open box] wasn’t just about genetics and the far future. It became about a community of people making the same choice and open to the same kind of sprawling family – right now. This community of half siblings and their moms isn’t anything I’d read about in any of the books or blogs, and it has been, quite honestly, the most moving and profound part of using a donor. With these choices, I have given myself something quite extraordinary, too.
My yoga mat has become a sacred space, imbued with my own energy — de-frenzified for a few moments. When I roll it out and begin my practice, my body responds by breathing more deeply. My mind responds by yoking itself to my breath and my body. My spirit responds by settling in, by more fully occupying the cells of my physical body.
One morning this month, my spirit soared over the mat next to me. My son joined me at yoga class. Not just because he’s an athlete and knows that doing yoga will help him gain strength, flexibility, balance and focus. But just to be with his mama. My son got up early on a day off to hang out with me doing what I like to do.
Yoga wasn’t easy for him. He struggled but didn’t quit. For the final pose, savasana (corpse pose in which all you do is relax, the yin to the rest of the practice’s yang) our hands reached out to each other, loving through our bodies and souls.
Which explains why it’s in my interest (and yours) to notice perfect moments.
Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world (NOTE: For an indefinite period, starting in March Perfect Moment Monday is moving to the Perfect Moment Project. Please tune in there with my friends Robin and Sue starting March 24). Everyone is welcome to join. To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:
We sit on the floor in criss-cross applesauce at the beginning of yoga class, and Jane instructs us to close our eyes and remember a time during childhood when we were hurt or scared, in order to find if there are areas in which we need to release and to forgive. Her soothing voice and evocative words take each of us back to address our own personal boogeymen, troubles that loomed large because we were so small.
This won’t work, says my inner voice. I’ve already exorcised all my demons.
I open my eyes and peek around the room, surprised that my fellow classmates are going crimson in the face as strong emotions rise from their bellies. Something powerful is going on, and if I can surrender my thoughts to my emotions, I may have the chance to release something I’ve carried for a very long time.
Hah, that’s what you think! — comes a reply, also inside my head.
With an exhale I allow my hips and tailbone to feel heavy, to sink into the earth. With an inhale I lift my spine, filling the space between my vertebrae with, well, more space. In an instant
I see Mommy and Daddy walking away. I see them through the droplets of the dank and cold prison they’re leaving me in, the plastic walls and ceiling I’m sealed inside, where I’m having trouble breathing. Don’t leave me! I’ll be good! I won’t scare you any more please just don’t leave me here! I scream and still they walk away. AGAIN. Every night they leave me here. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! They leave me here in the care of my torturers who stab me with sharp things and make me bleed and hurt me over and over again. They leave me here in a wet and cold bed. They leave me here in a place where I get only icky food. They put masks over my face thirteen times a day and it smells bad. I am suffocating. I am so afraid and uncomfortable and….ANGRY. I am so angry at all of them for putting me here, for leaving me here.
I hate this oxygen tent. I hate the nurse who gives me shots. I hate the doctor who keeps adding days and nights I have to stay here. I hate all the white, and the smell of someone they call Auntie Septy. I hate my lungs for getting New Monya again. I’m mad at my parents for leaving me behind again. I’m mad that I’m so small and powerless still. I’m mad at my body. I hate my life. HATE HATEHATE HATE!
I am shocked to meet my hate-fueled (and scared) 5 year-old self. I am amazed that I could uncover all that in about 5 mindful breaths.
We begin our sun salutations, stretching the sides and back parts of our bodies with forward folds and crescent moons, strengthening our cores with plank pose and chaturrangas, then simultaneously grounding and lifting in downward dog. Yoga is a practice of alternating currents, of balancing opposites to bring about wholeness: right/left, upper/lower, front/back, sun/moon, rising/melting, strength/stretch, inhale/exhale, tension/release.
And, apparently, my past and my present.
As I move through the rest of the practice, I focus on my breath. With the inhales, I abide with that scared little girl I once was. I am acutely aware of the tension in her body, the balls of wadded up anger, of densely packed fear. With my exhales, I mindfully aim to dissolve those balls of heavy energy, some still residing in my body — mainly in my lungs and hips — using my breath and intention.
The oxygen tent is where I began laying victim patterns that would serve as my template for 30+ years. It was in that cold, wet, lonely place that I realized I was at the mercy of others, that I did not control my circumstances, that I was not the subject in my life but rather an object in others’. The doctors made me endure procedures that hurt, my parents made me swallow icky medicines and stay in fearsome places, my body continually disappointed me by not functioning as it should.
I do my thing: I look at this childhood scene through a rational lens. Of course my parents weren’t persecuting me. Of course it was as hard for them to leave me each night as it was for me to be left. Of course the doctors and nurses weren’t trying to hurt me; they were trying to heal me. Of course I wasn’t abandoned; people were there to make sure I was going to be okay. Of course my body wasn’t malfunctioning on purpose; it was doing the best it could.
But the 5 year-old on my yoga mat with me is not a rational being. I have carried her emotional energy of being scared, alone, abandoned, bereft, unwell. She’s pissed. Mad at those who left her, mad at those who poked her, mad at the body that put her in her predicament. She’s been having tantrums ever since, not having an outlet for her fear and anger.
With my teacher’s invitation to dig deep and excavate what lurks beneath my awareness, I am able to give the girl a voice. I feel my face turn crimson as the anger rises from my belly. Now that I know such a well of fear and anger is there, I can access it, breathe through it, release it.