Friday, February 26, 2010

Great Expectations!

Day 40. Complete. Just finished, it’s 9:47pm in this beautiful snowy New England town.

I pictured what this night would look and feel like. The culmination of the 40-day yoga challenge, but, also the end of an amazing year here in New Haven. I pictured how I would feel and what it would be like to walk out of Peg’s 6:15 Hot Power Practice… The Friday night class is one of my favorites. Candles, music, some amazing people, and it generally kicks my butt in a good way. I longed to finish the challenge that way!

I pictured it and it looked completely different. All the classes were canceled today due to snow! BUMMER, right?!?! So I completed this challenge on my mat in the floor of my kitchen with my dad chuckling to The Office in one room, my hubby packing suitcases in another and my baby trying desperately to go to sleep, too excited about flying on the plane tomorrow.

It looked and felt completely different. My great expectations for this challenge “let down” and yet as I sat up to turn off the yoga DVD I grinned….

This moment was indeed picture perfect. Thankfully I was able to let go of those expectations tonight and engage with what I had… a beautiful full house, a yoga mat and a decent recording of one of my favorite classes.

We leave early tomorrow morning for the next great adventure. I am eager and excited to reflect on this past year a bit more…to have time to think and be with my Denver friends & family and get into a rhythm of playing with my son! I am eager to share more about this next great leg of our journey and dream a little bit about what it holds...

But for tonight and the next few hours here, I am content to catch a re-run of The Office with my dad, snuggle on the blow up mattress & sleeping bags with my hubby and exit the mat knowing we made it!

New Haven, thank you! Denver, I’ll see you soon! Uganda, I can’t wait to be with you!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

If this week were a long practice, KICK ME OFF THE MAT!

It’s snowing outside. All yoga classes were canceled today. Crazy, but you would think the east coast never gets snow!! You would think this because EVERYTHING shuts down at the site of a few flakes. School is canceled. We got let off work early. Stores close. Anyway, SO NOT THE POINT…

As I was saying, there is snow and yoga is cancelled. Once again I wound up doing yoga in the kitchen tonight. Day 24/40! A few weeks ago in class I can remember an instructor saying something to the effect of “Stay in the pose! The pose actually begins the moment you want to get out of it.” I guess you could say the pose is beginning for me!

I had one of those days (actually if I am honest, one of those weeks) where chaos, disappointment, fear, anxiety and the unknown just left me undone... Sent me spiraling and kept me grumpy to say the least. As I lay on the mat tonight I had the thought, “If this week was one long practice, I should be kicked off the mat…” I feel like that. The way I responded under pressure this week has been filled with judgment, frustration…the opposite of grace under pressure.

In my thoughts I just asked God to help… help me to show up tomorrow… help me to trust that we will make it… help me to somehow enter into this chaotic state where my house is a mess, our lives are in upheaval and dreams that I once had are beginning to look different. In the shifting dreams I am realizing there is sadness… and mourning taking place. Yes joy and excitement about the next step but it feels like messy joy… murky hope.

I want to show up different tomorrow. Lord, have mercy on me. I want to trust that he is faithful to bring us into a place that is good and right. Lord, have mercy on me. I want to be a person who gives grace and laughter in chaos (even a CRAZY house and moving strategy). Lord, have mercy on me. I want to be one that finds steadiness outside circumstance. Lord, have mercy on me. I want to be the person who has the audacity to continue to dream even when the ones you have had before don’t always end the way you thought they would. Lord, have mercy on me. I want to embrace joy, even if it is messy…and hope, even when it is murky. Lord, have mercy on me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

16/40...some refelctions

I am trekking along in this beautiful challenge. I am learning so much along the way. As I had expected the mat has been an amazing place for me to come, explore, and ask myself questions like, “how I am showing up for the day?”.

The last few months I have been occasionally doing some Celtic prayer. I have particularly found what they call the “morning office” helpful to start they day. The same daily prayer mixed with alternating scripture readings…a still center if you will. There is this one line at the end of the morning daily office that asks Christ to “be with in and with out me lowly and meek yet all powerful.” Many mornings I have dwelt on those single lines just wanting Jesus to somehow find me again and help me to live a meek, humble yet powerful life filled with love and justice.

Last week at the beginning one of my practices, I think it was 11/40; I sat in child’s pose and found myself reflecting on those same words. I started to pair them with my breathing. Inhale “Christ with in”…Exhale “and without me lowly and meek yet all powerful”… Inhale “Christ with in”…. Exhale “and without me lowly and meek”…Inhale “Be within”…Exhale ”and without me.” I was bringing my intention with the practice to those small words and deep longing.

I moved throughout the practice. I didn’t keep those words on the forefront of my mind at every moment of the practice …but every time I found myself in a difficult posture or loosing my breath those words would slowly creep in “be within and without me lowly and meek yet all powerful.” I moved… I breathed …and hoped… At the end of practice I laid there in corpse pose and again I found a soft breath. I intentionally brought back those words with each inhale and each exhale. I meditated on them. Took them in…. Inhale “Christ with in me”… Exhale “and without me lowly and meek yet all powerful.” I experienced something beautiful that day… Meditation in motion …a living active prayer.

They often say that the mat is a place to come explore. To take notice how we respond on the mat (without judging of course, right Peg J) and either keep the thoughts, motivations and intentions that come through out the practice or let them go. A place to explore the possible, expand into the possible… O how I long for what I experienced that day on the mat in my daily life. In the conversations with my husband, in difficult situations with friends, family and co-workers…

As I sit in a coffee shop now I notice my breath once more (I seem to notice it more often these days)… Inhale “Christ within me”… Exhale “ and without me lowly and meek yet all powerful.” Amen.