Tag Archives: nap

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 9: The Promise of Forgiveness

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Hmmm. In today’s prompt we were invited to write a poem in which something big and something small come together. I immediately think about (big) ideas like love, marriage, hopes and fears, beginnings and endings, and (small) units of time, like just one day in the life. The trajectory of our (big) lives is made up of countless (small) days.  If I were to examine one small day in the life of my marriage (which, now that he has moved out, is swiftly approaching its endpoint) do I pick a day when things were going well, or do I pick a day when it had already gone to hell? Do I count the years of our marriage as a (small) period of time in comparison to the (big) trajectory of my life?  Is this how I find healing?  The (big) emotions of grief, pain, betrayal and loss meet the (small) moment to moment experiences of breathing, eating, sleeping, and taking one step at a time.  In order to live skillfully as humans we must be deeply aware of all of these juxtapositions and learn how to navigate among them with grace and intention.  Can I let the (big) vision of stepping into my highest self be embodied within the reality of my shortcomings as one (small) woman?

I see her now,
how she tried so hard to be good.
I see how she wanted it to work
and in ways big and small
sacrificed the best of herself
for a vision she held
of the grand institution of marriage
and  the complexities of life with young children.
He held no such vision.
Unlike her, he saw their conflict
as symptoms of a mismatch.
Where she was ready to confront the issues
and find solutions,
he invested in the belief
that things should be easier than they were.
So he took the easy way out.
He blamed her for his pain,
told his story to countless others,
created an army that supported his victimhood
and started a war in their home.
She dove deeper into herself
to find the sanctuary promised by the scriptures
of all the world’s faiths.
As she came to rest in the arms
of divine union with self,
he sought the embrace of another,
one outside their sanctified union,
because by that point,
what they had once shared was dead to him.
She grieved. She lost weight. She lost sleep.
She lost friends. She lost hope. Almost.
From the tiniest stirrings of hope almost lost
emerged a new awareness, a strength
forged in the fires of  mourning.
One day she looked in the mirror
and realized that it had to happen this way.
He needed to reject the self she was
so that she could discover
the self she was born to be.
Yes it hurts sometimes still…
but behind the hurt there grows
something that will never be tarnished
by the stories of victimization,
justification, and rationalization:
the big Self,
the miracle of existence,
the song of gratitude,
the promise of forgiveness.

Listening to Another Part

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Afternoon and I
am drowsy…
Today a nap is possible;
I am on a retreat
teaching two yoga classes a day
and there is so much space,
glorious space,
to just be.
One part of my mind says
Create!
Knit!
Write! 
Connect!
Socialize!
Another part replies,
Zzzzzzzzz.
I think I’ll listen to that second part.

Cat Peed On the Mattress, and Other Fun

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One of my visions for this blog is to take everyday life experiences, especially the challenging ones, and draw upon yogic wisdom to navigate through them skillfully.  This wisdom can help to put those moments of challenges into perspective, and transform them from minor irritations and perceived setbacks into opportunities for growth.  Sometimes I’m actually somewhat successful in fulfilling that vision.  Today, not so much.

Today was a day that I experienced many challenges, not the least of which was dealing with a tired body and a low mood.  Add in the near constant needs of my two and three year old children plus the persistent meowing and harrumphing of our aging and blind male kitty–all this drama unfolding against the backdrop of my house in various states of disarray and disorganization– and it was a recipe for PMS hell.

At one point, after I got both kids in their rooms for nap, I felt such a craving for rest that I nearly flew into bed, accompanied by the laptop, my journal, my zipper pouch of colorful pens, and two books I’m reading–because I thought that I’d have a moment to delve into my blog post in the earlier part of the day.  I thought I would write a few lines in my journal.  I thought I’d read a few pages out of my books.  You know what they say about the road to Hell…

As I settled underneath the covers, I noticed the all too familiar pungent odor of cat pee, wafting up from our beautiful down comforter. A circle of wetness about six inches across.  Elder male kitty looking guilty. “Oh crap!” I leapt up, dragged the comforter downstairs, and stuffed it into a hamper. I said something to myself about taking care of it later.

Back upstairs, I grabbed another blanket from the linen cupboard and settled back down into bed, ready to rest, no longer concerned about catching up on blog, or journal, or books.  But what was the sensation of wetness  sinking into my pants leg?  “Oh double crap!” The cat had peed on the mattress as well.  Defeated, I stripped the sheets off the bed, threw the pillows on the dresser, and dejectedly made my way downstairs, face set in grim resignation.  There is no way I’m getting a nap now. I fiddled with the buttons of the duvet cover, separated the comforter from its cover, and threw it into the wash along with the sheets and pillowcases. So tired. Desperate for rest.  Now where?

But lo! The guest room was an option.  I could just go up there and take a nap.  I was just settling into a cozy nap moment when I heard my daughter in the kitchen, rustling through some plastic bags.  I tried to ignore it, but I reminded myself that she needed to be resting, and what was she doing in the kitchen anyway?  So I went downstairs and found that she had finished off the raisins and then transferred trail mix to the empty raisin bag. The tupperware that was originally holding the trail mix was sitting on the floor.  And girl child was dressed in not one but two skirts, neither of which were part of her ensemble when I put her down to bed.  If there was a cartoon thought bubble above my head, it would’ve read, “???” and then, “!@#*!” I could feel my body becoming tense, the impatience and irritation rising up, and as much as I tired to hold back, well…

Yes. I let my temper get the best of me. I groaned loudly probably three times.  I yelled at my daughter for not staying put during nap time and then I ended up feeling guilty and apologizing to her later.  It wasn’t my proudest mom moment, but I can give myself credit for recognizing that my reaction wasn’t very skillful and attempting to make amends for my part in it all.

It’s no surprise that I was happy to leave the house when it came time to teach restorative yoga; I hoped that my children would be decent with the sitter.  Wouldn’t want the sitter to become disgusted and never come back–how else would I be able to leave the house on Friday evenings and have some blessed time to be an adult around other adults?

I got back from teaching and both kids were in an uproar.  Girl child was crying because she didn’t want to say goodbye to the sitter and her daughter who comes along to help.  Boy child was adding his voice to the mix because it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  Chaos.  My husband was there too, and he gave me a sort of pleading look when I set foot inside the door.  He said, “Let’s expedite bedtime, ok?”   I nodded.

Much later, here I am, fighting fatigue so that I can write a few words and muse on how different each day is, how full of surprises.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel more rested.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll remember to take a deep breath before I open my mouth.

 

My Cat, The Yoga Teacher

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I’m really really tired. I did some running around today, at home and out and about with the kids. I don’t have anything amazing to report, but feel a need to write at least something before I leave to go teach. I don’t want the day to get away from me, and end up staying up late trying to think of a few words to string together so that I can say I wrote my daily post. Again, the resistance surfaces, again I’m told that I really don’t have anything interesting to say, so why bother? Tell me why I am doing this project again?

I finished my daughter’s rainbow tote today, and I’m happy with the results. I became disgruntled when she knocked over the whole box of straight pins, right before lunch, when I was a multitasking muthaeffa, trying to finish the last bit of the tote and prepare lunch at the same time. I may have groaned a bit, and I may have been unkind as simultaneously picked up the pins and instructed her to give me space, go play in her room until lunch was ready. I may have felt guilty afterwards, for not being more patient and kind.

Taking a moment to…give myself permission to write nothing of substance, nothing of interest.

Nothing of substance, nothing of interest. There, I wrote it.

My girl kitty is purring, right by my side. I love that she loves me, regardless of what or how I write. I wish I could love me regardless of how or what I write. She doesn’t need me to be anyone else. I wish I didn’t need me to be anyone else. My cat is the best kind of yoga teacher. She leads by example. She brings me back to this moment–right here, right now, resting and purring, observant and kind and affectionate–she is the calm I want to express in my life.

Her purring reminds me to breathe. She stares right into my eyes. She is warm and cuddly and still.

I think I’ll take a nap now.

Before I Get Too Tired

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It is 1:35pm, and I just got the kids in their rooms for “nap”– in quotes because napping isn’t really happening these days. It ends up being the kids playing by themselves in their rooms for an hour or two while I have one blessed moment to myself. A lot of the time I end up lying down and trying to catch some shut-eye, knowing that at any moment my daughter may interrupt my attempts to rest with breaking news of her latest toilet accomplishments.  And then there’s the ceaseless chatter issuing from her bedroom. Her stuffed animals have been very noisy lately. They have involved, often heated, conversations with each other, and they have little regard for my profound need to rest. I’ve stopped fighting. I don’t tell the stuffed animals to be quiet. I just let them have their conversations and try to sleep in spite of the noise.

I find myself typing here, trying to get my post of the day over with, so that I won’t have to worry about it later when I’m so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open. There is resistance in me to what I’m attempting to do here, and it’s strong, and loud, and intimidating. It pushes against me, tells me sleep is better than this baloney I’m smearing across the screen. It again says, “Why bother?”

Well, because I can. And, because I want to. 

I talked yesterday about the anchor of procrastination and the inner critic monster that accompany me whenever I attempt to write, and how heavy they are.  Today I have a different vision– of my creative self sobbing silently, sitting on the floor of a dungeon, back up against the cold stone wall, arms wrapped around knees, body curled in a little ball, head hung low. Creative self has been here a long time. It has nearly given up hope of ever seeing the light of day.

But lo, a candle flame appears at the end of the dank, dark hallway, and the someone carrying a candle is also carrying a key. Slow steps toward the prison door. Waiting, waiting. The face of the candle-bearer is cloaked in shadow–such a mystery–who has come to deliver this tired self from this awful place? The key turns softly in the lock, the door groans open on rusty hinges, a hand is extended to the prisoner who has waited so long.
Can my creative self get up and walk again, after so many moons of feeling bent and broken? At the moment of release, will the prison spring up again, so much bigger and deeper and darker than before? Trying to stand now, trying to take a step forward, learning to walk again, to leave this lonely place. Silently, the candle-bearer waits until the prisoner finds her legs and takes a few wobbly steps toward the door.

 

Many stair steps lead up to the light…each step takes great effort and the prisoner is feeling weak from hunger. She follows the candle flame, which appears dim and vulnerable in the encroaching blackness. One foot after the other, one by one by one…some day, some day I will be free.

Every time I show up to write a post, I reclaim a little bit more of the creative self that has been wasting away in my dungeon of procrastination, fear, and hopelessness.  I may find myself back in the dungeon after a brief moment out in the fresh air, but even so, the next time I may not wait so long to summon the one with the key, whoever that someone is.
Hmmm, who is this candle-bearer, and who is the despot that imprisoned me?