Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day Three

"Longing for Gravity

You are on a mission to Mars. Because of the length of of the journey, you will never be able to return to Earth. What about our blue planet will you miss the most?"

If I left Earth, never to return, what would I miss most about it?  I would miss the air, the water, the fire, and the earth.  Driving with the top down, the sun just warm enough on my face, and the wind rushing over my skin.  The sound and sight of the surf moving, waves kissing the beach, or water giggling over rocks in the creek, and the feel of it tickling my toes before I plunge, head first, into the surf.  Being outside is my oxygen.  I can breathe in freely, deeply, and openly, suddenly overwhelmed with the (mostly) beautiful smells held in nature.  

I am renewed when I step outside, away from my desk, my chair, my kitchen.  I am strengthen and energized. I am now reminded to take more time to go outside.  Mars trip or not, I miss the wind, the water, the fire (light), and the earth.  I miss the balance that the four elements offer me when I take time to accept their gifts.  I need to step outside now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day Two

"Unsafe Containers"

"Which emotion(s) — joy, envy, rage, pity, or something else — do you find to be the hardest to contain?""

I have to be honest, I was not a fan of this prompt at first.  It frustrated me that an answer didn't immediately spring to mind.  In fact, I fought against every possible answer that popped into my head. I didn't want to do it.  But the whole point of a challenge is to, well, challenge oneself, so I decided to examine my reluctance more closely.

Which emotions do I find the hardest to contain?  After chewing on this for a while, I realized why I had been so reluctant to touch it.  I find ALL of them diffficult to contain.  When I am happy, everyone knows it.  I will tell total strangers how amazing everything is.  I feel like I am exploding  with joy, so I have to share it.  The same, I have found, is true when I am unhappy.  Whether it is sadness, frustration, or anger.  On me there is no hiding it.  

Through my students this year (middle school girls) I have learned that I actually wear the way that I feel in the way that I dress.  I was stunned by this realization.  I am a pretty happy person, and I typically dress for work in bright, vibrant colors, putting together accesroies that will add just the right pop of color.  I came in to school one day wearing khakis and a grey shirt, and my girls thought something awful had happened.  I was mindboggled.  I was just having kind of a blah day, a little down, but nothing earth-shattering.  I was told, in no uncertain terms, by my girls that I should never dress like that again unless something was really wrong because it scared them.  I have worn black to work twice since then, first when we lost Nelson Mandela, and more recently when my very dear friend lost his mother.  Both times I explained to the girls the reason behind my choices, and they understood that grief sometimes comes in darkness, and it is okay to feel that pain.

It seems that even when I don't mean to, when I don't think I am wearing my emotions on my face, I am wearing them on my body.  So it seems that the "unsafe container" is me.  I feel everything, and I show it.  I'm fine with that, and don't consider it unsafe at all.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Day One

The challenge today is to just write, whatever comes to mind, just write freely for twenty minutes, then publish what you have written.  I have my students do this all the time.we call it "Clearing the Clutter" and it always seems to help them immensely.  I, however, rarely participate. Today that changes. This is the start of another new habit for me, on this day of firsts. 
took my first yoga clas today at the most beautiful, relaxing, inspiring studio called The Lotus Pond. It is a lovely log cabin on a pond with a little waterfall in it.  What could be more relaxing? I am painting tonight in one of my mom's classes with a dear friend.  That should be fun.  I always enjoy my mom's classes. Wine, music, Mom, a paint brush and a canvas, what's not to love? And I am also starting a thirty day blogging challenge today.  I haven't posted to the blog since the fall, so that changes today, too.  So far, I love this day!
We are in the middle of The Great Purge of 2014 here, so if I don't need it, use it, or love it, it is out the door! The goal is for everything to have a place, a home, somewhere it belongs in the house.  Closet is already done: two garbage bags full of clothes for donation, and two garbage bags full of shoes to donate.  Still need to do bags, but there is time.  Books have been collected from the overflowing bookshelves and only the essentials were kept.  The ones we released went to gain credit at the used book story so I can continue building my classroom library, and the rest were donated to the Hospice thrift store.
Busy seems to be the name of the game. I picked out a yoga class for every day this week, then I have things going on every afternoon and evening.  People to see, celebrations to enjoy, work to do.  It has long been my practice to put all of those things ahead of taking care of myself, but no more.  I realize that if I always feel awful, I am of no help to anyone.  I will find time for yoga classes.  I may even work in time at the gym.  Wouldn't that be crazy? It is just time to feel better and focus on wellness.  I have had a headache or migraine almost every day for at least the last month.  Now we work on changing that.  It is time.  This is the time to do one thing for myself every day.  That will be my yoga class. 
We have seen so much loss this year, dear friends, parents of dear friends, spouses of dear friends, it is time to grab life by the shoulders and make the most of every day.  It is crazy how quickly it can all be gone.  I want to do whatever it takes to be healthy enough to stick round for the long haul.
My sweetheart and I celebrated eight years together last night.  Eight more will not be nearly enough.  We talked at dinner last night about what have been the best things, most surprising things, and most enjoyable things in the last eight years.  What is all comes down to is that we both feel so damn lucky to have found each other.  Have the last eight years looked like I expected them to? Not even close, but that have looked outstanding! I wouldn't trade a minute of them.
So now we begin the next phase with ridding ourselves of clutter, making time to reenergize, and to reflect every day.  But we do this one day at a time.
That's twenty minutes of writing! Wow, the kids are right, it helps a lot!
Peace and Namaste.