Friday, August 28, 2015

Starting with a small change


About a month ago, I had a Monday off of work. Before I got out of bed, I had decided I would rearrange my bedroom that day. And I did - almost everything found a new place: the bookcase, one dresser, the bed. I removed a lot of the extraneous clutter from the room (just,,,don't look in the guest room yet). It felt good. I needed a change. This new arrangement of furniture resulted in a nice chunk of open floor space.

The change in the room itself is most important in that it has been a catalyst for other, better, changes in my life. I had fallen into some bad habits. Waking up and going straight to the computer to check Facebook was the worst offender. I wanted to create new habits. So, I told myself I would make up the bed every morning. Before I did anything else (morning trip to the restroom excluded), I would make up my bed. And I have, never to perfection, but done. I also made a place for a hamper, a place for dirty cloths to live. I know - as an adult of my age, these are things that I should have already been doing. But, the past couple of years have been tough, and the events of those years drug me down to a dark place. In that place, I didn't care about things like made-up bed and dirty clothes in a hamper. In that place, getting out of bed and putting clothes on my body felt like a Herculean accomplishment on some days.

Without the covers  and dirty clothes all over the floor, the open floor remained open. I decided that I would make good use of that space. I would start a morning yoga practice. Right there in my bedroom, in that open space. I had begun to have an inner image of my self as a gnarled, squat oak tree. My muscles felt tight, my joints ached. I felt like I was folding in on myself, unable to stretch out into the world.

So, after making my bed, I would turn on Pandora, get out my Yoga mat, and do yoga stretches for 5 songs. Just 5 songs. That seemed more doable than focusing on getting a certain number of poses done or setting a timer. And for the last 31 days, I have done so for 24 of them. Even when visiting my Mom. Even at Cattle Raids. A couple of days lost when I had an infected tooth, when on my period, when traveling in the morning.

And I have seen changes. I have gone from 18 - 20 minutes in the morning to 27 - 30 minutes. There have been concrete physical achievements - my fingertips on the ground in triangle pose, my head to the ground in wide-legged forward bend, deeper twists, getting past the point when it is my hamstrings that are the barrier for most poses.

There have been intangible changes as well -more energy throughout the day, feeling stronger, laughing more. That inner image of the gnarled,squat oak - well the oak is beginning to straighten and stretch into the light.



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