My toddler is my spiritual teacher.
Mika and I play these little games where she pretends to put me to sleep by singing ‘hush little baby’ and turning the light off. Usually i’m so tired that I practically fall alseep when she does this but the game is that as soon as she turns the light on I’m meant to ‘wake up!’. And so yesterday we were playing it and we’d finished playing and we were about to go and do something else when she stopped me and asked ‘are you awake mami?’ and i laughed and was like ‘of course!’ and in my head i was like ‘who ARE you??’ but and so for the rest of my day I was much, much more awake.
Moving towards resistance
I spent the last 5 days sick in bed and it was my hardest week of yoga I’ve ever had. Not in the sense that I was upside down or doing some hot sun salutations, but in the sense that just allowing myself to rest is possibly the hardest thing for me to do. My brain was in judgemental attachment overdrive.
I had a wee epiphany the other day, that (of course) isn’t very profound at all, but rather just some common sense that suddenly clicked for me: So i have a hard time resting. And when my brain sometimes says ‘maybe you should rest?’ another part of my brain goes ‘but are you just being lazy?’ and somewhere i remember someone saying that i should listen to my body but i have never known how! and so my epiphany was in figuring out a failproof solution: if i’m asking the question, i need to move towards resistance. this way i will never be lazy, because if i’m resisting exercising then it’s most probably what i need, but if i’m resisting resting (more likely) then it’s probably what i need.
so simple. and i know people talk about moving towards resistance all the time, but i’d never really applied it to this problem before.
Anyway, even with my epiphany it didn’t help me feel good about being sick in bed. But I have come out the other side again and i feel ever so grateful for my body and my life and my breath. And for walking without a headache and for sweating from exercise rather than sweating from fever. And for being able to feel the cold crisp air and sunshine on my skin. These sunny cold days are the best.
This week Ivan and I haven’t watched a single television show. This is a big deal. Usually we’re exhausted and it’s 1030pm and before we go to sleep we decide to watch one of the many television shows we seem to have become attached to (Breaking Bad (up to season 3), Homeland, The Walking Dead, Modern Family). And then it’s 1130pm and we’re extra exhausted but kind of wired from staring at a computer screen.
Mika has been having a rough time sleeping in her new toddler bed. Last night she was up every 2 hours (WHAT THE WHAT?!). And there are so many books I need to read and teachings I need to practice and letters I want to write. So on Monday I asked Ivan if he would support me in us NOT watching television before bed and he said yes and it has been so great.
On Monday I took Ivan through some yoga poses and then we were so exhausted we went straight to bed. On Tuesday we played our old favourite board game and talked and laughed together. Last night I read my book and turned out the light around 930pm.
Obviously at some point we’ll watch a television show again but this week we’ve created space for something new by making some positive changes and it feels wonderful. Sometimes that is all you need to feel a little unstuck.
Now we just have to work on Mika’s sleeping habits….
Our weekend was lazy, ordinary and wonderful in its non-eventfulness. And now here are more pictures than you would probably care for, but i borrowed a camera from a friend and had a lot of fun.
Lately I feel like i’m bursting with recommendations. Do this! Read this! Watch this! Eat this! So here, my friends, are a few ideas for you.
Really worth reading: This book.
Really worth eating: This soup.
Really worth watching: This movie.
Really worth doing: Getting up early and breathing in cold air and admiring how everything looks in the fog.
When you are stuck in a hole, stop digging.
It’s been a tough week. One of those weeks where I haven’t felt ‘on the right path’. Avoiding difficult conversations, reaching for a handful of chocolate chips before lunch (?!), avoiding my vegetables, comparing myself to others, critisizing myself harshly, etc etc. On top of this (or because of this?) both Mika and I came down with a miserable flu which meant that I also didn’t exercise for 3 days, but I wasn’t sick enough to not eat – rather I was the sort of sick that saw me asking Ivan to pick up Thai food on his way home cause i’m ‘too sick to cook’ and then him being extra nice and bringing me licorice allsorts for my ‘sick person treat’. WHO ARE WE?!
I sat on my mat but i didn’t flow for three days. Instead I just read my ‘meditations from the mat’ book that has pretty much been my bible for the past few months – searching for answers? I feel that as long as I continue to read and meditate and inquire, I will find my way.
And today i woke up and the sun was shining and my headache was gone. ivan left for work and mika was still sleeping and i read and meditated and decided to stop digging. it is time to start climbing. And then Mika woke up and said ‘mami, yesterday i was sick in my big girl bed and it went evvvvverywhere but today i am ALL BETTER!’ and i said ‘that’s so great! would you like to sit in your stroller so I can go for a run on this glorious fall day?’ and she said yes.
So I ran 3 miles and she chatted to me the whole way. The last time i ran with mika was probably when she was just over 1. Now it’s practically like having a running buddy, except my other running buddies and i would never have conversations like this:
‘mami why are you running?’
*huff puff* ‘exercise’
*hufffff pufffff* ‘to…feel….good’ *huff puff*
‘why are you running?’
‘why do you think?’
‘to feel good?’
‘oh. bravo mami!!!!’
heart melts. *hufff pufff*
And then we went to the zoo together and we spent a long time with the snakes and the bugs which are apparently her favourite. There were no goats out for patting but that didn’t matter cause all she really wanted to do was wash her hands anyway. did you guys know that washing hands is so much fun?
Then we grabbed a coffee together and sat in a park and mika played with our empty cups for about 45 minutes making me different flavors of tea in the sandbox. There were a group of teenage girls in the park, wearing skimpy clothing and taking group self photos in various poses and talking about the sort of crazy things that only 16 year old girls find important. Mika and I watched them for a little while and then she turned to me and said ‘tea mami?’ and handed me the cup full of sand and I almost burst into tears at how gorgeous and innocent she seemed, especially contrasted with the teenage girls in the park and my heart jumped into my throat for a moment as i realised the terrifying inevitability of time.
“The moment I fall off the moderation wagon, my mind becomes consumed by the fact that I am no longer living up to my potential. My mind fills with obsessive concern; I know all too well the ways I am self-sabotaging. My heart yearns for peace. Then I wake up one morning and find that I have made a decision. I am ready to let go of whatever it is that’s consuming me. I am ready to reestablish brahmacarya in my life. I am ready to follow my heart. I am ready to listen to the wind of my soul.” Day 38, Meditations from the Mat