this one time at yoga camp…

Nineteen days into my 30 Day Yoga Camp and one thing I can honestly say is that I am gaining a whole new respect of what my body can do and what i can no longer do.

Folding forward, resting my elbows on the mat in between my legs straddled…barely…not really…I pause and reflect on the fact that my achy hips won’t let me really straddle and the reality that as my 54th birthday approacheth I am no longer middle aged…more like past middle aged, which means my parents really are old and yes, means that I am getting older too and this body of mine is getting older and that really kind of sucks. Then again, here I am, on the floor, legs spread wide…kind of, sort of, barely…and I am folded forward in-between them with my elbows resting easily on the mat in front of me. Not bad, I tell myself as I slowly exhale and lean even more into this pose and rest my forehead on top of my forearms. Not bad at all.

Today’s mantra was I Respect and yes, I am learning a whole new respect for me…the me that I am…right here, right now.

Oh, and, I have all kinds of respect for the me that earned this medal.

A medal earned for doing perhaps more work than this girl has done.

Definitely.

showing up

January 2016 is winding down…FINALLY! Am I the only one who felt like this was an endless month? No, it was not a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month. It was actually an okay kind of month at least here under the Big Top. It just seemed like January was a long as a cold, dark Winter night.

Speaking of Winter…

I can neither confirm nor deny that Jodie was anywhere near the East Coast last weekend. I asked. Believe me.

But yes, January is coming to an end which, it would seem, be the PERFECT time for me to shake up my workout.  I never was a New Year, New You, New Workout or Joining a Gym kind of girl because anxiety girl hates the crowds. Still, struggling with the I’m getting older too season of my life, I am realizing that in order to maintain I need to do so much more than just run and throw some weights around occasionally; because it’s not just cardio vascular and muscular skeletal function that wanes in our middle ages…I realize that literally every single time I am crawling between ventilators, isolettes and parents kangarooing their tiny babies so I can hang IV fluids, administer meds or shut off an alarm, and then trying to get back up again. I won’t talk about the hobbled state of my back, my hips, my knees and my ankles at the end of a 12 hour shift.

So honoring my #oneword2016, I am pausing the running…kind of sort of because if I run, I run, and if I don’t, I don’t...instead I am walking more and as of last week, accepting Jodie’s challenge to get my Yoga on. Last week I discovered Adriene, whose playful humorous yoga practice is exactly what I need as I get back on the mat and accept the reality that is my ebbing flexibility and old lady joints. Five days into her New Year 30 Day Yoga Camp (while everyone else is almost done with it), I am learning to accept, create, embrace, awaken and celebrate that I am alive as I enjoy this one wild and precious life that is mine. There is more to come the next 25 days but the biggest thing I am coming to realize is not how flexible I am or, obviously, am not.

No.

The biggest thing is that I have shown up on that mat.

And that is kind of the biggest thing one can do literally in any relationship in their life whether love, friendship, work, your own self. If it’s important, if it’s valuable, you got to work with it, care for it, but first you got to show up.

Start here.

Show up.

 

wearing my words

Does a grown-assed woman really need daily affirmations?

Well, yeah.

Recent conversation with a family member reminded me of that especially when he insisted on calling me by the nickname that was, of course, a family term of endearment. Every time he called me c___ w____, I was reminded how the playground taunt brought home and shared at the dinner table became the family pet name for me because it’s love, Laura, nothing but love…except it wasn’t. At least for me it wasn’t. It hurt. It hurt a lot then…and (surprisingly because I am so far removed from that toxic swill most days) now. What can I say? I was emo when emo wasn’t cool which was probably why that endearment stuck and still tries to stick 45 years later.

Perhaps it isn’t so cool anymore for me to be emo…a middle aged woman like me.

Does a grown-assed woman, like me, really need to be reminded almost every day of her own personal truths?

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Sure!

My words, my personal truths look pretty amazing here on my wrist.

They’re shiny too.

 

 

press pause

Practically a week into 2016 and when am I going to take the time to post something, some picture, some thought, some moment of navel gazing…because people are waiting.

Heh.

Sorry.

Life distracts.

Taking time to consider my #oneword for 2016 as I have last year, the year before, and the year before that, I found myself anxious to sit down and share with you the right word for my 2016…again, because you all are waiting (in my imagination) it struck me that I had the right word for this year because whether you have been waiting and wondering, Big Top life has distracted…or perhaps readjusted the focus. So let me share with you…as soon as I pause this video.

What can I say, I love me a good riff-off.

PAUSE.

Pause is my #oneword2016.

2015 ended up being what I would call a fortuitous year. Actually I did refer to it that way when a friend asked to describe 2015 in one word. There were so many other potential words describing good, bad, anxiety, tears, fears, grief, happiness, joy…and on and on. 2015 wasn’t a stellar year but it certainly did not suck…mostly.Perhaps because (most of the time) I tried to deal as I said I would around this time last year.

Dealing, as I tried to do, I learned sometimes to just pause…take a deep breath…perhaps close my eyes…open my eyes…take another breath if needed…and in that way I would try to deal. There wasn’t always a fix or a solution or an ability to change but there was a moment, a break to realize the positive and where my strength lies.

So 2016, this year I will press pause…as needed…when needed.

Like today while running errands in the rain.

 

celebrating resilience

So I treated myself, because I deserve a treat sometimes…as we all deserve a treat every now and then…in moderation, always in moderation. But yes, I treated myself.

The packaging alone is enough to make me smile…and feel pretty…even if I didn’t bother to put on makeup or fix my hair or wear jewelry.

And then I opened the box and put on this lovely called Resilience.

I bought it because it’s absolutely gorgeous.

I bought it because 20% of the profits of this cuff will benefit The Noreen Fraser Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for breakthrough research that advances precision medicine for the prevention and treatment of women’s cancers.

I bought it because as it delicately encircles my wrist, it reminds me of my own resiliency; my own remarkable ability to bounce back from some really crazy, awful, no-good, horrible, very bad things over the last half century…literally…stretched, bent, compressed and stretched in ways I could never imagine that I could come back from…and yet I did; no matter the direction life has taken me. Someday I might have a long heart to heart with some of the crazy side roads Life took me on, especially when I was too young to have any control but for now I will look at this lovely delicate cuff and remind myself just how strong I am.

I will also pause to think about and celebrate people I know who right now are proving their own resiliency as they are coming back from some pretty fucked up things:

  • starting over with a family who depends on them as they leave a dangerous, abusive situation strengthened by a tribe of people who love her
  • taking the chance to try again after living through the most unimaginable loss that you never get over…again surrounded by family and a circle of people supporting with so much love and so much encouragement and so much prayer
  • finally figuring out what education and career path is the one you want to be on after a few starts and stops and fails along the way…again surrounded by family and friends cheering you on because they believe in you and cheer for you…especially when you stumble and when you get back up to try again.

Not every resilient person finds themselves surrounded by unconditional support and love…at least at first glance. Still we survive and we thrive as we embrace our ability to handle whatever direction life takes us…in spite of the pain, the unbelievable grief and every other shitty roadblock along the way…because there is also a lot of love and blessings too.