Staying Close to the Simple Things

A  few days ago our yoga teacher repeatedly reminded us to stay close to the simple things in our practice. These things – breath, awareness, focus –  he said, were the foundation which would enable us to push through when the work we were doing  became challenging.

Today was a day full of simple things.

It was my Mother’s Birthday.

I had to drive 2 and half hours to a meeting today and even then I was able to stay close to the simple things.  Waking up at 4am to the stillness of early morning, when all is so quite that I can hear the breath of  God.  Stopping for my coffee at Quikchek greeted by smiles from the people who work there, who are often the first faces I see each morning. Sharing a laugh with a sweet woman also named Sue.

Even when a man accidentally tried to get into my car instead of his own, I stayed close to that simple thing called laughter. He laughed too. “I promise I didn’t take the good silver,”  he joked.

Even the fact that there was messy slushy, snow and rain for most of my drive was OK. I stayed close to the simple joy of being in the car, warmed by the blast of the heater and comforted by my fragrant cup of coffee. I stayed close to the simple joy of listening to my music, singing out loud and dancing in my seat when I felt so moved.

My meeting seemed full of simple things. Doing work that matters. Helping. Contributing my gifts. Gratitude for the fact that people value my work.  Working with kind, generous, passionate people who BELIEVE in the power of creativity. We ended by breaking bread .  Eating lunch together before I made the return trip. There was the simple  joy of talking to my Mother on the phone on the way home, and then when the conversation was done, blasting more music and jamming all the way.

My day ended as it often does with yoga.  Today was one of those days when yoga was delicious. Yes delicious. It was one of those days when the perfect combination of ingredients comes together in some sort of  alchemy which transforms the 90 minutes of class into a truly sublime experience. The combination of this particular group of people on this particular night, with this particular teacher came together to create a syngergy that lifted me and carried me through the class. While I could feel the energy of those around me, could see the beautiful synchronized movement of our collective body  - I felt fully focused on myself. My breathe. My body

I felt hyperaware of  every sensation. Of the miracle of sinew and bone. Of  muscle and skin.  I felt with vivid awareness, the pulsing of my heart and the exquisite rush of blood as it flowed to every part of my body. It seemed I could feel it’s very movement through my blood vessels.

I experienced the pain of stretching muscles and twisting joints not as pain, but rather as a profound reminder of  the gift of the vessel which is mine for this journey. Each pain was an exquisite affirmation of my aliveness and of the very power of creation moving in me.

The sweat of my body today was a bendediction. A blessing of all that is. As it is.  It felt cleansing in some deeply elemental way. I could hear the tap tap of the drops of sweat falling to my mat, washing away all the sadness, frustration, fear and anxiety that had been layered on my skin. I imagined that I could see it sink through the layers of towel, mat, carpet, lining, wood, and cement – into the very earth –  washing away those awful feelings and taking them to be used as nourishment for some seed waiting dormant in the ground. Some seed which would grow into something verdant. Something lush with love.

Leaving the yoga studio to discover that there was freezing rain pelting down did not shift me either. I drove home thinking of the simple things which awaited me. The coziness of my apartment. The soft mewling welcome of my cat. A hot shower. Warm fleece pajamas.  Hot fragrant, spicy Vietnamese soup left over from my lunch. A glass of velvety pinot noir.

And this. Sitting at my computer, lulled by the shush of cars on the street below as they driving through the slush.  The sweetness of having allowed these words to flow out of  me, through my fingertips, to dance themselves into reality on the screen. The pure unadulterated joy of creating something. Saying something. Feeling something. Not because I have to. Not because I’m trying to accomplish anything in particular.  Just because it was there.

I understand what he meant when he said that the simple things are the foundation which carries us through when things are hard. The hard things are there my friend. Believe me.  I have been carrying around heartbreak, overwhelm, sadness, fear, anxiety and more that is hard. It’s all there gathered at my feet, looking up at me. Waiting for me to take it back up and focus on it rather than my peace. But for now, for today, the simple things are holding me steady. Rooting me firmly to the earth and enabling me to step my way unflinchingly around the hard things without losing my balance.

So for today. And perhaps tomorrow, and the next day, I will stay close to the simple things.

  • deb

    Sigh. Yes. (yay) xoxo

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