The Year 2014 is Dying

Today is a holiday, New Year’s Eve, and so Yoga Class has been cancelled today and tomorrow. I can see our instructor’s face in my mind, saying “You can resume your practice on your own…” with a “Hmmm?” question to hint around that she’ll be asking later if we did.

yoga studio

Yoga Studio Before

Our group yoga practice changed this past year. Although we went through a few changes, yoga has been pretty much a constant in my life. I try to attend a class every morning, if possible. Yoga has helped me cope in countless ways, as in relieving stress, stretching out those sore muscles, connecting with friends, exploring spirituality, healthy things, body and mind awareness.

yoga studio

Yoga Studio After

At one point late in the year, they pulled up the carpet in the classroom at the gym and replaced it with artificial wood. We’ve gone through a few changes with teachers, too. It’s all good.

Another constant in my life, church, will now change to a different time of day for Sunday meetings, as we switch morning and evening sessions with another congregation that meets in the same building.

I noticed that the last Sunday of 2014 we didn’t sing “Ring Out Wild Bells” like we usually do. I was happy 🙂 , because I’ve never really liked that hymn; it’s downright depressing. Decided to do a little research, and what to my wondering ears, there are loads of different versions of that song all over You-Tube. This is the version I’m used to. Now, if you feel like it, check out some of the many other versions on You-Tube. I especially like this one by Mike Shipione, and this one by the Crofts Family. I didn’t think these versions were depressing at all, so 🍸 here’s to the memory of the lyric writer Alfred, Lord Tennyson! Happy New Year!

Postscript: I spoke too soon, or someone read my post and sought to correct the missed opportunity to sing “Ring Out, Wild Bells” at church. We actually sang it twice, the first Sunday of 2015; once in church and again in the sisters’ class. So, it’s done!

December De-stress If You Can

I won a contest around Halloween, which resulted in my opportunity to get a session with a personal trainer at the gym for half-price. Never mind that I don’t remember entering the contest… I was intrigued, so I accepted the prize.

Yesterday I met with the personal trainer. At the gym where I go, a session with a personal trainer normally costs $70. That’s a lot of money to pay someone who is supposed to help you meet your goals of — just what are your goals, by the way? To lose weight, to become more flexible, to get physically fit? Or do you have to pay someone to carry on a conversation about and act interested in your health, like you do the doctor or physician’s assistant? Because they will make you sign a waiver that says you realize they are not a doctor and that they cannot diagnose anything.

To be honest, I’ve been so busy I don’t remember much of the session. Just that she wanted to see my range of motion so she had me goose-stepping all over the gym in a pair of old workout shoes that had round-bottom soles (remember Shape-ups?) because that’s the only pair of tennis shoes I could find in the closet. Me that morning, trying to get dressed in the dark: “Uh-oh, I’m meeting the personal trainer today, better find some real shoes to wear to yoga class…” and then I couldn’t find a pair of real shoes… Ironic that I found the Shape-up shoes, that temporary fad item: is that what the personal trainer is for me, just another fitness fad to induce me to work out? Whatever it was the personal trainer had me doing Thursday, it’s now Saturday and my sore, stove-up muscles are happy to hide, to cower, far from the gym.

The personal trainer was very impressed with the good state of my joints, which can only be due to years of doing yoga, even though I have arthritis and I’m not as flexible as I was in my younger days.

yoga shorts

selfie in favorite Eco-Flow yoga shorts

Celebrating Cyber Monday score of my favorite yoga shorts on sale. I wish I could replicate this pair of yoga shorts in my own sewing room with the help of some sort of holiday DIY pixie dust.

Reading back over this, I apologize that it sounds so “me, me, me” oriented. But maybe I need to pay attention to myself more often. In this season of shopping, stress, and focus on the materialistic, I hope you find what helps you to feel at peace. What would do that for you? A massage? Get someone to watch the kids while you take a nap? A pair of shorts that are comfy when you’re working out? Give yourself a break.

Fear of Sewing

Sometimes I am paralyzed with fear when it comes to starting a new project.

Many options

Many options

Being an analyzer, I try to find reasons to explain it away. Is it due to 1) retirement, 2) menopause, 3) stress, 4) lack of confidence, 5) an attack of the “shoulds,” 6) a feeling of disempowerment that is characteristic of females in an older generation who have been brought up in conservative households, 7) feeling bombarded by too many influences?

I think, the older I get, the less time I feel that I have, so I need to fill it with something important. When I retired, I felt that I needed to pursue all those interests that had been shoved aside while I was logging 8 hours a day working for The Man. I wanted to go further into many of those interests, but I had the nagging feeling that they weren’t very crucial in my overall development as a person. Now they are represented by the nine-tenths of my daily emails that I delete without even reading. Most of them require that I spend money, which actually furthers their agenda more than mine.

Which brings me to a realization I had yesterday, Easter Sunday. I listened to Kerrie’s talk in church about how repentance isn’t a punishment. It’s a way to disengage from all that frantic scrambling to get our needs met at any cost. Oh, it’s true. I need, need, need, a “do-over” often. Let me turn around, rethink this thing. I am sorry that I’ve missed the mark. I want to try again. And it’s beautiful that I have another chance. The whole concept of the Atonement of Christ has lots of facets, lots of applications in everyday life.

One time I went to a Relationships Anonymous group. Yes, it’s just like AA, a 12-step program for people who have been in addictive relationships. We all sat around a long table in a conference room somewhere and talked about “my name is _____ and I’m a….Relationship Addict? I can’t really remember, but one lady was just overwhelmed with everyone’s story, she always said she was sorry to everyone. Why? She just seemed to feel responsible for everyone’s awful situation, failed marriage, or even just a bad day.

I go to yoga class every day, and it’s mostly exercise, asanas, but occasionally some principle of yogic wisdom is bandied about in class or in my personal study. Like the yama aparigraha, not focusing on things to prop up our egotistical sense of what it is. But even Mahatma Ghandi spun and wove and made his own clothes. At some point, I know that I can stop frantically asking the Lord for things all the time when I pray, because I realize that I already have all I want and need.

I wonder sometimes, when I see someone who’s really unhappy, just miserable, mean, confused, or wigging out…what would it take to make that person happy?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning! (and GO GATORS!)

first thing in the morning: yoga at the gym

first thing in the morning: yoga at the gym

for more WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge “Good Morning” look here.

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