My Inner Worlds
Last night my friend’s mom died. I never met her, but I’ve worked side-by-side with my friend for almost six years. She called me this morning, sounding like she was in shock, and I’ve felt weepy all day. Last night I cried during yoga and had to leave before the Yin class I always take after Bikram. Thankfully Raleigh Yoga Company is an awesome studio, and Susan Heller hugged me as I tried to staunch my tears.
For a few weeks I’ve noticed the days shortening, the sun sleeping longer in the mornings. I used to like this natural cycle and the season of introversion it portends for me. I liked feeling the thinning of the veil that separates our world from what lies beyond. Halloween and Samhain are still a week away, yet I already feel the presence of our ancestors. I don’t mind the extra sensitivity, but I’m not ready to lose anyone.
My family has been fortunate in that we have not had the loss of loved ones (other than grandparents, which you expect to be on the other side when you're in your forties). All six siblings are alive and well. My parents are too, although Mom lives in an Alzheimer’s care unit. On the other hand, my friend has felt death since she was ten years old when her brother passed. She cared for her father, who had dementia, until he died. And then she lived with her ailing mother for years…until last night.
I’m not sure I want to be introverted this winter. I don’t want to live in my cave and nestle in the cocoon that has been my safe shelter for as long as I can remember. This summer changed me. I started yoga, but I’m not going to say yoga changed my life. I was already changing and found a new practice that suited the me that I’m becoming. I want to continue this new path.
I know that I need to shake the leaves off my branches like the trees do this time of year. I need to regroup and gather my energy this winter in order for spring’s beautiful blossoms to adorn my life. I just don’t know if I’ve ever had a dark time of year where I didn’t go dark inside. I intend to keep my candle alight during the coming season of change.
As we move into true autumn weather in mid-North Carolina, I’m aware of how blessed and full my life has become. While I’ve had my struggles and low points in life, their memory magnifies the joy and peace I’m learning to accept as a natural way of living. My job is one I love, both the actual work and the people who surround me each day. I work hard beginning this time of year, and it won’t end until February. But again, I love the work. Summers have become sweeter as I’ve learned to enjoy the slow time and use it for fun, personal connection with family, friends, and with my deeper self.
I’m astounded that Matt and I have the relationship we do. We’ve worked hard (that word again) to get to this place, but neither of us regret the time we took to work through the past obstacles life and our own stubbornness placed before us.
I am so incredibly grateful for my morning hours and a supportive partner who gives me that time to myself. Matt gets up with me at the crack of dawn, although he’s not a morning person. I settle into my meditation chair with a comfy blanket, a heated neck wrap, my journal, and a cool fountain pen…while Matt feeds the dogs and makes me tasty french-pressed coffee that he delivers to my side table fixed exactly how I like it. There are evenings when I can’t wait to wake up and take that first sip of coffee. It’s that perfect for me.
Our lives will always have those irritants that want us to choose their importance over what matters most in our hearts. Some days I fall for their wily shouts and cries of inequity. As I grow in love for all that is, I’m able to overlook that noise more than I could even last spring and hold close to me what truly is my chosen—the beauty in all that surrounds us.
The Xenomorph needs to stay where she belongs, in horror movies. I felt excitement to finally receive the package containing the yoga tank I wrote about last month. As I do with all new clothes, I washed it before wearing because the manufacturing chemicals trigger my allergies. I almost made an exception because I wanted to wear my new shirt to class that evening, but Matt encouraged me to have patience and consider what two hours in the hot room would feel like as the icky scent released in the heat.
So I followed protocol and thought the shirt was inside out after it had air-dried overnight. The ink washed off before I even got to wear it. Compare the promotional picture on the left to the post-washed t-shirt on the right. Incredibly disappointing, yet I decided to pretend this was an old college shirt that had seen a lot of wear—because that’s what it looks like now.
During yoga class last Monday I learned you can’t even read the words from five feet away, so I needlessly worried over offending a gentle-minded yogi. What I didn’t expect was my own reaction to seeing the Alien on my chest each time I looked in the mirror. During Bikram, when I needed to focus on my postures, I kept remembering gross scenes from the movies and felt distracted by trying to control my thoughts. Thankfully in Yin the lights are turned down, so I had more success in forgetting about my shirt. (I do back-to-back hot classes.)
The lesson I’m taking from this experience is two-fold. I need to stop buying cheap manufactured shirts because I totally miss that $30 now that I feel I got ripped off. I also want to respect the sanctity of what my yoga practice means to me—gentleness in spirit, kindness in thought, forgiveness of the past, and strength for tomorrow’s good work. The Alien just doesn’t fit with that energetic template.
Goodbye, my Xenomorph. I guess I won’t see you again until the next movie is released.