Only moments ago the Yardimci household was holding a You Tube festival.
Big Lad in the living room, watching Star Wars movie theories via the PS4. Little Lad banished to the hallway (the sound of his breathing was getting on his brother's nerves), watching the one and only Dan TDM on his tablet. And me, in the spare room, doing day twenty four of the TRUE 30 day yoga journey with Adriene Mishler on my laptop.
If you've been following this blog, you'll know that usually I do my yoga practice in the mornings, after I've dropped my Lads at school and before the implementation of my mammoth to-do list begins. That seems to be the magic time. The house is quiet, I haven't become embroiled in work yet and there is the enticing promise of breakfast straight afterwards.
But today I have been out and about people. I have been a proper 'Yes Woman'. When a friend asked me if I wanted to join her at toddler group with her two delightful babies, did I worry that I didn't have my own babies to take along? No! I said yes with gusto and made SURE I sang those songs, got down on that floor and basically just borrowed my friend's beautiful little boy.
When my hubby said he was walking into town and did I want to meet him, did I panic that I should really go home and catch up on emails? No! I said yes with even more gusto and made SURE our meeting involved a massive slab of Red Velvet cake in town's chicest coffeehouse.
When I got home after the school run, happily exhausted from walking round town all day and singing songs with babies and eating massive slabs of cake, did I whinge and moan at the kids when they begged me to allow them on You Tube? No! I said yes with all the gusto I could summon and made DAMN SURE I went on You Tube too to get my daily yoga fix.
And I have bucked my trend of writing my blog posts many hours after the doing of the yoga, and have dived right in to do it now. So here I am.
Today's theme was 'Be Kind'.
Because, incidentally, all of the things I have just talked about today were done with kindness behind them.
Going out to toddler group was an act of kindness towards my friend who I know has been having a hard time recently as well as towards myself who needed some good, honest, adult interaction. It was just an added bonus that I got to sneak in loads of other little bits of kindness within that, like treating my friend to a fudge latte, indulging in the absolute beauty of her children and soaking up the sunshine on my skin as we strolled the high street afterwards.
Meeting up with my hubby was a little bit of paradise for both of us bearing in mind how dangerously ill he was a week ago. Holding hands as we walked: kindness. Treating ourselves to cake: kindness. Getting a bit teary as we discussed what we've just been through: kindness.
And, although this one might sound weird, saying yes to You Tube was an act of kindness too. Perhaps more for me than the Lads, but do you know what? They've enjoyed it and giving them a little of what they fancy gives me a better chance of cultivating that two-way respect that's so important. See? Kindness.
And Adriene's class today just carried on my theme of the day beautifully. Just under fourteen minutes of soft, slow movement and focusing on the breath. Adriene suggested that merely by showing up I was demonstrating a 'beautiful, grand act of kindness'. Something that would ultimately be empowering as well as restorative.
I lay there on my mat and hugged my legs, the sound of the Lad's different You Tube videos clashing softly in the background, and pondered on how hard this can be for some people. This lying still, this chilling out, this non-movement. It's challenging, right? Sometimes it's easier to power through a mad workout, knowing that you're doing yourself some good on some level, than it is to be still. To be silent. To be kind.
I remember years ago, not long after I'd had Big Lad, I took part in a local yoga class. At the end of the class the teacher said she was going to do the relaxation differently that week. Instead of talking us through relaxing each of the muscles individually, she was just going to let us lie in silence and she was going to move through the room, gently adjusting certain body parts. We all said this was fine, the lights went out, the candle was lit and we all closed our eyes.
I could hear her moving quietly through the room. The pad of her bare feet on the floor. The swish of her hair as she leaned over people. I had no idea what she was going to do but didn't hear any cries of pain from anybody so relaxed into that slight sense of anticipation.
When she did finally get to me, she started with my feet, pulling gently on my ankles until I felt a wonderful release. Then she came round to my shoulders and softly nudged them downwards. I think I thought that was it and sent a silent thanks her way for helping me relax that little bit more. But then she pressed her thumb, tenderly, on the space on my forehead, just above my eyebrows, which I now know to be my third eye chakra. And as if she'd pressed a button, I started to cry.
I won't bore you with how I came to be lying on a mat on that floor in that community centre in that town with that particular class teacher (that's another story), but rest assured, at that time of my life, I was not exactly adept at showing myself kindness. But she did. For the second it took to press on my third eye. It was the most kindness I'd been shown in years.
So this afternoon, lying on my mat as part of a You Tube festival, having spent the day eating cake and cuddling babies, I knew I'd come a long, long way.
Be kind and go well,
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