What a funny old day number fourteen of my thirty day yoga challenge has been. And I don't mean funny ha ha.
I have known all day that today's yoga video, graciously supplied by You Tuber Adriene Mishler, was called 'Listen'. I knew it was going to be slower and softer and stiller than the previous two days where my butt (and core) were well and truly kicked.
I have also known all day that it was going to be a particularly important practice for me to do. The supporting email (which I get each day from Ms Mishler herself) said it would be restorative, delicious and slow. Now if only I could find a restorative, delicious and slow moment in which to do it, then I'd be winning.
After getting my terrible twosome off to school - which, on an ordinary day, is a feat in itself - it was off to the hospital with me to see my very poorly hubby. We waited and waited for the elusive consultant to appear, and when he did it was good news. Time to take that bloody awful, yet life-saving air drain out from between my husband's ribs to see if that torn lung would behave itself. And if it did, there was even talk of going home.
This was dangerous ground. Ground where we both allowed our minds to race ahead and imagine such a thing. Oh, the things we could watch on Netflix. Oh, the biscuits we could devour together. Oh, the many ways in which we could engage the lads in unbeknown domestic servitude. This was going to be fun.
But fate had other plans as the following X-ray revealed that the hubby was going nowhere. That lung wasn't behaving after all and there was no way the consultant could send him home, only to most likely readmit him to A & E again tonight. Shit.
This bit of news gave our emotions a good slap. I can only imagine what the hubby was thinking and feeling, but I noticed my heart lurching and a good-sized lump forming in my throat. There was my body, my clever, clever body, giving me signals about what was going on in me. And where I might usually start a tirade against the unfair forces of the universe, I planted both feet on the floor, allowed my spine to grow, and let the breath flow - however it bloody well wanted. I was listening.
So later on, after I'd torn myself away from my beautiful man, I managed to fit in my 'Listen' sesh with Adriene. This is solely because I have one particular angel-type friend who not only picked the Lads up from school but ALSO offered me soup AND gave me some healing (I know!) AND offered to have Big Lad whilst I dropped Little Lad off at his drama group, thus freeing me up to go home and sandwich in a bit of Adriene. And if that's not enough to make your head spin, then I don't know what is.
So, I had exactly twenty six minutes to get down and dirty with the 'Listen' video. And joy of joys, guess how long it was? You guessed it, twenty six brilliant minutes.
And they were brilliant. Kinda. I think on any other day it would go differently. Being well-versed in mindfulness myself, I knew better than to beat myself up when my mind wandered away from the guidance, or when thoughts came rushing in. And when it came to tucking my knees in, bowing my head and rounding my 'sweet spine forward', I listened to my breath and found that it was strong. Soft and wavering at the edges, but strong within that.
My twenty six minute stretch of listening and noticing was sandwiched either side with reality. Which felt weird. Normally when I meditate or dive into yoga land, it's either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. But here I was, meditating on my movements and my feelings, having just been running about like a mad thing, and about to go back out into the world to do yet more running about like a mad thing.
And when I did just that, I was given the most beautiful gift. Yes, the chilly night air on my cheeks, and yes the stirring of emotion in my chest and yes, the silver-streaked clouds moving on the horizon. But better still. An angel. from my angel-type friend's lovely daughter. She just presented it and said 'I think this is for you'.
Maybe I'm not the only one who is listening.
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