So day nineteen of my self-imposed thirty day yoga challenge, is all about exercising a different set of muscles. My glutes, my hamstrings, my biceps and definitely my so-called abs have all had enough . . . today it was time to let my brain have a go.
In today's practice video entitled 'Thought', Adriene Mishler made use of a phrase I've heard a few times before, and has always caused me to sneak a little smile: 'Where attention goes, energy flows'. So the idea behind this is that the more we think a certain way, the more those possibilities and attitudes become a reality for us.
Realising this, and then really feeling it, is a pretty profound moment. For me, it happened about eleven years ago after a series of huge life changes and I was working on what to do with my life next. Everybody's different but for me, I realised I'd created a reality where I was tired ALL the time, I was busy ALL the time, and I felt slightly less than 'good enough' ALL the time. Something had to change. And it had to be my thoughts.
Switching on to this idea though, was the first step in sorting it the heck out. And it was a gradual process, let me tell you - no magic wands here. But yoga was - and still is - a fantastic place to start.
This morning, when I was invited by Adriene to pause the video and go and put on a 'thought ninja' outfit, I was tempted - I really was. Unfortunately I had three comatose men in my bed (don't get excited - two of them were my offspring) who would have been inconsolable had I woken them in my efforts to find some black lycra. So I opted to stay in my baggy tartan pjs and instead imagined I was a sleek, lithe, deadly-type figure. My imagination is very good, by the way.
It turned out that baggy pjs were just perfect for today's practice. There were some tricky balances, some wide-legged forward bends and an Eagle balance that illustrated just perfectly how I still harbour some pretty harsh thoughts towards myself. But noticing that was the most important bit, followed by returning my attention to the breath and using that inner smile to lean-in to the experience: to kind of say to myself, 'Hey lovely lady. It's alright. You can fall over as many times as you like. And who cares if you can't twist your arms together like pipecleaners? It's all good. It's all happening. You just have to be there for it, that's all'.
This was good. This was working on the 'juicy stuff' as Adriene puts it.
And the juicy stuff occurs, as we all know, not just when we're trying to tie ourselves up on the yoga mat. It comes, for example, when you have a husband recovering from a collapsed lung, a nine year old suffering from a nasty flu bug, and - just to top it all off - a very demanding six year old who assumes you are his own personal maid. And cleaner. And cook. And private tutor. And finder of a very specific shade of pink felt-tip with which to colour in the Queen's dress (?!).
That's why, when it became obvious that because I was the only healthy(ish) adult in the house, I would need to take said six year old for his routine eye examination in town. At first my monkey mind started catapulting around a trillion unhelpful thoughts like:
Why the flip do I always have to do this?
He's always a bloody nightmare when I take him into town
But when will I get the hoovering done?
Please, please don't let him push over the designer sunglasses display AGAIN
Why does the universe hate me?
Then I remembered my inner thought ninja and breathed.
My thoughts slowed and gradually felt less like a headache. I was washing the dishes at the time, and I let my attention go to my breath and the scent of the bubbles and the sensation of the warm, sloshing water. Then without even trying, an idea popped up.
I couldn't get out of this situation, it had to be done. So why not make the best of it? Why not take Little Lad out for a date with Mummy? Why not leave early and actually do something NICE together, just the two of us? Granted, it was devastating that Daddy had to stay at home to fix his broken lung, but didn't every cloud have a silver lining? Didn't that mean I could spend quality time with my youngest son which would usually be unheard of? Of course it did!
So that's only what we bloody well did.
Amazing Chocolate Freakshake at the Curious Kitchen (BEST cafe in Brixham, by the way) followed by an honestly hysterical sesh with the optician who I swear would have taken Little Lad home to live with her if I'd turned my back for a second. Who could blame her? He was bloomin' delightful. And cute. And handsome. And funny. And charming. And god, I bloody loved him.
And then, when we got home, we lost the pink felt tip and world war three started.
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