Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stretching Myself

Life is busy. Hectic. Crazy.

Typical mom stuff.

Typical chaotic pace.

Unfortunately, lately, my mind seems to be running at the same pace as my body. This is not a good thing. I need to find some quiet. Some peace. “Serenity now!” as Mr. Costanza used to say.

So, I’ve been on a quest for some Zen.

While on vacation six weeks ago, I enjoyed a very nice massage in a beautiful spa at our resort. I left feeling tranquil. I walked out into the sunlight and felt the ocean breeze on my face. This resort and spa had a labyrinth set on a cliff overlooking the ocean. I’ve read about idea behind a labyrinth and have always wanted to try one. So, I began walking it. Unfortunately, it rained the day before my spiritual escapade. Therefore, the labyrinth was a bit muddy and I fell walking in the spiral. Completely oiled up from the massage with mud up and down my legs and all over my white swim cover up, I walked to meet my family at the pool.

When I got there, T saw me and started laughing. “What happened?” he asked. “On my path to spirituality, I fell in a mud puddle.” I answered. He thought that would make a great title for a book. It would because it sums up my quest for peace perfectly.

For me, it’s just not that easy to attain calmness. I am a doer-not a sitter stiller. My mind works at warp speed compared to the rest of me. I can think twenty steps ahead of any given situation. This is a great quality when it comes to mothering by the way and an even better quality for a mother of multiples. Over the long term, however, it not a great quality for your well-being. The mind deserves to be quiet at times. Each of us should be able to turn it off for a while and rejuvenate when necessary. I have lost the ability to do this well.

So, even though I fell in some mud, I am trying again. Yesterday, I began an eight-week yoga course. Not the crazy Pilates or Bikram type of yoga. Just the regular- learn to breathe kind of yoga. Because damn it, I can be calm!! I swear.

My class is an hour and fifteen minutes long. We stretched. We held poses. We breathed. A lot. Towards the end of class, we lay on the floor with our palms out and breathed for a long time. I’m not sure of the minute count-she makes us take off our watches. But, it seemed like nearly an eternity on that floor trying not to focus on anything but my body, my breathing and “honoring this time for myself”. I tried hard to fight the to do list piling up in my head. I fought hard the urge to say why am I here when I could be doing ___________. I fought fidgeting. I fought myself. I fought hard. And yesterday, I’m not sure who won the battle. My body or my mind. This war is far from over. But to the victor shall come the rewards.


  1. I hate when I can't turn it all off. I struggle with that as well.

  2. You sound a lot like me...I have a really hard time shutting my brain off...I've been doing yoga once a week but still have trouble concentrating on my breathing instead of all that I should be doing!

  3. I took one yoga class. I kept falling over. I was so humiliated that I never went back!

  4. “On my path to spirituality, I fell in a mud puddle.”
    LOVE this!!! It's totally something I would do!

    I love yoga. I started for the same reasons as you a couple of years ago. I wasn't sure I would like it, but I have become hooked. Give it a couple of months and you will definitely feel a difference. If I miss a few classes, I can feel it in both my body and my mind. And yes, I will lay there during shavasana and go through my checklist of things to do tomorrow, but I am getting better at clearing my mind. I doubt it will ever be completely blank, but that is OK!

  5. I am so with you on this! It's hard to turn it off at the end of the day or a yoga class. My second child is now a year, and I feel that I have been hitting the ground running every morning since I got home. I hate that feeling!

    You've inspired me to give yoga another chance!

  6. I can't imagine sitting still for that long. Please keep us updated on your progress. In theory I'd love to be able to learn how to be calm and centered. In reality, however, the closest I'll probably come is reading your blog!