I have spent the majority of this week so far answering the question, “How was your Thanksgiving?” and have noticed myself giving the proverbial, “It was good.” Just today I was wondering how many others give the same response, for whatever reason. After a you-don’t-want-to-know-what-I-called-it-day today, I came home and loved on my kids after their being away for the holiday. I listened as they talked about their excitement over the weekend among other things. When they leave for a long holiday, I am always reminded of how much for which to be thankful. Even though the holidays are not my favorite time of year, I am still thankful. Thankful for my kids. My family. My friends. The fact that the EU positively voted on a law Thanksgiving morning that moves closer to banning shark finning. And two days later, a group of 40+ Japanese protested the Taiji dolphin hunts for the very first time! Traditionally, the people of Japan don’t speak out on issues in protest. So this is huge, big, awesome stuff!
Thursday morning, I went to Turkey Day Detox at Black Creek Outfitters, a wonderful 2-hour yoga session to benefit Off The Mat and Into The World, to wake-up my body before stuffing it full of goodness. A lovely way to start Thanksgiving Day. Warm. Open. And full of Love. I learned an awesome new transition: crow, kick back to plank, chaturanga, up-dog then down-dog, and breathe… I love learning new transitions and building strength with each set. I also became more aware of my breath. Though a lot of it makes sense, sometimes it takes someone else explaining it for it to sink in. …To find balance within, breathe equally on the inhale as on the exhale. For a more energizing breath, make it longer on the inhale than the exhale. And if it’s calm you are seeking, breathe in deep and extend the exhale longer. Balance, energy, or serenity. Or a nice cocktail of the three. And after just finishing a nice hour of pilates (with wine), I am reminded of how therapeutic repeatedly counting from 1 to 10 is. Very clarifying for the body, breath, and mind.
As I think over my you-don’t-want-to-know-what-I-called-it-day today, I think about rhythm and how out of it I was. I did everything at lunch to try to catch my breath… from going outside to eating a nourishing meal, from listening to relaxing music to going as far as taking over an exam room for some solitary time with forward bends and downward-facing dogs. I tried to find a calmer rhythm to my breath, but all I could manage was more blood flow to my head, a flushed face, and stretched-out back and hamstrings. Hey, at least I got a mini-midday-stretch.
Rhythm comes and goes, like the tides, in life. Things come and go. People come and go. Sometimes way too fast. And we have to slow it down a bit to breathe. Winds blow and change happens. Our job is to listen and be aware of our spirit and adjust our sails accordingly.
One day as I was driving home, I spotted a group of clouds that reminded me of a pod of dolphins. And it made me smile. What’s even better is that one of my daughters saw it without ever hearing of my perception and thought the same thing ~ dolphins. And again, I smiled.
Breathe, my loves.