A yoga story

I don’t remember where we were during the practice, but somehow I got a bit off.  It wasn’t that I didn’t feel like I could do the particular pose, but I was a bit behind and got out of flow.  I wound up more aware of my internal dialog than usual and I was frustrated with myself for being out of sync.

Inside voice:  AAHH!  WHY DO EVEN BASIC THINGS HAVE TO BE HARD SOMETIMES? WHY IS EVERYTHING HARD?  NOT HARD, BUT A LOT.  WHY IS EVERYTHING A LOT??  IT’S ALL A LOT!  BEING A MOM IS A LOT.  WORKING FULL TIME IS A LOT! BEING A WIFE IS A LOT, IT’S SUPER GOOD BUT IT’S STILL A LOT! A LOT OF EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS AND CONVERSATIONS AND MORE  EMOTIONS . . MORE FEELINGS. . . MORE TIME PULLS.  GOD IT IS A LOT AND I’M TIRED OF EVERYTHING BEING A LOT!!!

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By this time, not only had I found myself in child’s pose, but the flow and the rest of the class had wound up there too, so the internal yelling settled and I got back into sync internally and also with class.

Backstory:  Since resuming my yoga journey and being more intentional about it, I’ve realized that I have a really hard time truly relaxing into savasana.  Even when I think I’m relaxed, my back is somewhat arched, my breathing tends to be shallow and my shoulders are often up. Like I’m coiled for action.

Today, I realized that was the case.  I asked God to show me what to do and the picture he gave me was a child in a father’s lap, but the child was yelling and crying and hitting the dad’s chest.  You know how toddlers sometimes get so tired they can’t do one more thing and they need rest desperately but they won’t let it happen?  They keep crying and they stop and almost sleep then start again.  Crying, thrashing, crying, thrashing.  My heart thought, “I don’t want to be that child” and then the picture shifted.  It was the child at the next stage — the stage I’m sure you’ve experienced with your children — of having gone through that and reaching the other side.  Tired body.  Tired spirit.  Maybe not completely at rest, but finally resting. Maybe even jerks and spasms of movement, but more or less at rest.

I’d love to say that my whole being was entirely melted into the floor by this point, but I was still aware of areas of tension.  But it was better.  My breathing was more fluid.  My back was softened into the mat instead of up off the ground.

I left, thankful for a God who loves me when I’m kicking and screaming and who is with me until I get to the other side.  And thankful for friends who journey through life with me.

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Do you remember?

 

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A year or so ago, I started a journey that I thought would help me relearn how to be a “thin eater,” a term I learned about twenty years ago in one of the many weight loss systems I’ve tried.  It was a program called Diet Breakup and since I was feeling disappointed and upset with myself for having regained a good bit of weight in the last year, it seemed like a good answer.  Quit dieting.  Quit restricting.  Learn to listen to my body and eat what it calls for and the weight will just fall off, right?

Well, it’s been a year and the weight hasn’t fallen off.  It would be easy to look at this as failing, but I don’t see it that way.  Over the last year, a lot has changed.  Here’s a list I’ll start with.

  • I haven’t weighed myself in a year.  This means that for a full year I’ve avoided the daily “ugh.  I can’t believe that number” internal reprimand.
  • But I haven’t gained weight either.  Doctor’s visits have pointed that out to me.
  • I’ve learned to wear clothes I enjoy and that make me feel good.
  • I’m no longer willing to keep clothes in my closet “in case” I lose weight and they fit.  Clothes will either bring joy or self-judgment and life is too short for anything but joy.
  • I’ve learned to challenge myself when I find myself judging someone else for their clothing choices.  If I find myself critiquing them, I redirect it to prayer, thanking God for that person and their confidence.
  • I’ve learned that I love yoga and that my body feels better when it moves regularly.
  • I’ve learned to identify my inner critics.  I sent the loudest of them off to Antarctica to smash all the odd and end Mason jars that wind up in people’s cabinets.  When she tries to return, I remind her of what her job is and where she needs to be in order to do it and that Antarctica is not in my head..
  • I’m no longer tired every single minute of every single day.
  • I’ve gotten to know a group of women who deal with some of the same situations and circumstances.  I’ve learned that I’m not alone.
  • I’ve learned that skinny and healthy are not synonymous.  That the up and down of losing-gaining-losing-gaining-losing-gaining does more long term health damage than carrying some extra pounds.
  • I’ve learned not to wait “until I’m thin” to do things I want to do.
  • I’ve learned that I’m not competitive by nature.  I don’t have to be the best.  The winner.  The smartest, hardest-working, or thinnest.
  • I’ve learned that I’m not a black and white person and that I’m very OK with that.  I’m very content to stay in my middle-child, middle-ground place and love people on either side of me.

I can’t claim to have arrived at a place where none of these issues ever bother me, but I have more peace about my size and my body than I have in — well — forever, probably.  I am me.  Lisa Fuller.  And I like me.  I like the clothes I choose to wear and the way I look.  I may never be smaller than this.  Some days I’m OK with that; other days I remind myself that my body is strong and capable and that my time and energy are better used when I’m not obsessing about whether or not food is good or bad or if I should or shouldn’t eat it or what my body looks like at this particular moment.

I am so much more than my body.  I am kind. I am generous.  I am loving.  I am intelligent. I am compassionate.  I am creative.  I am patient.  I am understanding. I have a big spirit and a big soul and I’ve always prayed that God would keep my heart soft.  Maybe — just maybe — I have a big, soft body because it matches my big, soft soul, spirit, and heart.