Best so far

This week has been our Spring Break, which for me meant that I had two days off at the beginning of the week. Two days to read, to journal, to do some tasks around the house, and spend time on myself.

A few of the good things that came from those two days:

  • I finished reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming. Oh my word, I loved this book. It’s the best book that I’ve read this year. It reminded me beautifully of the positive atmosphere that the Obama presidency carried with it. There were heartbreaking, difficult things that happened in the world during those years, but it was a time when I felt good about our country and its relationship with the global community. I felt good about the move toward granting dignity to every living person. It also reminded me of the heartbreak of our current presidency. I didn’t realize that an African-American woman from the South Side of Chicago could share so much of the heart of a very white woman from the rural south, but we do. I’m incredibly thankful that as a nation, we were able to know who Barack and Michelle Obama are. I’m thankful for their leadership and hope life holds many wonderful things for them in the future.
  • I had a self-celebration for my 51st birthday. I took time and acknowledged the five decades of my life and thought about what I want in the upcoming year. I lit candles, meditated, did some yoga, prayed and spent some time in my journal.
  • I decided to step away from teaching yoga for a while. I will teach my Monday night class for two more weeks and then take a break from teaching regularly. I need more time for me and for school and for family. And I need to focus on my personal yoga practice.
  • I started reading Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. I can’t put it down. I keep alternating between thinking it’s a ride on a crazy train and feeling that it’s a very familiar story. We are different. We are right. They are wrong. We must be different. We must separate. We must remain pure. Men know best and women don’t get a say. Granted, this family took things to an extreme that most don’t, but the underlying philosophy is very familiar.

I’ve felt a big relief in stepping away from an ongoing commitment and I want to use my time wisely, in ways that feed my soul and will allow me to be more fully engaged in others’ lives. One of the lessons I’ve learned this year is that even when the clock says things are possible, they may not be possible. Time can be there even when energy isn’t. Guarding and growing your personal energy is vital. Doing the things that feed your soul — for me that is writing, reading, music, spending time with friends, and having a personal yoga practice — is vital. Some activities give energy while others demand it of you. You cannot constantly participate in activities that take energy (work, teaching, and being a host) without also participating in activities that create energy in your soul.

So I’m stepping back into student mode. Student of yoga. Student of life. Student of Lisa. It’s a place I need to be.

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