I am sitting in front of a fireplace, awaiting the sun to rise. It's peaking out over the Catalinas, promising a new beginning. Even if it might be a chilly one.
My mother and I have escaped to Miraval, in Tucson, AZ, where we are pampering ourselves for a few days. My goal is to become healed from the past several, excruciatingly challenging months; to accept these challenges and how they may have changed me for the better; to accept myself.
To this end, I am focusing on ways to reduce stress, which include being aware of my surroundings, this beautiful desert with mountains to protect and dry air to suck out my toxins.
It is a practice in being still.
In my stress relief/meditative yoga class last week, towards the end of shavasana (corpse pose), when we were bringing awareness back into our bodies, the instructor said, "Feel the edges of your body. Think of your boundaries."
I mean: *that* could be quite the list.
Other favorite things yoga instructors have said over the years include "Listen to what your body is capable of today," which gives me permission to spend an entire class in child's pose if I need, and "Yoga is a practice: it doesn't have to be perfect."
So much of life is a practice, yet we cannot accept imperfection from ourselves or others. Love is a practice. So is forgiveness. And more everyday things, like cooking or driving or exercising or singing. And bigger things, like prayer.
Just because you do it differently doesn’t mean you do it wrong.
I remind myself that acceptance is also a practice. It's a form of forgiveness, but it's also a form of letting go, which is difficult for people like me who prefer control. (See how nicely I framed that? It's already working!)
I will feel my body's boundaries
I will feel whether it can practice, and how
I will forgive it when it is tired
or when it feels too much
I will accept my practice
I will not expect perfection from myself
And I will try my best to remember
that everyone else is also practicing
and we don't have to be perfect
we just have to practice whatever our bodies can give this day
wherever our boundaries are
whatever we can accept