Friday, September 9, 2016

Back to Zen

Grace is the physical manifestation of my usual state of mind.

I started a new job in March, which is wonderful. I not only love what I do, I love the team I'm working with. The three of us have become quite close. As much as I love the job, it is a job and as such, it does take up a lot of my time. And then I've got those two kids. And the spouse. And a lot of friends. And hobbies and working out and going grocery shopping. So as you can imagine, I am pretty busy just like everyone reading this post.

But busyness can be a burden. I mean, sometimes it's great! I have so much amazing stuff to do and so many awesome people to do it with! And my kids make me laugh! And my husband spoils me! And I have a personal trainer and a therapist and a writing coach! I mean, damn, everyone should be so lucky to be busy in the way that I am. I totally get how extremely fortunate I am.

But still.



Busyness can become a state of mind in addition to a physical state. I'm running from work to day camp to hockey practice to working out to appointments to the grocery store. And while I'm running all over doing all that, I'm thinking of what just happened or what's about to happen or what I need to happen later that day, tomorrow, a week from now and next December.




It's all good busy, don't get me wrong. I mean, crap, I have a housekeeper. So it's not like I'm busily scrubbing toilets. I'm busy doing a lot of things I love to do and a lot of things I'm happy to do for my friends and family.

But the mind can only take so much.

At one time does it rest? When do you stop all that and just Be? When do you came back into your own? I read a lot. I tend to think that's my "me" time and it is. But reading is another form of busyness too. It keeps my mind preoccupied.

The other night I went to yoga. I hadn't been to yoga since I don't even know when. Yoga feels like a luxury. Yoga isn't fast. Yoga doesn't fit in to my prioritized list of THINGS I MUST DO. Yoga fits into THINGS I'D LIKE TO DO IF ONLY I HAD TIME.

But I did it anyway. I carved out a space in the evening and just laid claim to it. I said to hell with putting the kids to bed or picking up kids from hockey or letting my husband go work out. I put all of their needs aside and said OKAY LOOK I THINK I ACTUALLY NEED THIS.

Though I didn't have to yell it.

I just had to ask.

Sometimes I think I'm bad at asking for what I need.

So I went to yoga after a very long absence from it and I stretched and sweated in the dark. I let the music fill my bones and resonate through my body. I stretched and moved until the sweat ran in my ears (SWEAT CAN RUN IN YOUR EARS?). I moved my body and felt the white hot sting of muscles and tendons that had not moved or stretched in this way in many months. I held the pose even if I was on fire. I held the space even though it was hot. I moved even though I wasn't quite sure what the next pose was supposed to be.

And in all that (perhaps another form of busyness too?) my mind became very still. The music pulsed and resonated through my body, the sweat trailed down my arms and spilled onto my mat. I stretched my hip and let the pain radiate until it became a pin-white spot of focus. I closed my eyes and the heat, the dark and the vibration became the womb. Whether I was moving or still, I was present in the thick warm air of the studio.

I imagined the heartbeat of my mother. I imagined a life completely sustained and all of its needs met by one convenient tube pumping your sustenance, your oxygen, truly your life blood, through it. I floated and calmed. I was just there with me. My own heartbeat. My own thoughts. My forehead resting on the mat, my breath coming back up on me. Hot. Wet. Dark. Pulsing. Calm.

Then the door opened and a cool sweep of air passed over me.

I breathed deeply.

I was one in that room with the other moving bodies. With the yoga teacher reminding me, "To let that shit go."

And it was good.

All was still.

It was the opposite of "busy."


  1. LOVE it Mandy!!!! Thank you for reminding me that "I'm NOT the ONLY busy person" in this world. It's very easy to get so caught up in busy. Good to know that we are not all alone in our busy lives!! xo

  2. Really good descriptions of the busy and the question of what is just being.