October 29, 2008

Gratitude Wednesday

Earlier today I found a few moments to read a recent article by Pema Chodron in Shambala Sun. She described the importance of building gaps into your day, intentional moments for the mind to live outside of the constant flutter and craziness of Everything That Must Get Done. These gaps, she insists, are what give us the opportunity to love and live better than our old habits would have us do.

Also today, I taught the first classes of my new six-week Itsy Bitsy Yoga sessions. I teach 11 classes at three locations, and typically, half the families who register do so during the last week before a new series begins, no matter how early I begin advertising. The lizardy fear part of my brain finds this terrifying and tends to use the days before new classes start as an opportunity to run around in crazy little "We're going to fail!! We're going to fail!!" circles, causing me to snap at my lovely husband and become utterly distracted while spending time with my beautiful son.

Not so today, however. Here's what building reminding myself to breathe throughout my day made me aware of:
  • The steady, hard sound of my breath toward the end of my evening run, quiet and booming at the same time in the freezing, dark air that made it visible.
  • What a gift it is to have so many returning families in my classes, kids and parents who grace me with the opportunity to watch them grow and change.
  • Kai's laughter.
  • The astonishing fact that Bob is doing work he loves, I am doing work I love, and we both get to spend so much time together at home and with our son. We did it. More soon, but through wonderful serendipity, Bob has stumbled into an unbelievably perfect opportunity that gives us confidence we will be able to continue down this path we've begun.
Contributing significantly to my calm of late has also been the free daily personal training that I get from my husband. It's a bit absurd, and perhaps overly obvious, to point out that when I take care of myself, it's easier to take care of myself, but there it is.

So in many of my Itsy Bitsy Yoga classes this week, I'll be asking parents to share what they are doing to nurture themselves.

It's an important question for all of us, whether we do or do not have kids. Tomorrow I'll share a few ideas, from my own experience, and from the wisdom shared by mothers and fathers in my classes, about caring for yourself in the face of responsibilities that are very, very time-consuming.

Learn more about this post's image, crafted by Thich Nhat Hahn.

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