this title is from years ago. i clicked on it tonight in the “drafts” tab.
there were other titles in the folder…
an Ode to Cousins
a tribute to the Friends Who Knew me Then
some progress reports of the ‘Ol Chalet project…
but i clicked on the power of a backbend because i was curious about what i had to say about that 2 years ago. fresh off 20 outta 26 months of pregnancy sprinkled with 2 c-sections 14 months apart, and topped with many many hot fudge sundaes.
turns out i had nothing to say. it was carta blanca.
perhaps i knew better than to think i comprehended its power. perhaps i knew it was time to let go of my blatent attachment to power and to strength.
i have. or at least i am in constant practice.
i thought myself through an astigmatic lens. typically blurry around the edges, with islands of crystal clarity. Two of my islands were labeled STRENGTH and PATIENCE. i hung my hat on them. i let my ego get incredibly involved.
i was STRONG and i was PATIENT. believing in that allowed to me to participate in experiences that defy words to capture their significance.
and then my wee peeps entered my life.
and they exposed me to the perplexity of it all.
despite a decade of working intimately with a population of humans who are notorious for testing patience, mine had never actually been tested.
i raised my voice once with a group of kids – and it was more for dramatic effect. (i do share the Burnett flare-for-the-dramatic. we were on the rim of the Grand Canyon, about to begin a 5-day backpacking trip. it was a moment-to-shine. i capitalized.
and once with a staff. and it was less theatrical, more authentic. i was flabbergasted, and young, and new-to-the-job. i apologized. we’re cool now.
my EGO entered parenthood wearing the opaque veils of strengthandpatience.
and REALITY tore them to shreds. and now, STRENGTH and PATIENCE wave like tattered prayer flags.
if i’m on the trajectory to peak at 62…and my goal is grace…then it seems i’m on the right path. which is a no-brainer, cause i only step where the path lights up.
For several years, i have been trying to adopt “being sweet to yourself”. but i just haven’t. it makesmecringe a bit. but HONORING YOURSELF. well, that makes sense. that fits like a hooded-cape of those weathered prayer flags.
the power of a back bend.
to press up into a backbend has been directly correlated to the amount of access i’ve had to my truest self. i began practicing in 2007. drop-back backbends were part of my special pre-wedding yoga class.
i need strength to do it. and i’ve needed patience too. i was not a back-bender growing up. i was not a cartwheeler, a flipper, a round-offer, not even a flippin’ penny-dropper. i was pudgy and awkward with a decently consistent foul shot, a strong arm from anywhere in the infield, and a bad-ass drive from the field hockey mid-field.
after 2007, i herniated a disc in my lumbar region while training for a 1/2 marathon. and then the wee peeps brought their three-ring-circus to my life. couldn’t kick a desert shoulder injury for quite some time….but now i’m back.and, if i’m truly being authentic…i’m not back. there is no such thing. i’m here is more like it.
so i’m here. Atha Yoga Nushasanam. at this moment. i am in. and i can promise i’veneverbeen here before.
when i am in a full-fledged, belly-breathing backbend i can hardly believe it’s me. i honor that. i honor the me that shows up in each present moment.
and i try to reach out to the me that suffers from the whining and the crying and the baby talk, and the peeing all over the place, and the indecipherable speech, and the loneliness, and the isolation, and all the bike rides and hikes and runs that are not happening. i dont try to be effing sweet-to-her. i simply reveal that it is already better than it was, and point out that i will always want for more. no matter. just a little more _______________ always sounds delightful.
.(When I first began doing backbends. Costa Rica, 2009)
the power of the back bend is intense