I had another one of those weeks where my mind took over and consumed me with a case of the "shoulds" as my sister likes to call them. I "should" (not) eat gluten, I "should" be getting to the gym more regularly, I "should" be modeling perfect behavior for my budding three month old, I "should" spend less money at Kohl's (don't ask), I "should" drink less wine... and the list goes on. My thoughts were all wound up, tightening every cell in my brain -- the tension then trickling all the way down into my body -- when I met my good friend for dinner on Thursday. "How are you?" she asked, looking into my soul, as she always does. And I spilled all the built up mental constructs I'd been playing with in the isolation of my head, the lump in my throat building as I spat out each one. Holding space for me to be my messy self, my wise friend replied "Erin, sometimes you just have to let yourself be human." And just like that, she gave me permission to take a deep breath, relax and let loose - so loose that I allowed myself to sing, yes SING, at the top of my lungs on the car ride home.
The next day, I met with my new Mom's Group at Saints Peter and Paul Church where we are discussing a little book called Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Fr. Jacques Phillpe, and discussed this very same thing (this is where the giant gong in my head started going off). Many of us discussed how we can relate to these judgmental demons that keep us from actually showing up for the miracle of our kids and families and, you know, ability to breathe on a daily basis. But Phillipe reassures us that "however many imperfections we may have, rather than lament them and try to rid ourselves of them at any price, they could be splendid opportunities to make progress" (44). Ahhhh, yes. There was that sweet little Truth nugget biting me in the heart once again. So I realized that, while striving to be better is a wonderful thing, too much striving is suffocating. And that underneath all of my foibles, God is still working to make me better - maybe even VIA said foibles. WHHHHAT?! So I guess we can all relax a bit, have a laugh, and (dare I say), a glass of wine sometimes, too.
And so, in this airy time of autumn when many of us are living in our heads more than our bodies, all of our practices this week will be all about getting out of our heads, loosening the toxic chains of thought that bind us, and coming back into our bodies, into the precious now, but being all loosey, goosey humany about it, instead of crazy-intense holier-than-thou. We will use some of Lauren Walker's Energy Medicine Yoga principals, spend some time getting to know the lower chakras, and end with a beautiful opening of the upper chakras to release any built up energy that is keeping us from singing in the car and/or dancing in the street.
See you on the mat!
Yoga Therapist, Teacher, Speaker, Writer, Mother