Yesterday, I ran into Lauryn Hill’s Unplugged album. I was reading some posts on Facebook when there was this commentary about how her album was so it almost ruined her life. Anyway, as I was listening to this album that I had never really consciously listened to, it made me realize that Ms. Hill is the one who allowed artistes like my dear Ms. India Arie to do what they do. Ms. Hill’s lyrics are (and I use present tense because some words never age ) soulful and insightful. I was so touched listening to her beautiful words that I knew that I wanted share it here.
And halfway through the challenge, she decided that it was the best time to learn the half-moon. The half-moon is a standing split almost. It requires balancing on one leg and one hand while the other limbs hover in the air. It requires a lot of integrity and focus. It requires self-awareness. It requires confidence. In that moment, when I kept falling out of my posture, I was not sure I had what it took to maintain a half-moon for a full breathe. So I paused the video and went into the child pose.
The child pose has always been one of my favorite poses in yoga. It brings me back to earth. I have started using the child pose a place of meditation when I feel lost during my practice. When I feel like I can’t, I tell myself I can. I am beautiful. I am strong. I can do this. I chant this continuously for what seems like hours within a minute. Sometimes, I feel myself crying. I will myself not to give up on my dreams, not to give-up on my body, not to give up on my soul. In that moment while I go through this self affirmation, I rediscover my commitment to life, to living.
As I write this, I am half-way through a 30 day challenge that I am doing with a yogi callled Adriene on Youtube. (If you are interested in learning about her, click here). One of the things that Adriene says that connects with me is that showing up is often the hardest part of any practice. This has been so true for me in the past 15 days. I have been busy with work and life but I am constantly creating space because it is something I believe in. I believe that is important to create space for myself and meditate through movement. It is one of the reasons why I explore various options for exercising.
Self-affirmation is something that I use in my daily practice. It is what fuels my runs. It is what fuels me when I am lifting. It is what compels me to make the right choices. After going through my chant today half-way through the practice with Adriene, I was able to move and breathe into the half-moon pose. It was not easy but I connected back with my body and I was able to achieve the shapes. It is the victories in moments like this that make me realize that I can. I should. I will…keep chasing impossible.
I have been really busy lately with work. I feel like I have ramped up my life because there is no other way to get the things I want if I don’t work hard. I am more invested in my work and I am consciously trying to go. This has left me feeling overwhelmed sometimes. I just feel like I am always tired and I am not able to focus on the other things that I have going on in life. I have spent part of the last month doing yoga to help me center myself. I think I need to get back on my mat and show up for myself.
This week, I have two days off in a row. In retail speak, it is like having a mini-vacation. Instead of staying home as I normally would, I got out and had a good day in Boston. I started my day with a Skype session with an old friend that I have not spoken to in a while. We spoke about nothing important but just connecting and having someone I have known for a while be here was so uplifting. Then I hit the town.
I started the day out going to a new fast food place. I had gotten into this rot of always going to Five Guys whenever I feel like getting a bite in Downtown Boston. Today, I went to Piperi, a lovely Middle Eastern fast food joint. There are like a Middle Eastern version of Chipotle. I enjoyed my falafel salad bowl very much. Then I went to see Pixar’s Inside Out in 3D. I cried watching that movie because I felt like it spoke to a lot of the issues I deal with emotionally. I came out of it understanding that being sad is not bad. Change is not bad. And that is something I am never too old to learn.
After the movie, I hit up the Boston Public Market. I really loved my trip there because I am super into retail and conscious living/choices. It was so cool to see so many local producers in one place. I loved seeing all the local meat as well. I am excited to try some of the turkey sausage that I bought there. After visiting the market, I did a spot of grocery shopping for my lunch this week and came home.
It was such an amazing day and I feel a wonderful kind of tiredness in my bones. I am excited to stay home tomorrow and clean my house. While I am sitting here typing this spontaneous missive, I have been listening to Archduke’s ‘Ama be happy.’ This is a band I discovered from one of my favorite vlogging couple, Jamie and Nikki. It is a song that has been stuck in my head a while. I just love repeating it to myself “Ama be happy/ Ama Be Good/You Better Believe it.”