Monday, March 23, 2015

Allowing Yourself to Rest

"Work when there is work to do. Rest when you are tired. One thing done in peace will most likely be better than ten things done in panic... I am not a hero if I deny rest; I am only tired."
                            --Susan McHenry

     I often remind my yoga students that they are not less of a human being if they choose to take a break or rest. This is true both on and off the yoga mat. Too often we get caught up in the need to empty our to-do list, bringing ourselves to exhaustion and frustration rather than satisfaction.
     It is a practice, and a worthwhile skill to develop, to take a rest when you need to. One more thing accomplished does not make you a better person. We are human BEings, not human DOings.
     If you are a parent, remember that you are setting an example for your children by your actions rather than your talk. Do you want your children to run themselves to exhaustion or to learn to live at a comfortable pace that they enjoy?
     I am a dedicated napper. I consider napping one of my hobbies. Occasionally a day goes by when I don't take a nap, and those days are noticeably less productive. Naptime is my "stop the world, I want to get off" time, and it clears my head for productive, late-afternoon tasks.
     Notice when you are tired. Recognize that you have a choice in what you do each moment of your life. Make the choice that brightens rather than dims your spirit. Practice, practice, practice!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Bit of Melancholy

     I have been an avid gardener for many years, but as my other interests have expanded and my body has aged gently, I have come to realize that my garden is too big for my somewhat-waning interest. Last fall I returned a 20'x20' section to lawn. I am doing the same now with a section that is about 16'x24'. Trust me, this is a lot of work. It's uncomfortable both on my muscles and my spirit, with several mixed emotions.
     Because of our lovely trees, there is so much shade in the yard now that growing vegetables is no longer possible. That first ripe tomato each season was always an item of enormous anticipation. Now those come from the Farmers' Market (for which I am very grateful). Feeling overwhelmed with the size of the garden makes me feel old. There's definitely some discomfort in that, especially since overall, I'm very strong and healthy. And there's the ever-present reminder of how quickly time has passed, even though it seems like yesterday that we moved in here (1985), and there was nothing but grass--no trees, no flower beds.
     While I know this effort of returning the area to grass will make my life easier, and enable me to enjoy the remaining garden area, I still feel some sadness. Life is precious and too short.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Salute to DJ Newbill

     DJ Newbill is a senior basketball player for Penn State University. He has been an outstanding player on a team that is learning to be great. Penn State lost a lot of really close games this year. The Nittany Lions lost their last game of this season yesterday to Purdue in the Big 10 Conference Tournament. They had two very improbable victories in the tournament before that season-ending loss. Incidentally, I follow this team because I grew up in central Pennsylvania very close to Penn State.
     During his stellar basketball career, his mother passed away. That's tough to deal with at any age, but he was 20 when she died. It seemed to inspire him to new levels of greatness.
     Following yesterday's loss to Purdue, however, is my reason for saluting him. Many of the victories that Penn State had were as a result of DJ's heroics. He is a strong young man who carried the team many times. After the loss, his last game in a PSU uniform, DJ, in tears, hugged his coach and mentor, Patrick Chambers, and then doubled-over, sobbing. It was a very emotional moment, and he allowed his emotions and tears to flow freely. In a society that teaches young men, especially athletes, to be tough and poker-faced, this was a stellar display of simple, honest human-ness. What a great young man! I expect his strong character will lead him to ever-greater heights of achievement.
     So grateful to be human,

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Born Again

The title of today's blog comes from John Fogerty's Center Field:
Well, beat the drum and hold the phone
The sun came out today
We're born again, there's new grass on the field
Roundin' third and headed for home
It's a brown-eyed handsome man
Anyone can understand the way I feel
 Oh, put me in coach, I'm ready to play today
Put me in coach, I'm ready to play today
Look at me, I can be centerfield.

I just finished washing my car, in our driveway, in shirtsleeves, and I didn't freeze. It's a beautiful day. It's March, and I'm mad about basketball, but nevertheless, baseball season is coming, being "born again!" I LOVE spring, partly because of baseball, but also because of new life and new possibilities in general. It feels so good to have sunshine on my skin (an important health item). And of course, "you can't beat fun at the old ball park." And as a Cubs fan, maybe this year is THE YEAR we always hoped for last year!!!! I'll bet it was a Cubs fan that coined the phrase, "Hope SPRINGs eternal." (My apologies to whoever really made it up!) 

Note the second part of the quote above. Are you ready to play? Are you willing to throw yourself fully, passionately, into the game of life? Are you willing to offer your authentic self to the world, to be "centerfield"? There's no better time than right now. 

Loving the sunshine,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March ON

     We in Wichita received about four inches of snow yesterday. Let the whining begin: I don't like February--for the shortest month, it sure seems the longest. I'm sick of cold and snow (even though we haven't had much). I wish I was back in the Bahamas. Yada, yada, yada.
     Then my inner wise woman offered this to me this morning, "Consider the beauty you see in your back yard. You know, you are not guaranteed to see another winter in your lifetime. Maybe you can appreciate this moment as it is, rather than wishing it was different." Good one, thanks!
     Lovin' life, spreadin' joy!