Pain and Pushing Through

March 29, 2010

Today I witnessed a girlfriend’s breaking heart

…and my child’s cramping leg.

Each one a casualty of unfamiliar and unforeseen pain,

they braved their injuries.

My five year old son cried frequently every time his hurt leg set down to carry his weight.  My friend gracefully carried her burden with eyes only barely reddened by earlier tears.

When I see people that I care for go through the inevitable aches of life, my first instinct is to lift them up and assure them that everything will be alright.  Behind that instinct creeps the fear that something more sinister lies in wait.  That they might not recover.  I am an admitted paranoiac who constantly talks myself down from ledges of irrational worry.  But, ultimately, there is nothing that the human spirit cannot survive.  This becomes especially obvious if one is a person of faith in a higher power.  It is inspirational to me to see the strength in those suffering and the power and responsibility of the rest of us to impress hope upon them.  I’m not saying that depression won’t set in or that a kind of death will never come before it is welcomed, just that we are all justified in pushing through and insisting that better days are yet to come.

I’ve dealt with various levels of loss.  None would I consider personal tragedies, though some were agonizing.  My mind wanders to friends and family who are dealing with eminent tragic loss, and I keep going back to the hope and prayer that they will find within themselves the prescience that joy will be as possible as pain is unavoidable.

Later this evening, my son’s painful leg muscle relaxed in a hot bath with some gently coaxed stretching.  My friend’s heartache will undoubtedly take longer to heal.

Our physical and emotional scars mark a living history.

Whether we carry them with pride, prejudice or shame,

they are indelible proof that we have survived,

or better yet that we have LIVED.

A cramp in my Style

March 20, 2010

It’s about to happen, People.

I am going to burst the usual empowering-joy-bubble of my persona.

I’m not going to go into graphic detail or anything, but…what is the deal with all my goals, ambitions, optimism, energy, brain cells, sense of smell, sense of taste and sense of self flying out the window with the onset of my monthly curse/blessing/period?

I AM A POSITIVE PERSON WITH AN INDEFATIGABLE SPIRIT!!!

…3 weeks out of a month.

So…I’m going to ignore the absolute failure of the past day and 3/4 and set on a new path.

I’m going to write my blog with as much fervor as I can muster

from my couch!!

I may or may not exercise for a maximum of 10 minutes when I get up from my couch!

I’ve read that certain yoga poses help.

Supported Bridge Pose, Standing Forward Bend, Triangle Pose.  I might try those later….if I get off of my couch!

I’ve also read that running is a great option!

Unless it’s dark…and you live in the outskirts of the city…and you don’t want to get off of my couch.

Swimming is also supposed to be great for any of us

any time of the month.

If there’s a pool…at an inexpensive location, within short walking distance (or an easy drive in a car that I don’t have)

…of my couch.

*sigh*

I think my body and soul need a super dark chocolate covered coconut Atkins Endulge bar

(because I do have some dignity and am committed to a healthy way of life)

…while I lay on my couch.

exercise, breathing and meditation

These are the elements of the art of yoga,

and elements of optimum health for all of us!

Through 5,000 years and specified historical periods of yoga development, the art has evolved into an accessible form of wellness for all people.  We are surrounded with easily attainable ways to practice.

Yoga doesn’t need to be your life to be incorporated into your lifestyle.

What I have learned about yoga, is that it is incredibly efficient!  Not only are you working your cardiovascular system, fatiguing muscle groups and stretching and lengthening your body, you are also caring for your internal organs, glandular systems, emotional serenity and mental focus.

With a proper and educated practice, your entire system improves!

Spending about 20 minutes a day exercising doesn’t seem like a lot, but with a good yoga practice, it is enough to accomplish lengthening, strengthening, fat burning and mind centering.  Not bad for the little  time we have these days to care for ourselves!

Now, on days when you have more time to spare and want to get some truly intense fitness, there are sure to be yoga classes in your area!  I have friends who swear by the cleansing feeling of Bikram Yoga, and athletic enthusiasts who adore their Vinyasa. There are numerous styles to explore.

Classes generally run about 45 minutes to an hour and a half, and I think it’s impossible to leave feeling less than renewed, empowered, challenged and accomplished!  Can’t afford classes?  Me niether!

FREE yoga practice is available  on www.exercisetv.com

My absolute favorite free video happens to be led by my amazing sister!  Search under “workouts”, then “free full length”, then “instructor” and “Elise Gulan”…and prepare to be challenged!

Elise Joan...fitness guru and celebrity trainer

She has a 45 minute yoga practice that is truly intense, even for those of us who consider ourselves physically fit!  She gives level options for each section of a flow, and there is amazing room for improvement and increased mastery.

My husband and I have been practicing yoga together in our living room several times a week.

We feel strong and centered every time.

…if only for a while

…and until we practice again.

Visions in White

March 6, 2010

It’s the eve of a good friend’s wedding, and my mind wanders to white.

White linens, white lights, white candles, white dress.

New beginnings!

New challenges,

New joys,

New responsibilites,

New fears and new comforts.

Upon self reflection, I see that I’m at a crossroads, and the endless possibility of a clean white slate appeals to me.  In the absence of color, we instinctively fill in the blank with imagination and personal vision!

The “newness” of white is energizing and provoking.

As so many of us do, I stand on the precipice of great changes.  My life, my family, my career, my body, my spirituality , my DREAMS…all in transition.   And the metamorphosis of these things and this self is as joyous and present as my good friend’s wedding, and as possible as white.

Envision the  blank pages of the rest of our story!

It’s sure to be dotted with mistakes and revisions, littered with marginal musings, well worn at the edges…

and filled with color.