Last week a giant bundle of corrugated boxes landed on our porch and the fact we are packing up and moving for the third summer in a row became increasingly hard to ignore. My first reactions were UGH and BLERG and NOOOOOOOOOO, because I hate moving. That’s the way I think of it, that is what I say about it, it becomes my mantra for the bubble wrap and tape roll weeks: I hate moving. I hate the packing up, I hate discovering those hidden dust bunnies, I hate losing bits and pieces, I hate finding things broken, I hate paying thousands of dollars to have all of our stuff (have I mentioned how much I hate stuff?) hauled across the country again. I hate moving. It throws our entire lives into a kind of limbo that is just really truly uncomfortable.
And then there is my yoga mat. In the midst of my asana (posture) practice I embrace the uncomfortable. I don’t avoid it, I walk right into the places that are holding the most restriction and try and stretch them out. I find those places that tremble under my body weight and work to strengthen them. I actively seek out discomfort, make myself uncomfortable, and try, in those moments, to just notice, to just feel those feelings. I “breathe into” those places that hold tension, I use long exhales to sustain my strength. I don’t hate these places, I indulge them, dip into them, and show these spots a little attention, maybe even a little love.
It wasn’t always this way, I hated my tight hamstrings, I hated my weak core, I hated all the bits and pieces that weren’t tight, toned, lengthened. But now I’m physically perfect, so that is totally fixed.
FALSE (a fact obvious to anyone who 1. has seen me IRL and/or 2. also owns a human body) I am still fabulously imperfect, at a certain point it just became increasingly obvious that hating it didn’t serve me at all. So, I tried to move from hating to noticing, which wasn’t a huge improvement at first. I mean noticing my lack of thigh gap isn’t a total party, but I also noticed my strong calves, the fact that our subway station sometimes smelled vaguely of hickory smoke, the way fall yellows were beginning to creep into late summer greens. It just was a matter of turning the volume down, which is a constant struggle, but is kind of working for me in my body on and off the mat. Just allowing nonjudgmental awareness to rest somewhere momentarily is a way of caring. We all crave attention, after all, it is how we show love, and so before I knew it I had faked my way into feeling kind of okay in my body on my mat, and then it all bled out to the real world.
So, here is my challenge this month, not to “spoonful of sugar” my way through the vicissitudes, but to just notice. To maybe move from hating moving to just being aware that moving makes me uncomfortable, and to try and walk into that a little. Not trying to change it, but to just be aware enough to care for the place in me that feels displaced. I doubt I will go on to embrace boxing and bubble wrapping as my new passions, but I think I might care for myself a little better this round. I might even begin to notice that I am filling each of those brown boxes with just some of the countless reasons I have to be grateful.