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We see now that we do not live by acquiring, gaining, or achieving. We live by Grace;…
-Joel S. Goldsmith, The Infinite Way
This week I learned some things. I learned that peace starts inside. I learned that once we know better that negative reactions are a choice. Struggle in many ways is also a choice. I don’t know if readers of this blog come here to read about spirituality, yoga, or personal growth. I reckon most of you come here to read about Appalachia and mountain folks (if I go by my search engine hits), or copperhead snakes. But, this blog documents our lives, and at this point it is as much for me and my girls as it is for those reading. I’m putting the truth of our life out there into the regions of cyberspace and that is also a choice. When you visit here you are reading the journey of an Appalachian woman born and raised, whose family has been here for many generations. You are getting true Appalachia, folks. Is it how you thought it would be?
Thursday, I came home from the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School with the girls. Ivy hadn’t had a real nap since Monday. I laid her down since she fell asleep in the truck. I started my yoga practice as Deladis played. I needed this time. About ten minutes in, Ivy wakes up crying every breath. Nothing wrong, just not happy and tired. I try to continue to practice, hoping that she will soon get woke up enough to practice too or play. Then, the power goes out. It has been out so much this week. The wind blows and it is out for hours. 😦 It comes back on, and I restart my DVD. About two minutes later the power is out again. I lay down. Ivy grabs my head and shakes it back and forth. I feel my body tense. I feel myself wanting to cry. I begin to whine – “just a few minutes girls.” I was tired. I was all touched out. I was frustrated.
Inside, a voice spoke to me. STOP. This is not the way. Whatever I was perceiving as a wrong was not a wrong. It wasn’t the end of my world. I could whine and raise my voice, lament my ruined practice, or I could do something else. I called my mother to watch the girls and I went to yoga in town. I ran to yoga.
I met my needs and I met the girls needs with one decision that saved me a whole evening of being disheartened and aggravating to the girls. Five other women were at the studio that evening, each coming with their own reason to practice. Each coming with their own weight of the day, but all with a bit of joy and release in their hearts. It was a beautiful practice. We laughed. We relaxed. We loved. We released. I particularly enjoyed Lord of the Dance asana.
This is not me, but feel like my pose resembled this one. Yoga is not efforting. Yoga is not struggling. It is relying on what you know to free you to take the risk of stepping into the unknown. I can change bad habits. I can change my attitude. I can live with simple means in abundance of Grace. In Luke chapter 15 verse 31, the father of the prodigal son explains to his oldest son who remained with him, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” God, The Creator, The Universe, The Collective Unconscious, whatever name you have for the Supreme Existence/Being is always with us, even when we choose to separate ourselves. All that is, is ours. Not finite material things, but simple being. Very simple being. And that is enough. That is what is lasting into infinity.
I’m so excited because before I was so out of touch with options that in situations where it seemed that struggle was inevitable, I fell right into that way of being. I became struggle with all my heart and soul. I didn’t hear the Spirit within. I was deaf to the voice. I hear the voice now. Eventhough, it is still easier to fall into old patterns. I hear the voice. I hear it! I’m finding the yoga. The union. The living to the full capacity of who I am. I’m very excited about what that might mean for my life. What miserable ways of being I might be released from. Not that anything is any better, but that I am present.
The break in the weather today was nice. Really nice. The truck is stuck in the creek because of all the ice and us trying to get it out before John took another short trip. Today, it almost reached fifty degrees and I got to come home from my mother’s, where I’ve been staying for lack of ability to leave the holler in an emergency.
I like being cold much more than being hot, and I wonder sometimes if it is part in partial to my being a bit of an introvert. Winter makes us go inward. The bustle is not so much and it forces us to spend more time with ourselves. We renew and we make big plans. We resolve to do and be things. We get really excited and then frustrated because we suddenly have lots of things we want to be doing and the weather doesn’t allow for us to do them. We grow tired of inner conversation. Then, we get stir crazy. Then, it is Spring.
I enjoy the little breaks in the weather of Winter that gives you a moment to exhale, to take a fresher deep breath and begin again. I am enjoying my time this Winter, and I hope the feelings I have gained are ones that I will never lose. I hope to only grow in them and to go forward with the change they bring.
I have some simple things I will be focusing on this year. Things that will change my life, my being, my heart, my work, and my basic approach to life. Hey, it’s about time. 🙂
- I’m going to complete my childbirth educator training and classes with Lamaze International beginning in February. I will become a certified childbirth educator and begin helping the women of my region take a look at all the possibilities and miracles of birth. I will also become trained to teach prenatal yoga in April and tie that into my work as a childbirth educator.
- I will be reading the writing of Rudolph Steiner. I want to learn about the Waldorf philosophy of education directly from the source and take what I learn to create the experience of education for our girls. Lately, I’m too caught up in “being” Waldorf as in the examples from the many blogs, books, classes, and things that are Waldorf inspired. The real “Waldorf” education will be the experience that works and fits with our own family culture. It won’t look the same as what works for others.
- I am learning more about Spirituality. I am exploring my beliefs and trying to learn all I can about living a life that is tuned in, out, and grounded. 😉
- Continue to practice Kundalini Yoga and to learn all I can about it. This will also help me with number three.
- Finish my novel and continue to look for publication for my stories.
It feels good because it is nothing unrealistic like keeping the house in perfect order, or making sure the girls never get their feelings hurt. 😉 It is life in simple. I’m so excited, I’m smiling as I type.
Photos by Brett Marshall