Hi, it's me, the lady of this blog... the one who is now supremely aware of all things balanced. The one who has become more mindful of the subtle shifts, of challenge and beauty, calm and frustration in her simple summery days. How are you? It's been awhile.
This month has been an interesting challenge for me. Practicing mindfulness and seeking balance in the everyday is not a new concept in my life, but using my camera as a means to document my observations was very new. This project stretched me in many ways as I tend to be a person that observes more and shares less. What happened here over this month was unexpected. I decided to take a little risk and share a part of myself that I would normally keep fairly private, and you all connected with me, with this idea. We found similarities in each other, common ground.
Looking back on the posts from this month of balance, the greatest challenge for me was to let go of the need to capture it all. Many days the clearest moments of opposition were fleeting, the camera not close by. It quickly had to become okay, and it was. My awareness became heightened and that is definitely what mattered the most.
It's been a big month of transition for me. In mid July I stopped teaching yoga... for the time being. I am sure there will be more times in my life that I will start and stop teaching. Interestingly, my decision to stop was one of seeking balance. My husband's job is extremely demanding of his time and energy, with no flexibility. In a moment of stepping outside and looking in, I noticed a family that was running in too many directions, parents who were spread thin and a child who was being carted around just a little too much. I also calculated the gas expense for me to drive to the studio 3 plus times a week (it's 25 minutes away) to teach a single class, and it just didn't make sense. These pesky little details of life are not necessarily fun, but they do need to be paid attention to, for the healthy balance of all the lives involved. Practicality aside, ending something so precious to me was hugely difficult. On day 14, the photos and words posted reflected my final night teaching. I had given a three week notice to the studio owners, I was also giving up my job as manager, feeling that if I were not teaching there was not a possibility that I could be present for and take care of the needs of the community either. We write a weekly electronic newsletter that goes out to all students in both studios and figured this would be the best tool to let the students know. Well, the newsletter went out late and as I drove to class that final night I knew that whoever came would be unaware of the changes, I'd have to tell them. This is the very thing I was trying to avoid - having a big announcement at the beginning or end of a yoga class. People don't come to yoga for news. But guess what? Nobody came to class. Not one person. This has never happened for this particular class before, it is one of the better attended classes on the schedule. On this night however... where was everyone? It was the strangest feeling as a moved slowly on my mat, warming up for class, the clock ticking and the minutes passing. Class was to start in two minutes and nobody was there yet... more time passes... class should have started... I'm still alone. A feeling of sadness came over me as I continued to stay on the mat, postures deepening, hips opening. Soon sadness was replaced by contentment as my own solo practice intensified. I practiced well past the time my scheduled class would have ended, and I felt so grateful for the silence, for the yoga in my body, for the teachers who helped me to discover it. When I finally left the studio it was well into the night, and the most incredible moon was outside waiting for me. Shining it's brilliance and strength across the sky, I soaked it in. From a nearby field I sat breathless under it's perfect, brilliant light. It was right here that I let go of my wanting to teach yoga, and decided to just be yoga.
The top photo in this post was taken after I had spent a good hour cleaning and straightening in the pantry. No sooner was I done than little Emily decided to make dried flower and herb sachets. She scatted stems, leaves and plenty of dirt from the garden all over my clean counters in the pantry... what was only moments ago perfectly tidy and spit-spot, was now full of activity as she created little piles of her special mixture for drying. Isn't it just the prettiest mess you've ever seen?
Thank you friends, for everything this month. You make it all so much better.