A week ago, or I guess now it was two, I got a phone call. My sister in NY had taken my dad for a biopsy that day. They were back home but it wasn’t going well. A few hours later they were back at the hospital. Twenty-four hours later, I was on my way there.
Leaving that night meant transgressing a few boundaries. I took the red-eye. I had to cancel a class. I went without anyone asking me to go. I wasn’t sure that it was the right thing to do but I had a hunch, and, I knew that I would suffer the consequences if I made the wrong choice. It was the right one.
The look on my dad’s face when I walked into his hospital room is one that I will never forget. The courage, discipline, and, flexibility that it took for me to be there meant that he was not alone. We both cried.
Six days later I was spent. Day and night as shifts changed, fevers came and went, tests were taken, results were posted, contractions racked his body, and “I’m scared” became his refrain. How many times did I see his eyes open and fear leap through them? How many times did I tell him “you’re at the hospital, you’re safe, I’m here” and see the fear recede? How many more times could I do it?
We have a limitless capacity to love.
Our capacity to speak, to move, to eat, to ski, jump, run, wrestle, read… this is limited.
How do we find balance? Is it even possible?
It seems to be like those handstands I keep attempting… more balanced, then less, but definitely trending towards more, definitely a very dynamic and fleeting experience.
The hours upon hours that I have spent on the mat, and perhaps more importantly, on the meditation cushion, allowed me to give it all I had. And, perhaps more importantly, realize when there wasn’t anything left.
My sisters stepped in, I told Dad I’d be right back. I came home.
In the week that I’ve been back I’ve taught a yoga class and met with clients in person. I’ve skied, run, biked, snowboarded, pet the kitties, soaked in the hot tub, shoveled the roof, gone to bed early and slept in late. I’ve baked bread and scones and waffles. I made pizza. I’ve chatted with my neighbors and had a lovely long deep conversation with a dear friend. Scott and I have sat together at the dinner table and reviewed our days, we’ve talked about plans. I’ve had a full week of “catch and snuggle” with Pixel after dinner.
I’m restored. I’m ready. What’s next?
April in Alaska is an interesting month. It depends on how much snow has fallen and what the temperature is, but it can be either a gloriously temperate sunny snowy wonderland or, a nasty smelly, dirty mud puddle. Furthermore, whatever is happening “in town” is a week, or two or three, ahead of what’s happening at higher elevations. Dirt trails for hiking and biking are somewhere in the future… the mud puddle is between us.
Transitions are where we are most likely to lose our way.
You can probably point to a “streak” that was interrupted by a vacation, illness, weather condition, mood, etc… We all can. The good news is that it’s not actually “the streak” that matters so much as the resilience, persistence, and adaptability that is required to create it in the first place, and to revise and/or return to it after a disruption.
We are meant to change. We can’t help it. Change isn’t bad, it’s inevitable. What do you carry with you and what do you let go of as you move forward? This is how we find our way. Build a strong foundation with both small and consistent AND big and dramatic experiences that align with your intentions.
Two minutes of meditation and then ten days… one yoga pose and then a series… one brief pause before speaking and then silence… one spark of inspiration and then a commitment can follow.
Yoga is the balance between effort and ease… between holding on and letting go.
I am honored and amazed by what we get to do together, on behalf of all beings. Our Spring Essentials and Learn to Meditate Courses are daily doses of practice, our Seaside Sabbatical and soon to be announced late summer retreat are for full immersion. Give yourself the gift of practice. It will carry you forward… the path will unfold with ease before you… and me and our loved ones as make our way through these tremendous human lives that we get to live.
I am ever so grateful to have you in mine.