Follow Your Bliss

I have this little notebook — one of those impulse purchases from Marshall’s or TJMaxx, one of their cute & quirky notebooks the aisle over from the cute & quirky household goods — with the words Follow Your Bliss on the front.  I can’t tell you exactly when I got it; only that it was sometime close to when I started getting comfortable teaching yoga, when I started teaching more specialty classes and workshops, and I wanted a notebook to devote to the cause.

The pages are already half-filled with notes.  Little pink post-it flags delineate the different topics, and over time the stickies have folded in on themselves.  Notes for potential workshops, revised notes for workshops I’m able to do multiple times — and redundant notes, for workshops that could never get off the ground.  In between all this is a small smattering of poetry that I must’ve written when other notebooks weren’t around, poetry that just makes me sad when I stumble across them in the present day. Continue reading

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Too Strong for The Role

It was inspired by the influx of my childhood toys.

My childhood belongings.  Their exodus a complex story in and of itself, one that — like many other portions of my narrative — will someday get its moment in the spotlight after enough emotional distance has been established.  But, for now, we’ll skip to the end, with the final cargo of my past now delivered to our house, our guest room looking more like an adolescent’s bedroom mid-pack, and me bitterly musing to myself, “Fitting enough.  The ghost of my upbringing has been the perennial guest as of late, anyway.”

But, again, that’s a story for another day.  Like many stories of mine, when it’s time to be revealed, I will unapologetically give it the stage. Continue reading

Ohio

Ohio feels like homecoming.

Ohio feels like road tripping, like twelve hours that go by in the blink of an eye — that is, at least, until we get onto 70.  Ohio feels like junk food and fast food and rest stops and philosophical discussions and the views of the valleys as we cut across Pennsylvania.  Ohio feels like telling people that you actually look forward to this, that there are few things you cherish quite like your road trips with your husband, or being with your in-laws for the holidays.

Ohio feels like waking up to crisp air and clear skies, to long and winding roads through wide open spaces.  Ohio feels like towns so small you could hold your breath as you drive from one end to the other. Continue reading

The New Book

I have no idea what it’ll be about, but I can feel it coming.

I can feel its rumble the same way you can feel a thunderstorm before it arrives. The air is electric.  The inevitable is on the horizon, and there is an exquisite anticipation.

I have no idea what the book will be about, and that’s the exciting part. The story is being coy, making its presence known but only in snippets and hints, like a child playing hide & seek, giggling madly behind the curtains, hoping to not be found but still shouting out clues when they think the adults have strayed too far. Continue reading

An Ode to Mid-Distance Running

II

I.

I don’t think I’ve ever liked the first few miles of a run.

That might be why I love races so much: for those first miles, you are surrounded by fellow eager runners — and the energy is enough to carry you into the heart of the race, when the runners fan out and supporters on the sidelines dwindle and it’s back to you and your music and your thoughts.

But on non-race days, I slog through it.  I remind myself how good it feels when I finally find my rhythm.  Sometimes I imagine being in a race, surrounded by onlookers instead of the trees and shrubs of the trail.  I know, by mile 3 or 4, I will have found my rhythm.  I will have found what I’m looking for.

Perhaps that’s why I love mid-distance running so much.  If I have to force myself through upwards of a half hour of running before I get to that magical place, I want to spend as much time there as possible.

Ironically, it’s the short runs that make running feel like a chore, instead of an experience. Continue reading

Lighter

“It feels lighter. The lightest it’s been in three years.”

I’m remarking on the holiday season to my husband during a car ride through the small towns of New Hampshire.  It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving, both of us tired but not emotionally depleted like we had been with previous years.  I’m enjoying smooth drive of my husband’s new pick-up truck, the twists and turns of the roads, and the gentle relief of an uneventful Thanksgiving, one that came and went without much fallout — a potential harbinger of an easier time of year.

It’s an unexpected gift — this lightness — after such a heavy November.  November had a melancholy to it, its origins I never could exactly pinpoint.  There was a somberness in the air, as if a chapter was ending on a cosmic scale and I didn’t exactly know what to do with it. Continue reading

The Bearable Lightness of Being

This time of the year always brings a depth of reflection and introspection.  It’s carried out in the cold mornings brimming with sluggish light, in the afternoons that fall quickly to darkness, in the crisp & brisk sun and the murk of overcast days.  It’s presented alongside the final weeks of the year, a chance to weigh out the thoughts in my mind and the actions of my past and the potential actions for the future.

It’s unbearably heavy sometimes.

I know I have reason to reflect and introspect.  Changes have been great and sudden and only recently have settled.  I compare and contrast where I am now to where I was even a year ago.  I look around, cautiously optimistic that Saturn has finished her return and left my abode.  I shift what I’ve learned from one hand to the other, vacillating between pride in what I’ve become through what I’ve learned and frustration that it took me this long to learn them in the first place. Continue reading