A defined ‘perfect’ and making space

Over the last few days I have been striving for an answer … sitting, thinking, mulling, pondering, musing, speculating, cogitating, evaluating, reasoning, rationalising, brooding, stewing … digging … tangling … muddying … sticking …

My question – “What do I want to do … with this blog?”

This question mirrors a second one that replaces “this blog” with “my life”; but that’s for later.

Do I want to investigate ethical, delicious, ‘well’-infusing eating? Do I want to concentrate on exploring what brings ‘joy’ in life? Do I want to empower and highlight women? Do I want to incorporate more beauty into my own life? Do I want to offer my creativity an outlet? Do I want to connect, and connect with, like-minds through writing? Do I want to spark change? Do I want to create value?

Yes.

Yes x 8.

… and now … how …

?

And I sat down again … and again … and felt frustration rise again … and again …

And before, Reader, you think that there’s going to be an answer at the end of this particular entry – let me disabuse you of this possibility now – I still have no idea. Feel free to continue … or leave me here …

But tonight I went to yoga; a class that I can’t usually arrive at in time.

5pm – a work-obligated impossibility.

But tonight I was home – and was pulled towards the unknown – teacher and class at the Gertrude Street Yoga Centre.

I am attracted by the unknown … but not to the unknown … an interesting dichotomy.

I’m not sure if I’ve written about this before, but I  have never really liked yoga.

#Confession

I was first introduced at a ‘School’ of yoga – what seems like an aeon ago. I was in one of the first formative years of University, a gym-goer (to lose weight) and looking for something to feed soul as well as body. I decided that yoga was it.

Yoga was not it.

I am a perfectionist by nature. I do things, I do them well. This often stops me from beginning – but it always pushes me to the end, once begun.

This school taught ‘correct’ posture, ‘correct’ breath, ‘correct’ mind emptiness. It gave me an excellent grounding in yoga practice that assists me still – even in the class of today.  But it also gave me something to strive for …

… shoulders a touch further back. Hips a touch squarer. Press palms into the mat, knuckles down. Hips higher. Neck an elongation of the spine … straighter … longer … Heels down. Chest out.

There was a defined ‘perfect’.

Quite the stressor.

And so my long, often stressful, relationship\. I was attracted to the idea of fluid movement, extended body, mind flow … but could never quite ‘accomplish’ it …

But tonight there was a question asked with every pose “Does it feel comfortable?” and the ideas of ‘making space’ and ‘taking space’ that resonated.

I realised that each posture is a way of filling my space. Taking up space. Elongating. Extending. Feeling every muscle …

And I realised that in each posture, comfort was the most important element – but ‘comfort’ in my own skin. ‘Perfect’ was nothing other than that which I …

in the ‘me, my self, I’ /no-one else / just me, context …

feel.

Some days, I know that I want to curl, to hug, to be as small as I can be … to feel as little as possible … and those days I allow my self from time to time … but I also know that they aren’t good for me long term …

And today, I wanted to create my own space – to breathe through movement and to feel every muscle; to let go.

So today – I did.

And today, I ended an hour feeling like molten gold – golden-hued fluidity, enduring, assured that where I was and how I was is perfect.

So – in letting go – I found what I was looking for in my yoga practice. In letting go, I found the sensation that had attracted me in the first place.

And in relation to the blog – and, indeed, my life, I haven’t quite worked out how I can do all of the above … but I do have more faith that an answer will present itself if I stop searching for it and simply make space for it to arrive.

Tadasana

 

 

 

 

 

 

LTLpsh … supporting the very small voice

VanGoghWind

I am the kind of person who needs a little push.

I need someone inviting me, poking me, or something that prods me, into the first step.

I would love to be the person who sees the opportunity – the potential fun to be had in the unknown or undiarised … who is energised by the mere thought of doing something.

I know those people – you know those people. They are the ones that are surrounded by a group, who are always ‘out’ … they seem very light, carefree … the human equivalent of a Van Gogh wind.

The odd element in my life – I am the person who gets energy from both the unknown and the undiarised … when I’m doing them.

It’s just the first step that needs to be taken … by me … that offers the obstacle.

I was at home yesterday … a Friday … a sunny Friday … a Friday where I should have felt compelled, at the very least, to step outside.

I know that ‘should’ indicates a whole host of other issues … but I ‘should’ have because I knew that I would feel better if I did. I knew that I would feel more connected to the world and with that, my energy levels would rise and with that, I would be more inclined to step out a little further and with that … who knows …

… and yet … I couldn’t drag myself from the dark that had become my apartment (I had closed the blackout blinds at 6am after deciding not to go to the gym) until 4pm and a yin yoga class.

Even then, if truth be told, as well as the enticing idea of a class that I generally can’t get to and that required only a passive-me, I needed the little push of the imminent arrival of house guests and conversation that my brain was not prepared for …

So I stepped out of the house.

And the class was delicious – smile-inducing. And it allowed me to work out my plans for the evening and have those plans fully formed when I returned to houseguests who are also good friends. And, when I returned to good friends, I was mentally prepared and genuinely happy to see them which, in turn made them comfortable, which, in turn, made me happy …

And it started with a first step – out of the house.

HoNYMary

Humans of New York : 11 August 2011

I have kept this post in my head for rather a while (over six years apparently) … and I think …. what if I took more first steps more often and what if I made this motto mine …

And then it makes me think – how do I put the idea that ‘I should’ into an action that I do.

… insert emoji thinking face here …

… and then a voice in my brain, rolling its eyes (I anthropomorphise regularly) : “What’s the point? What’s the real chance of ‘wonderful’? Nothing’s going to change” …

… and if there’s no point …. then why do …?

And then a very small voice, soul-piquingly disheartened by the immediacy of the negative response, attempts a very small coup …

How to support the very small voice?

… another insertion … another emoji thinking face …

The “Sad Days – Emergency Kit”

I want richness – juiciness – yumminess; a squelchy, gooey, textured life.

That resonates for 2018 – I want texture and richness and friendship and love.

My 2017 … it was change. Breaking old patterns – trying to break old patterns.

It was the year of a bag. The “Sad Days – Emergency Kit” filled by my sister. For days that felt heavier than I wanted them to. For days when I felt alone. For days when I felt unloved. For days when my eyes saw my body as something to be hated. For days when I questioned what my purpose in life actually was … is.

Parcels, individually wrapped. The first one a Haighs-soft teddy-bear that has stayed with me over a move, new job and fragmentation of life. The second, a French film-filled USB, with a small card “Random act of kindness TIME” … still owed.

Today – another USB, unknown content. Another “Random act of kindness TIME” – donate clothes to those who need them more than me … to do this week.

I don’t like the term ‘suffering’ from depression. I know that, technically, it’s the correct verb … but … it is heavy with defeat.

I have a relationship with depression. At times, the relationship takes my breath away, floors me, knocks me sideways.

At times, mutual suspicion means a healthy distance.

Today is not one of those days. Today, I broke open the third parcel.

But I want more joy in my life. I need it. I want to work through the heaviness that I currently feel. I want juiciness.

Three weeks ago, I bought a book entitled “Can You Be Happy for 100 Days in a Row?“. I needed a regime, something easy to follow even when my Nietzsche-loving brain is telling me that everything is pointless … if I’m going to cede to something, it’s going to be something that offers potential.

 

The big fears.

So I’ve always been rather anxious … not unlike a good majority of the rest of the world it would seem …

As a child, my one big fear was that my Mother would die, or leave, and that I would either have to live with my father (an inexplicably scary option) or my grandparents (equally scary – less inexplicable). There was no rational basis for this fear – but I still remember being a 6-year-old very sure that one of those two futures would eventuate.

As an adult, my one big fear is that I will end my life without having been loved in that all-consuming way that reaches atom-level; that I will continue to end my day with an apartment door clicking like a prison cell.

And some days, this potential future, for me, feels as real as reality ever does.  It comes with emotion and physical reactions that, for me, resemble those felt before a particularly scary amusement park ride.

The imaginary future becomes my real present.

And there is no nuance in these thoughts – they are black and white; a good life and a bad one. There is none of the grey that comes with the trials of a relationship or the benefits of a close group of friends and family.

My positive destiny is all roses and its grim alternative is dark silence.

… a measured, balanced emotional response is not one that I was built with.

 

The journey to ‘Here’ #3

Ibiza – 6pm – night warmed … hug warmed … and a circle of women that talked about what we wanted from the week.

I wanted to crack – or rather, to be cracked – split – to somehow break … my spirit was tight; emotions held, fingertips gripping the side of a building …

My brain felt dulled, flat. J’étais dégonflée comme un vieux ballon … the ‘grey’ had become a part of me …

Anything beyond the every day felt like it was birthed through wet cement.

So I wanted to be split, because that was the way that I changed. Change needed to be blunt, brusque; it needed to be irreversible or at least have a finality about it.

I have always been slightly suspicious of anything  gentle. I preferred hard training, hard massage, clear messaging; all or nothing; black or white; either or

It needed to crack.

I thought that it needed to crack.

Turns out – change can be accomplished more gently.

 

The Journey to ‘Here’

I feel slightly fraudulent …

… because I don’t feel as ‘pushed’ as I was a year ago; and not even a quarter of that ‘swallowed-whole’ feeling of 12 years ago.

I remember both … but at a distance.

So – can I write about my current ‘location’ now? When a previous one has been so much more ‘reader-worthy’?

… while I’m not back in the suffocating world of self-imposed and self-regulated expectations with self-rated outcomes (generally ‘not-quite-enough’), my current space is not not in the same general vicinity.

I have landed back at a cross-roads where I can hesitate a little longer or plough headlong down the unknown path … which has the allure that only the unknown can have … until it becomes known.

But can I truly write about something so mundane? Can I be a writer of ‘non-critical life-assessment’?

Pfft … why not … let’s see what happens …

May as well jump and splash for a while – just to see …