Yoga in the Garden

“A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new”  ― Albert Einstein

I love trying new things. Discovering dreams, pursuing passions, and life-long learning are personal priorities. With this said, I’m about to embark on an exciting expedition, and I hope you, readership, will benefit from my endeavors. I’m going to “beautify this blog” and I couldn’t be more excited. This summer I’m launching into writing workshops and personal projects that will help me re-define my vision for success. As I’m working on mission statements, marketing, etc. I’m filled with anticipation and awe. The awe is coming from places I didn’t expect, so I’ll begin with my new mantra: “yoga in the garden.”

Growing up I was athletic, but somewhere between college and my thirties, most likely due to inconsistent exercise, I became stiff and clumsy. So when yoga was introduced into my life I eagerly accepted it, but with some skepticism in the deep, dark hallways of my heart.

My first lesson was beyond awkward. If the instructor asked me inhale, I exhaled. If I was supposed to move to the left, I moved to the right. I was my own opponent. My second lesson was even more awkward. I remember being surprised by my relentless and unforgiving perspiration, and amidst the silence I heard myself grunt and/or groan while holding a plank. Furthermore, my “tree” pose looked more like a shrub. Truly visualize this to imagine my horror.

Essentially, my list of insecurities was endless, my embarrassment beyond measure, but I kept going back. Despite being a novice, I was navigating nirvana. My happiness was directly tied to my humility. I lacked knowledge, skill, and discipline, but I was addicted to the pure peace I found in knowing nothing and embracing everything.

Insert terrible transition to gardening. I never understood gardens, or gardeners for that matter. My mother loves gardens and transformed my childhood home’s backyard to her personal paradise. Now that I have my own home, with a small space of green, I long to see if I inherited gardening genes. Like yoga, I lack knowledge and skill. One trip to Home Depot and one adult tantrum later, I have oodles of seed packets and plans, so here’s hoping my soil is rich and the sunshine spectacular.

I’ve gained some confidence in yoga, but I’m going mad over the garden. When I started to think about these hobbies I realized the lessons learned so far, along with the challenges confronted and/or conquered, add greater value and vivacity to my life. So my new mantra is “yoga in the garden.” While it may seem strange to some, it makes perfect, awkward, uncomfortable, rewarding, fun, and challenging sense to me.

An Ordinary Tuesday

Yesterday was awesome. Throughout the Body Project’s six week transformation I’ve been waiting for “the” moment. Whenever I teach Katherine Mansfield, my favorite author, I always center discussion on her use of epiphany. Perhaps my obsession with Mansfield’s epiphanies is founded upon my own personal enjoyment and experiences from moments of realizations. I love the “a-ha” opportunities provided by life, which seem to ground me in one capacity and propel me forward in another. It should be noted nothing extraordinary happened yesterday. An epiphany doesn’t need to be gold and grand. For me, the best epiphany is simple and strong.

I woke up and worked out at 6 a.m.  Then I went home, ate breakfast, drank coffee, graded, wrote a few stories, and headed to class. Throughout the day I noticed an increase in my energy, an appreciation of attitude, and a general enthusiasm for every day efforts. It was an ordinary Tuesday. It “looked” normal but “felt” different. I couldn’t stop smiling about the “feeling” I had regarding life and its plans. Rather, I had plans for life. Slowly, an idea appeared…

I was living life like I always imagined it.

Toward the end of the day I took a moment to think about what I did throughout my morning, afternoon, and evening. Secretly, I wanted to bottle whatever mood I was in and save it for the dreariest of days. After careful contemplation “it” arrived: my epiphany. Yesterday I did everything I’ve been told and asked to do regarding my eating and exercise. I drank required amounts of water, worked out, ate consistently and consciously, relaxed accordingly, etc. I followed the plan and the path was paved.

Cue today. I know that feeling I’ve been searching for is possible, palpable, and powerful. I’m no longer looking for it because I’m living it.

The best part of this realization is that I’ve only just begun.

“Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. Life would undergo a change of appearance because we ourselves had undergone a change of attitude.”   –Katherine Mansfield