Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stretch Beyond Difficulties

We should not feel embarrassed by our difficulties, only by our failure can anything grow.
 -Alain de Botton

I begin the day with a yoga class to move past tightness and breathe beyond difficulties. This vinyasa class includes poses held longer,  movement, and a focus on balance and intensity. The challenges of class force me into the moments as I loosen muscles and breathe through my monkey mind.

During the days of my athletic competitions, the goal became ferocity and winning beyond the moment. We would say, "Some people focus on what they're going through, champions focus on what they're going to." In yoga the moment means focus without a need for the goal. It becomes difficult to avoid thinking about the "going to" when I fall out of a pose.


Breathing takes over. With twists and turns, my mind and limbs ease into the poses. Stretching right side, then left extends boundaries. How grateful I feel not to possess the appendages of an octopus today; four limbs require enough focus.

Remaining in each moment soothes the day's tightness. Strength past the struggle enlivens my body and mind. With a concentration on breathing, the process itself unravels frustration and opens possibilities the way my writing does. 

After class I watch clouds clumping and pelicans flying. The day seeps into my cells and brings thoughts of renewal with flashes of color and sound that erupt from the earth in flowers, songbird trill, and waves.

I feel refreshed and returned to my buoyancy. 

Consider what you find difficult today. How will you bring successes from the past to your present moments of discomfort? Write to discover and move beyond today's difficulties.

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