Sunday, September 9, 2012

'SUP, yo!

A few years ago I started practicing yoga. What happened to me both on and off the mat is best described as a transformation. This transformation actually began a few years prior with events that lead to me beginning my recovery from alcoholism and yoga is the next phase of this journey. Yoga has helped me learn to meditate, live in the present moment, lose weight and stay in shape. I learn acceptance for others as well as myself through yoga. I learn to "let go of the idea of right and wrong" through yoga. Along with the 12 steps, yoga helps me stay spiritually fit and grounded. Well at least it helps me TRY to stay that way.  In fact, I love that its called a yoga practice, because that is exactly what I do- practice yoga. I don't perfect yoga or totally screw-up yoga, I practice it.

I met a group of terrific women in my yoga classes and we formed a nice bond. There is no competition between us; we encourage each other and complement one another when we see fit to do so. It's lovely, actually and reminds me very much of my women friends in my recovery circle. These women emailed last month and asked me to join them doing stand up paddle board (SUP) yoga. WHAT, you ask?? I'm going to stand up on a surf board like thingie in a river, keep my BALANCE, and then try to do yoga!? Are ya crazy, or just plain stupid? 

So, I said yes! Saying yes in and of itself is sort of a miracle because as I previously mentioned, I like to be good at something from the get-go. I intuitively knew I would not be good at this from the start but if I want any kind of growth in my life I have to try, right?

The date for the SUP yoga was approaching and the weather had to be just right. Yesterday we had a real hum-dinger of a storm here and I thought for sure it would be cancelled. I sort of prayed it would be cancelled, actually. No such luck! This morning I woke up to one of the most beautiful days I've seen in awhile. The humidity is low and the sky is bright blue, sunny, with the puffy white clouds, and the temperature about 72. PERFECT weather, really just perfect. I drove over to meet the ladies and was greeted with this view.

Not too shabby, huh?

We got our paddle boards in the water and the instructor began by showing me how to stand up from a kneeling position. I was wobbly, but I did it. Before long, I was doing yoga on this board while slowly drifting around the cove in which we were practicing. We laughed, wobbled, and bumped into one another but we didn't fall off!  Forward bends, downward dog, lunges, and even twists- I did it. A whole sun salutation on the board, done! Savasana laying down on a floating surface was great too. The whole thing was amazing and I surprised myself with what I was able to do. I couldn't help but think that I almost said no to this experience out of fear. Now I can't wait to do it again.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thank you.

I love the ride from yoga class to my home and tonight was no exception. The sun was sinking in the sky, glowing pinkish-orange, and was absolutely breathtaking. The road is filled with some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever witnessed and it varies depending on the time of year.

As I was driving along, listening to my favorite playlist blaring through the stereo speakers, a wonderful feeling came over me. Surrounded by this beauty of scenery and music I was reminded that I have a truly wonderful life. I have a husband, dog, and family whom I adore and they adore me in return. I have a really fantastic group of friends both in person and online that fill me with such happiness, laughter, and joy that I laugh and smile like a fool throughout the day. I have a job that I really love and work for a couple whom I admire and respect very much. I have house and garden that I enjoy immensely and a new vehicle that is so much fun to drive! I have everything I could possibly need or want right now and there is an unbelievable feeling of peace and love in my heart.

Now, I am not naive enough to believe that this feeling will last forever but I am smart enough to know that when I do feel this way it's important to acknowledge it. This too shall pass! I remember there was a time in my life when I was empty inside and had nothing to give or receive. My good life does not go unnoticed by me and for that I am grateful. 

Or as my good friend, Lisa, would say: I'm grateful as shit.