As I approached the beginning of a new phase of life this summer, I stared at a stack of books wondering which book I should read first. I was ready to tackle my new path, new job and new training cycle. I was ready to push for my potential.
My friend Jim kindly suggested a very logical reading order. Broken Open. Your Survival Instinct is Killing You. How Bad Do You Want It? His suggestion seemed to follow life, so I began.
One day at lunch on a bench overlooking the river behind my new office, I’ve started reading Broken Open. I’ve read every word. I highlighted, scribbled and photographed passages. I’ve sent images to friends. I’ve wrote about it. I’ve digested it.
I have adored every page of this book, and I imagined I’d finish reading it with the sun on my face and a coffee in my hand. I thought I’d finish the book and use my hour of quiet that day to do my own personal reflection. Today I finished it. With only ten pages left, it was calling to me from beside my bed. I was hesitate to open it because I wanted that picture perfect ending. Instead I finished the book on my couch with body aches and a low fever.
I let out a audible exhale when I reached the final period. I didn’t want it to end yet it had filled me to the brim. I have no more room left to absorb the words in this book. I am full.
As I stared blankly at the book wondering what I should do next, Chet tugged on my arm and said “Mama today can we do yoga? We haven’t done it in a year.”
How did he know?
How does one say no to that request when my intention for the week was to practice daily. So I unrolled my mat with this tiny human I’m trying to raise to be a gentle loving man. Together we did yoga. It was filled with giggles, Chet-modified poses, and an awareness of how tight my body has become. Today’s practice focused on renewing.
“How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.” ~Elizabeth Lesser
As I’m living my new chapter, as I finish the last chapter of the book that has confirmed my approach to life, and while I let my body release everything it holds on to, it has become clear. The work that I need to do is in my home.
As I work on transforming myself, let me create an environment for my boys to transform. While I renew myself, let me create an environment for my boys to renew. As I create a space for me to exist whole heartedly, let me create an environment that encourages my boys to do the same.
Their journey will always be their own, but I hope by having the courage and the strength to live my journey, I am gifting them the same courage and strength.
While on my mat in pigeon pose, I looked over at Chet in the same pose and I know for certain I’ve done everything right. As I finished Broken Open, I know I want to bring the book to life.
Life is a constant cycle, and it’s a constant reminder to stay present. Today my life feels abundantly full. A few months ago my life felt stuck. Each moment equally important and valid in the process of living.
Today my only wish is that I continue to live in each moment and that I show my boys how to rise and fall.
“May you listen to the voice within the beat even when you are tired. When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens your heart, expands your understanding, and leads you to freedom. If you are weary, may you be aroused by passion and purpose. If you are blameful and bitter, may you be sweetened by hope and humor. If you are frightened, may you be emboldened by a big consciousness far wiser than your fear. If you are lonely, may you find love, may you find friendship. If you are lost, may you understand that we are all lost, and still we are guided—by Strange Angels and Sleeping Giants, by our better and kinder natures, by the vibrant voice within the beat. May you follow that voice, for This is the way—the hero’s journey, the life worth living, the reason we are here.” ~Elizabeth Lesser