(read time aprox 3 mins)
Yesterday was the anniversary of my friend Amy’s passing. The day approached like an echo of last year, with silent conversations in head and heart. By the arrival, I chose to honor her by making use of the day. As I said to a friend, “Live. Love. Appreciate my people. I think that’s what Amy’s would want.” I decided to study, take a yoga class, and walk on the beach later in the afternoon. It was an emotional morning, waking up to a heartfelt text from a dear friend in remembrance. I tore through a few sniffly tissues and set some determination. For a couple of hours, I studied—legislative analysis, which is fast becoming my favorite class of the semester. As I sat in front of my books, I began to waver on my plans, feeling vulnerable and weak. My inner pep talk became a mantra: Go to yoga. It is the best thing you can do. At 1pm, I arrived at class. Though I’d eaten a decent late breakfast, I still felt low energy. By the time breathing exercises started, I was shaking and pushing out a cold sweat. I honestly wasn’t sure I would make it through class. It was here that I came back to my core yoga principles—stacking and breathing. By bringing everything into alignment and feeding the muscles with oxygen, the skeletal system is able to support itself with little effort. With each posture, though my muscles were wobbly and my energy low, I perfected the form, and was able to relax into the movements without strain or over exertion. As I meditated my way through the standing series, I realized this was a metaphor for living. We are not always confident and strong. I’m not. I wish I were, but there are many days where curling up into bed and shutting out the world is my inclination, though it isn’t an option. But when I have a foundation to return to—my core principles of hydration, healthy eating, and some exercise—I can gently work towards my goals, one moment at a time. Add some laughter filled conversations, and I can make it through anything. Some energy kicked in towards the second half of class, and I finished relieved that I came (which I knew I would). A gentle breeze warmed the air—a perfect beach day (apologies New England). At the ocean, a lake had formed in the middle of the sand. I sat at the edge of this natural wonder and dug my toes into the mud. Children, caked in sand and seawater, clamored around me, swimming in and out of this rare water formation. I shared a phone conversation, replete with that much needed laughter, while my skin drank sunshine. Tim met me for a walk later. A golden sky mellowed behind determined waves. I said some words to my friend and the universe before turning up the dune to leave. Quoting Christian McNeill, “Beautiful universe. Take care of this one.” For dinner, I made homemade burritos and flashed back to a memory of camping with Amy in Alaska. I laughed out loud in the kitchen. Suffice to say, too much instant burrito mix and the only bathroom for miles being 1000 year old lichen. My sister Alita and I exchanged instant messages, and had a good laugh there, too, like we always do. Maybe I hadn’t realized that it wasn’t just the class, but the whole day that I wasn’t sure how to get through. And yet, it was stacking my core principles that made it not only doable, but enjoyable. Living. Loving. Appreciating my people.