I write from my heart…
Good morning Beautiful Beings,
7:30 a.m. Only a few hours ago, I chanted the words “sleep in” during my drift towards sleep. I concentrated, I truly did.
I must need a new mantra. I opened my eyelids , the room doused in bright light, the Wind Machine cooling the morning down, my awareness slowly presenting itself. As I sauntered throughout the house, a dull ache begins to take hold of my brain; a total body stiffness makes the sauntering almost fun. I haven’t had a drink in over 3 years, however, this fact means nothing- I felt hungover. Ugh.
“I must wash all of the dishes today.” I didn’t make it a minute before my brain, my ego, began to vomit a to-do list: “…reply to Angie’s e-mail…lunch with Mom, but we need to eat somewhere nearby because I need to be home by 3:00 for Yoga that starts at 3:30…read through the contract…breathe…” All of this is absolutely absurd, and I can only describe it as the product of residual adrenaline which by body ordered by the case yesterday.
ALL OF A SUDDEN, a Jonathan Goodman* quote rocketed to the forefront of my mind, “The secret to consistent production is Subtraction, not Addition. I’ve learned that true wisdom isn’t doing more, it’s removing everything other than the essential so that more can be done of what matters.”
11:00 a.m. So, I went to my mat. The mat is where I go to Practice. I also refer to this time as my “Daily Tune-Up.” I go sit to be still. Serene. I am able to tap into my Emptiness, the energy expanding and contracting, propelled by sails along a deep and endless ocean. It isn’t long until warm tears of gratitude and relief fall out of my eyes. This is my opportunity to search for absolutely Nothing. This is my opportunity to Be Now. This meditation Practice usually lasts between 5 minutes to 45 minutes, and the opportunity presents itself each and every day. I cannot emphasize enough to those inside and outside of the health and wellness industry the value of establishing a meditation/mindful Practice. If you want to go on a treasure hunt, you certainly do not need to go far. Nor do you need a map. Thich Nhat Hanh’s Peace is Every Step and Ellen Langer’s Mindfulness 25th Anniversary Edition are two pieces which helped get me started.
One month ago, an opportunity presented itself, and I snatched it, very much like a Venus Flytrap. Yesterday, all the brainstorming, planning, rehearsing, practice, building, stamping, drills…materialized: I taught my first Hoop Dance Class/Workshop- ever!
From the moment this class was conceived until it reached its full potential, I can only describe the process as quite similar to nurturing one’s garden: there is much that is out of our control, but with patience and a careful, mindful attention to what the garden requires, a beautiful growth is bound to happen before our eyes! The students arrived as seeds, and by the end, due mostly to their own sheer determination, they exited beautiful sunflowers. What joy!
I’m a creative individual, and I firmly believe that the process is more important than the outcome. In the process stage, this is where the real GROWTH happens, internally and externally. I am grateful that I was encouraged early in my career as a human to recognize and appreciate growth when I see it; if I remain objective, I’ll see growth everywhere, in everything. I have discovered that experiencing growth with another living being is the most rewarding, regardless of the role I play at the time: daughter, dog mother, wife, student, teacher, hooper, personal trainer, friend, grateful recovering alcoholic.
8:50 p.m. It has been almost 28 hours since the workshop; it was only about 3 hours ago that I was ready to dissect and reflect upon both my healthy exhaustion and fruits of all that labor. Reflections are essential. Truly accepting and understanding the “Whys” of our choices is the key to IMPROVEMENT. Furthermore, this time is an opportunity to welcome Gratitude inside. The past four months have been a whirlwind of steps stomping, trudging along from one detour to another, however, always moving FORWARD. I recognize that the level of my drive is directly proportional to the level of discipline that’s applied toward my reflection time. It is only within stillness that I know which way to go, how to nurture the seeds I have already sown, in all areas of this life experience.
SO, super incredibly long story/ramble short, this is my: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT ADVICE FOR HOOPERS #5: do not be in such a hurry to move on to the next____________________. You fill in the blank. Is it the next: trick? lesson? adventure? project? Allow yourself to soak in the rewards of your experience. It’s easy to become oblivious to the beauty of growth in everything, internally and externally, Here and Now.
I decided to take a personal day. I thought about the 10-year-old hooping between his father and grandmother. I reveled in the joy of watching a student keep her hoop up for the very first time. I began documenting my very first Lesson Reflections. I gave my Self a hug for doing my best.
I washed all the dishes, grateful that my husband and I were so busy with meaningful projects.
Last but not really: Jasmine’s Hoop Dance Song Suggestion for the Day: “Light In The Night” performed by Linear Symmetry.
*Goodman is an author and founder of the Personal Trainer Development Center (PTDC), and I find his Health and Wellness literature to be quite insightful, succinct and encouraging. I hold my copy of Personal Trainers Pocket Book near and dear to my heart.