Several years ago when I was a young widow searching for answers, trying to make sense out of my world, I visited a numerologist in Brown County. It was a fascinating experience, sitting at her kitchen table drinking herb tea, watching her scribble numbers on a note pad. The sums of my birth date, and whatever else, gave her conclusions about what would transform me into a fulfilled, self-actualized woman. She informed me that my creative numbers were off the charts and that I must spend 20 minutes each day immersed in the following activities: writing, reading, exercise and meditation. I looked at her and said “That’s 80 minutes. Where am I supposed to get that?” She told me firmly that I must do this for myself and not to come back to see her until I had incorporated the practice into my life. I never went back.
Over the years, I have often thought of her and that advice. Although I believed it valid, I never actually practiced it totally or faithfully. I remember creating a chart with check-off columns trying to implement the program, but never quite adopting it fully or owning it as habit. My love of exercise, makes it the easiest, while my attention issues render meditation the challenge of the four activities. Writing, I love, but I need a block of silent time in complete solitude, to produce, and who, in the midst of a normal life, has that? I love to read, but giving myself permission to sit and take the time is another challenge.
Driving home from yoga class this morning, it dawned on me that today, I had the opportunity to live that schedule. Meditation: done. Our Friday class is a “gentle practice” focusing on deep breathing, stretching, and meditation. Today’s class introduced me to new exercises. When the class was over, I told Darling Waif Teacher, “That was a gift!” And I meant it. I cannot fully describe the spiritual and emotional lift I gained from the class of the day. With her guidance, I was able to control my “monkey brain” as she calls it, and actually engage in total relaxation enjoying the full, warming stretch of my body. She encouraged us to focus on nothing but our breath and place the random thoughts that popped into our brains on a cloud and let the breeze blow them away. I’m betting “you had to be there” and that sounds totally weird, but I don’t give a flip, it worked and I loved it!
I chose writing as my second activity as I’m home alone and I want to take a power walk in a bit when the sunshine warms. After my walk, I’m giving myself permission to close out the morning reading a novel on the patio until time to meet my friends for lunch at BJ’s. I feel totally self-indulgent. Spoiled. I feel wonderful. This is better way than a spa day and much less expensive.