Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Sometimes all we need is a reminder.

For me it's the subtle scent of lavender essence, a lit incense, the resonance of an Om. And within moments, I'm back -- my breathing is deep, and my eyebrows unfurrowed. I get a tingle of energy, like when you're excited to see someone.

I remembered this today when I sat down for a meditation at Sivananda Yoga Center in Chelsea. The matted oranges and yellows that mark yoga instantly flooded me with reminders from my yoga training, India, friends I've practiced with, songs. It was more a sampling of energy than of memories.

And I thought, "How could I have waited this long?"

It's so easy to know what is good for us, what we need. For me it's this -- a mat to stretch, to sit, and to let go. A kid to learn from. Enough space outside to feel like a human, and not a pinball in an underground subway mechanism, or a space case in front of a screen.

I wonder why I forgot, so quickly. I knew as soon as I put my bags (bag?) down in New York that I needed these things, but three months later I still struggle with their deliberate addition into my schedule. I make time for wine and beer, for commenting on photos, for trying to find a dress at H&M, and I don't make time for this? The only thing that sustains?

Instead I succumb to being angry at people, and myself. I join the rat race and forget what made my pen, my fingers, move in the first place. I'm not careful to connect positively, and surround myself with people who want the same things. Not all the time, anyway.

Our instructor today reminded us that all of these seemingly passive, quiet actions stem from courage. I've lost that recently in the form of defining success, telling the truth, giving and serving. The courage to take the tingling energy into every situation.

But in any case, the small steps -- the kids I get to read with every Thursday morning, the feeling of a good stretch, the hum of silence -- are being made. And you can call me out on not doing them any time -- that's why it's only real when shared.

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