"Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl
This week I was reminded of what it’s like to really feel magic...to believe completely that dreams can come true...that surprises await you around every corner. I took a family vacation to Disney World and remembered the feeling of being a child with a sense of awe...of wonder. My breath was taken away. My heart skipped a beat. I giggled, really giggled. I had pixie dust sprinkled in my hair as the words of Peter Pan were repeated...”all you need is faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust!”
I joked at yoga this morning, warning my friends that I had been sprinkled with pixie dust and might just levitate today. We laughed and class began. It had been over a week since my last class and this one was particularly hard. I was trying so hard to focus on getting out of my mind and into my body, but it was taking more energy than I had to give. And then the music changed.
Music has always affected me on a deep level. It can bring a memory rushing back or change my mood in an instant. To me, music is magic. How else can you describe something that can transform you so completely? That can take you traveling through time? That can send your dreams soaring? This morning, Katy Perry’s Dark Horse suddenly gave me something to focus on and just the burst of energy I needed. I stopped thinking. I was listening to the rhythm and the lyrics and singing along when, all of a sudden, I did it...CROW! I had been trying to do this elusive pose for months and there it was...a surprise awaiting me around the corner. I called out to my teacher and fell out of the pose just as she turned to me. I burst into tears. They were tears of pride and joy and accomplishment. They were proof that even when my mind is telling me one thing, my body can tell me another. My body can speak the truth of my soul...that I am strong and powerful and determined and unstoppable. That I am magic.
I started to wonder why I had been so drawn to this pose and so determined to do it, so I did a little research and was very intrigued by what I found. Sandy Krzyzanowski of Better Day Yoga says this about the possible spiritual aspects of crow pose: “Just as with breathwork where you extend the exhalation and dwell in the space between the breaths, use crow pose to dwell in the space where balance is found. This pulls your concentration inward where there is no past or future, only the present.” She continues to explain that the “crow reminds us to sing our own song with no thought toward needing the approval of others. It is not by our doing that we are deemed ‘acceptable’. We are already acceptable by our very nature. We are all songbirds—each and every one—regardless. Accept that you are magical. Accept that you are here to create.”
I don’t have to wonder anymore. Apparently, crow pose and I were meant to be! The thought of this pose representing the magical songbird in each of us spoke to my heart and made me feel like flying.
Incidentally, the intention I pulled from the jar this morning said, “Let your light shine.” I almost rolled my eyes at this, thinking how it didn’t relate to me at all. Ok, Universe, I get the message loud and clear! My heart sang today because a bit of it was able to shine through. My light is shining bright and if that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.
‘Cause I, I’m capable of anything, of anything and everything. - Katy Perry
"The fire ignited within you is stronger than the one in your fireplace." - sweet words this morning after sharing my pics ❤️
There comes a time in every woman's life when she accepts full responsibility for herself. Some are luckier than others and come to this place early in life. I was almost 40. I spent so much of my life waiting - waiting for the next diet, the next workout, the next brilliant mind who would crack the code on how to solve all of my problems. I waited for swimsuit season (because surely that would scare me into getting my act together). I waited for the New Year. There was an awful lot of waiting...
Something about turning 40 made me say enough is enough and I finally found the truth in my favorite quote from Glenda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz: "You had the power all along, my dear." Somewhere deep within me a small flicker of a flame began to burn. With every act of bravery, every act of kindness toward myself, the flame grows a little brighter. There are days the winds blow so hard that I fear it will be extinguished, but the strength that flame has given me could not be blown out with even the mightiest gust. This morning, after being stuck in the house for two days due to winter weather (ironically, high winds!), I caught myself saying "just wait until the weather is better and then get back on your mat." This girl no longer waits. I stopped in my tracks, went upstairs to change, and grabbed my mat. I had my own little hot yoga class in front on the fire and it was wonderful. A simple 25 minutes of gentle yoga shifted my entire outlook. It calmed me - mind, body and soul. The other amazing thing about self-care is how it multiplies! I went from yoga to photography to a hot bath and a healthy lunch. Then I picked up a pen and started writing with the sun streaming in through my kitchen window on a beautiful, cold winter day - a day that I was frowning upon this morning.
So, stop. Take a breath. Listen. Ask yourself what it is that you need right now. The answer will be different for each of us, but whatever it is that your heart of hearts is asking for will surely fan your flame.
My therapist handed this poem to me and asked me to read it a few months ago. I wasn't halfway through before the tears started rolling down my cheeks. She said, "Have I shown you that before?" I caught my breath and replied, "I would have remembered this." To me, this poem beautifully describes what the path of recovery is like. I have read it a thousand times. My copy has notes scribbled all over the page. By Chapter I, it says "in the eating disorder". By Chapter II: "those moments when you want to seek help". Chapter III simply says "recovery" and Chapter IV reads "in between recovery and recovered". By Chapter V, I wrote in large capital letters "RECOVERED!!!" On my copy, there is also a line between Chapter III and Chapter IV that says "me on October 31, 2013". When I hit the POST button on Facebook on New Year's Eve announcing my website and blog, I chose to walk down another street. I cannot wait to start living Chaper V!
Today I turned on CNN to watch the coverage of the Boston Marathon bombers and was immediately sucked in for two hours of horrifying coverage. I kept thinking to myself, “Why doesn’t this reporter get out of there? Doesn’t she know she is in danger?” And then I finally thought to myself, “Why am I watching this? What on earth could I possibly be hoping to see?” I turned off the tv and grabbed my yoga mat and headed to class. It was a hard class, as usual. I was sweating more than usual. I was doing more than usual. And not until I was in downward facing down and saw the women on either side of me drop to their knees to child’s pose did I realize that I was REALLY doing it. I was getting strong. I had consciously made a choice to walk away from something that was making me feel awful and walk towards something that I knew would make me feel better. I actually said to myself, “You are doing this! Look how strong you have gotten! YOU are making the right choices for yourself!” And then we moved into warrior and triangle and finally into corpse pose...and my dear, wonderful, amazing teacher and friend placed a hot lavender infused towel over my eyes and I instinctively smiled. She grabbed my head and squeezed and I could not stop the tears from coming. I took deep breaths and tried to stop them. I shifted my thoughts and tried to stop them. I held back just enough to be able to finish class with a “Namaste” and I immediately ran to the bathroom and burst into sobs. I had no idea what was going on. I pulled myself together and went to my close friend who was in the class with me and told her I had just burst into tears and didn’t know why. I explained to her that I had been upset watching the news and in the past that would have led me to eat, but instead I came to yoga because I knew it would make me feel better. I said, “I think I am proud of myself.” And then I shrugged it off and said “I am not a crier.” And she (wise, dear friend) said, “You used to be an eater and maybe now you are a crier.” And she hugged me and I knew she was exactly right. I have always pushed feelings down with food. I have been afraid to feel. Today I felt it all. I felt the love of beautiful women coming together in a room in the hopes to feel better when they left. I felt the words and hug of a wonderful friend. And I felt my yoga teacher, my self-prescribed guru, wrap her arms around me and tell me that I had found an emotional release and that she was so very proud of me. After all the evil I watched in the news this morning, I saw so much goodness in that place. Has the goodness always been there? Is this what I have been missing out on for so long? Well, no more. I promise to always try to seek the goodness. Today, I succeeded in doing just that.