Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Process and practice

Creating habit, changing course, all is process and process is slow.  Slow is a tireless teacher.

It is now 146 days since I began a practice of wheelchair yoga, inspired by and following this book:
Available at
When I first ordered the book, I showed it to the nurse practitioner who sees me at home.  A second floor apartment, very steep outside stairs and greatly diminished mobility have me, for now, playing the part of Rapunzel.  The NP was enthusiastic and encouraged starting to work with the book, "Ten minutes a week," she suggested.  For a time I resisted, claiming that I had a prior commitment to art every day, "or so help me."  And then one day it changed, as absolutes do.  And now, for more than the stated One Hundred Days, I have begun to build a practice of 35 to 40 minutes a day which equals about four hours a week and I am not the same as when I started.

A friend with whom I Skype from time to time, told me well before I reached the hundred days, that I had been "youthified," appeared thinner, she heard more life in my voice, more strength, she complimented my complexion and my consistence.  I feel that, other than in supernatural heat, my sleep is better, my desire to overeat compulsively is diminished, and an enhanced state that I will call balance of mind has crept up on me.  I am able to complete tasks in whatever increments they require, however long they take, making space for them with room for the unexpected.  If I will not make a deadline, I call and reschedule.  Process.

In a recent donation of books to a thrift store, I set a maximum number of grocery bags that would be included in this round of clearing. That allowed me to stop when the number was reached, knowing I could call them again for a return trip - or several.  I've pictured creating a map of what I want to accomplish in nest fluffing and may go ahead and draw it.  There may be "before" and "after" scenes with no life-or-death dates for completion of anything.  Rather than my old way of creating needless stress for my son and me, I have become more caring of our time, our physical resources and, much as I still have pipe dreams of being turned into House Lovely by some magic hand, a very gradual, wary acceptance of who I am and how I do things.

As I am still a newbie to such a practice, I know what has been revealed, what has been altered, is only the beginning.  Under life's umbrella of process in the act of surrender, over and over and over.  I simply await direction.  The best description I can give is that I show up every day for the series of poses and movements, complete them, and let go of everything else until the next indicated thing becomes clear, which it always does.  There are days with drawing and coloring, days of sorting and sifting, days of lifting and, after a fashion, muscling things about.  I remain seriously committed to a daily sharing of what I find beautiful, inspiring and encouraging on Facebook.  That assignment is clear.  I've gotten over the notion that such an intention is trivial, lightweight.  It is part of my work and part of my joy.  Beauty and love, optimism and humor are the antidotes to every pox and toxin that would knock us to our knees.

Being in touch with friends makes me happy, though I have yet to master being a timely and reliable correspondent.  Always process.  I trust what I do manage to send forth will be adequate, possibly welcome and not seen as falling horribly short of expectations.  Process is where we learn to major in patience.  Along with possibly quantifiable gifts of beginning a practice, I think I am finding those aspects of human existence which cannot be counted, which may not have any name beyond spirit.  For some years now I've felt that all life is an act of faith.  That feeling grows stronger.  Peace and trust help diminish the deadly stress-produced chemicals that claimed me for so long.  Because I have seen so many movies based on samurai and kung fu warriors, it is a metaphor that springs easily to mind, tremendous inner strength to withstand relentless outer forces.  I would like to be strong in every sense of the word, to be quiet and calm, reasonable, healthy (heaven knows!), resilient, clear and kind.  I would like to be steady, firm in mind and body, not practicing juggling in the way I once did.  Not teetering, no fancy footwork, yet flexible.  Some of you may be familiar with one of my RubberMoon stamps, "Impossible Things Happen."  Yes, yes they do.