Sunday haiku – grief

My body feels grief

in my chest, throat and shoulders.

My heart has been touched.

Sandy with dogs
Aunt Sandy, mother to my cousin Luis, lost her battle with cancer on January 4, 2020 at age 61. I attended her funeral on Saturday.  She touched so many lives, as a nurse, family member, mentor and friend. May her soul find peace as she lives on in our memories. 

***

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Saucha – lightening the load

This past weekend, I spent time on another round of de-cluttering, since it was cold and snowy. Though Marie Kondo claims that one can tidy in a one-time special event for a period of a few weeks or months, I believe it is more of an annual or seasonal ritual for me at minimum.

January is a great time to do this. After the holidays, we have accumulated more things. Some of those things we might use; other things we might want to gratefully pass them along to someone else via donation. The purpose of those things was to be received, and to convey care from the giver. Possessing them for longer than needed creates an unnecessary burden.

Saucha - lightening the load

For me, what accumulates is usually clothing and books. Oh, and since I did not entirely finish the “komono” clearing before (random odds and ends) I am still working through that. So many decisions!

Last month my yoga book club group focused on Saucha,or purity, the first of the 5 Niyamas, observances that make up part of the ethical guidelines. Part of this practice is to purify our bodies through healthy food and exercise. Another part of it involves taking care of the space around us, so we are not weighed down by excess possessions.

After dropping off some bags of clothing and shoes I no longer wear, a few household items and a bag of books, I felt immediately lighter. I felt less weighed down, buoyed by fresh energy after letting go of these items that were encroaching upon my space. I still have work to complete. But this flying start was such a nice reminder of the boost that comes from Outer Order (with credit to Gretchen Rubin, who has also inspired me this month via Audible).

Where might you purify your body, your space, or your thoughts? You might be amazed at the energy that’s released by letting go.

***

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Give yourself some love

February is coming soon, friends. You’ve already started to see the stores fill with Valentine chocolate, not so long after many of us made pledges toward some type of new healthy habit for the year.

Actually, I’m not so fond of resolutions in the new year. January in Minnesota is hard. The weather is ugly, and though we are gaining a minute or two of light a day, it’s still dark. We’re all pretty over-spent and broke after the holidays if we weren’t so good at budgeting the year before. And most of us gained 2-3 (or 7-10) pounds since Halloween. Ugh. Those slim jeans don’t feel so great right now.

Well, bears hibernate! Why can’t we?!? Why were my ancestors so good at storing fat? Oh right, so I wouldn’t starve to death. Give gratitude to the ance(stores) who’s superior fat storage (and hunting skills) are the reason I’m here today.

Speaking for myself, and our human species. 😉

heart shaped chocolates
Chocolate does not equal love. No matter how much I love it. Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

February, month of romance rolls around and we feel annoyed because everyone seems to have someone. If we don’t have someone, what are we supposed to do with all this Valentine chocolate except eat it ourselves?!? I’m outing myself as a person who has struggled with eating and body image issues. SO many women struggle with this, the majority of us, as it turns out.

I keep reading about epidemic levels of loneliness in our society. I believe it. We may be the most “connected” in terms of our possible virtual networks, but this can crowd our ability to maintain our close relationships. Being a true friend (or family member) takes time and energy.

Having a handful of really close and healthy relationships (and/or a pet perhaps) outweighs dozens (or hundreds) of online-only friends. But in professional networks where loose ties are also meaningful in terms of opportunities, it is important to maintain a bit of both.

Food is one way some of us fill our spiritual loneliness, as I learned from Geneen Roth. The comfort it provides is  only temporary and gives nothing “back.” Friendships are for mutual benefit.

human hands illustrations
Photo by Matheus Viana on Pexels.com

And what do we do when we (introverts) feel overwhelmed and burned out by too much social interaction

We must learn to down-regulate our nervous systems. We must learn how to let go of what does not serve us. We sometimes must turn down social interactions, even with people we (usually) enjoy in order to take care of ourselves.

Our species simply has not evolved emotionally for the level of inter-connectedness we now experience on the planet. We once saw ourselves as isolated tribes. Now, we know that we are in this together. Kill our environment, kill our planet, we all perish. Not pretty.

What yoga offers to me (and others) are tools to balance our nervous systems. We can cope with our feelings of stress, our difficult emotions and even our physical pain. Most of us desperately need daily and weekly doses of quiet internal reflection to center and ground ourselves.  Even if it is for 3-5 minutes a couple of times a day, give yourself that opportunity.

Your loved ones will thank you. You will thank yourself. And the world will be better served if you are generous in caring well for your whole being. 

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

This February treat yourself to (1)
I’m piloting this short class at work next month! So excited I can offer this in my department.

 

 

Sunday haiku – detritus (2 versus)

Accumulation:

Detritus that needs taming

Gathered in corners.

***

KonMari says: Once.

But I know myself better.

Collections spread here.

I’ve managed to collect some clutter piles over the holiday season, and I intend to tackle them this weekend, since I find they are interfering with my energy flow. Maybe I didn’t successfully finish the “Kon Mari” work a couple of years ago, or maybe she doesn’t really address the habitual collecting that can be hard to defeat.

***

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Forward and back we go

The older I get, the more precious time becomes. We look up in midlife (well around age 45) and say: Wow! How did I get here? Where did the time go?

Or in my case, you say it at 35, 40… and every year. I like to look back to reflect upon my life this time of year, and then also look forward and imagine where I’d like my life to go.

Sometimes life follows the vision I have had in my imagination. Never exactly, of course, but my intuition gives me “clues” about the future now and then. It delights me when these clues turn out to be correct.

Looking back over the decade during my holiday break, I am amazed and pleased with where I am now. Fifteen years ago, I was going through a separation and divorce, and some challenging times. I had confidence that I would figure things out eventually. But I also never predicted many of the successes and challenges that would come my way.

I am filled with gratitude for this beautiful life that’s been granted to me, where my efforts have led to fulfilling experiences. While I know the future will hold challenges, I am beginning to see how all of our life experiences are great teachers. What we learn, especially from hard times, becomes wisdom. What we appreciate continues to grow.

In the next decade, I hope to be even more fully present in my life. I plan to stay open to the possibilities and attentive to those experiences that bring me joy. I intend to fully feel and process my emotions, negative and positive. I will continue to be of service to people and to organizations that appreciate my gifts. And I will always remember what a privilege it is to live this precious life.

What are your intentions for the next decade? Hope you make it a great one!

cristy@meximinnesotana.com