Strike a pose and breathe your own truth

In the past six weeks I’ve written about outing the “elephant” (suicide), how joy is medicine, how books take me places, my black cape, a roller-coaster ride, and my desperate need for tweezers and for advocates who will listen and not give advice.
The latter are worth their weight in gold, and I’ve discovered that I weave them into my life with precious care as if threading a needle with a fine piece of silk.
The spools of friendships that make the best embroideries are the ones who—when you need them most—are there with no agenda of their own to spill.
Granted, we all need friends like that and taking turns at being the one who listens instead of talks is a fine art that is finding its way back into my life, too, and allowing me to be the sounding board instead of the sound.
I dare say I think that’s a sign that the deepest end of my ocean of the last eight weeks is finding a bit of shallow water to rest in.
That’s not to say I haven’t had my moments where I completely lose all sensible control. I don’t get angry very often, but I had a classic flip-out the other day while I was combing my hair in the bedroom.
Jon’s presence is still in there, of course, on the dresser where he kept his meticulous little pile of note pads, pens, his watch, loose change, and a pile of folded laundry he hadn’t dealt with.
I caught the collar of my sweatshirt on my comb twice and in a normal world, it shouldn’t have caused a Medusa response. But the second such snag triggered something inside of me.
I threw the comb across the room and started yelling at an otherworld Jon who couldn’t defend himself, shaking my finger at his invisible self in the corner of the bedroom and chastising him for all the future opportunities he will miss—the lives of his children and his grandchildren, and of me growing old with him.
The emotions were new and raw, and admittedly shameful and embarrassing to me in the aftermath. In our life together, Jon and I never argued, never raised our voices to each other, never spoke in ill terms, never once.
I cannot stress the benefit of “recovery from loss” counselling, folks. If I have learned anything since I woke up to how much alike we are than unalike (to half-quote Maya Angelou), I have found a whole new sense of freedom in telling the truth about who I really am inside.
Sure, I’ve been doing that here in this column space for a long time. There’s a different kind of release, however, in sharing your truth with someone who specializes in how your brain and heart works.
Counsellors are awesome, or should I say on a less “global thinking” scale, my counsellor is awesome.
Yoga is awesome, too. Inexperienced and knowing nothing about the art, I’ve committed to six weeks of classes. I put myself on the mat for the first and second time last week.
“Ohm.” “Gobsmacked.” Can I say those two words in succession and not be in trouble?
The instructor and all the other yogis are the most non-judgmental group I’ve ever met. However, I was not so accepting of myself that first class.
The poses? Downward-facing dog? Monkey? Warrior? Tree? Cobra? Not to mention Sun Salutations? All news to me.
I believed I’d held the wrong pose every time, as crooked as a dog’s back leg—not to mention that I forgot to breathe.
By the time class was over, I was as blue as the July sky. My painted toenails were the only nice shade of pink on my green thumb yogi carcass. My heart and I wanted to run crying out of the room and hide in the corner.
My instructor changed all that negative thinking.
I’m not a quitter. This I know for sure. Oh how well I know this for sure.
I went to my second yoga class with a different mindset and I surrendered to the process of letting go of the outside world and my hang-ups about what I don’t know.
When class was over, I realized that for more than 60 minutes, I hadn’t had a care or a worry in the world, and my breathing was steady and my skin was pink and my body was alive.
And I’m hooked on yoga as sure as my friend, Cheryl, is on hooking wool rugs.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.”

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