"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
- M. Angelou
This blog is an exercise. It's a prompt for me to remember to write every day. Some days are better than others. Today is a pretty good day, thought I don't feel the drive to write. I feel an impulse to hit the streets and try to locate and interview witnesses.
I have lots of people with whom I need to speak. Lots of witnesses to find. Lots of stories to hear and document.
One of the things I love about my work is the opportunity to listen to people tell their stories. I listen. I listen with intent. I listen in a way that is present and focused totally on them - what they have to say. What is their story?
Everybody has a story to tell. Everybody has an interesting story. Everybody needs to tell their story.
I move through the poses on a daily basis for several reasons. It makes me happy. It brings me joy. I move through the poses to open the body and relax the mind. I move through the poses to bring moments of clarity. I move through the poses to get my mind ready for silence and contemplation. I do it as self care. I do it selfishly, but with an eye towards benevolence.
My yoga story is not unique - no more than anybody else's. My story is one of testing the waters - playing with the notion. My story started several years ago. I walked in to the bathroom and found Kim, my wife and partner and best friend, in a low plank pose on the bathroom floor. I asked, "You lose something?"
She erupted into laughter. I followed suit. We giggled for several minutes. She'd been taking in a twice-a-week practice for about six months. She'd invited me several times, but I had no interest.
Until that day. I was impressed with her. (I usually am.) She was working on the pose in what she thought was a safe place, a place to hide and explore the possibilities. I too love to try new things in private. I was impressed with her. (I usually am.) I went to a yoga class with her that afternoon.
Mine was not an immediate love affair. Yoga did not instantly save my life. I was in pain for days after that first class. This happens often, I have learned.
People, we - I - have deep held misconceptions about yoga. At least I used to.
It's an easy alternative to a "workout." - wrong.
It's stretching. - True, but wrong. It's so much more.
It's just a bunch of woo woo bullshit. - Sometimes true, but wrong. It doesn't have to be.
It took me several years of on again off again yoga to settle into a daily practice. It was a trip to Costa Rica that set me on the path of daily practice. The trip wasn't anything magical, except it was. It wasn't a specific time of deep introspection for me, except it was. It was just a trip with friends to the Atlantic coast. It was so much more than just that.
I've maintained a daily practice for well over a year now. I believe I shall continue for years to come. It helps me be here. It helps me notice.
Everybody has a story to tell. What's yours?