I realised at the beginning of this week that somehow, I had forgotten to have fun. My work is so engaging, enjoyable and fulfilling (working with children (heart), writing (mind) and yoga (spirit) ) that I fell into the trap of thinking that work was the same as fun. It’s not. I became aware that something had gone awry on Sunday afternoon, when the Bear, sick to death of my foul mood, packed us all up and took us to the beach. It was stinking hot at home in the valley where I live, but at the beach, the cool sea breeze lifted all of our spirits. The kids rode their bikes up and down the long break-wall that juts out into the water, and then we tossed ourselves into the crystal clear ocean. The currents are still cold this time of year in contrast to the air temperature, so when I emerged from the water, I forgot that I had ever been hot. While we were swimming, the Bear had gone and bought dinner, and we sat at a picnic table in the dwindling day and ate our fill. We were out for about 4 hours, and I was completely transformed.
Today, I had an hour to spare before work, and I decided to read my novel (yes, novel!) on the lounge with a cup of tea. I knew I might have been taking things a bit too seriously when I was so excited to be reading a novel in the middle of the morning I could hardly contain myself :).
That’s when it clicked:
Woman, you haven’t been playing enough. You’ve become all dried up and cranky because it’s all been about work (which is very enjoyable, meaningful and fulfilling), but you need to play more! Note to self: yoga and writing, although enjoyable activities, are not play. Cleaning the house, cooking, shopping and kids activities are not play. Work – although fulfilling – is not play. Got that little Miss Serious?
Best (short) Read:
This is a personal post, written by Jennifer to her hero, Wayne Dyer. It tells about her journey from self-hatred and shame to where she is today, a yoga teacher, writer and manifestation retreat leader. It’s an inspiring article, and well worth looking at. That’s not why I shared it though, or not the only reason anyway. My favourite thing, the bit that made my heart squeeze and dragged my eyes back up the page to read it again was this:
The Cookie Thief by Valerie Cox:
“A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shops.
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be.
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.
So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”
With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude!
She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.
She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.
If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.”
Best Name Change
I’ve made some changes to my blog this week – as you can see, not only have I changed the way my blog looks (I love it! So beautiful 🙂 ), but I’ve taken the really bold step of changing the name of it too. The name arrived in a flash about a month ago: I had posted this quote from Meister Eckhart, a 12th century Christian Mystic:
“Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.”
― Meister Eckhart
In response, A friend of mine, Matt, a theologian and mystic himself, posted this on my wall:
Just like that, I heard in my mind The Practical Mystic, and I thought, yes, that’s me! Trying to make the everyday sacred is what I do. But how can I use it? I can’t change the name of my blog – that would be too confusing- or would it? So, I sat on it for a month. I changed the name of my twitter account first, just to see how it felt – and then I felt pretty bold, actually 🙂 so I changed the name of my blog as well – same address, different name. And then I thought, damn, my new name doesn’t go with my old blog theme anymore! So I changed that too 🙂 What do you think?
Best Play Day
So, this week, I asked myself: how do I want to play? This is what I came up with: for six whole, lovely hours on Tuesday, I put aside my writing work and…read my new book, bought specially for the occasion – in between episodes of the fifth series of Downton Abbey- and watched the birds play in the bird bath. That’s it. Nothing was accomplished nor did it need to be. Sooo good people, sooo good :).
Best Hard Thing
Last night was the launch of my writer’s group 25th anniversary anthology – Stepping Off a Cliff Naked. A piece I wrote last year was selected to be in there – oh man, it’s exciting to be published, in a real live book, but I can’t read that piece – I just wince and look away. Apparently this is quite normal I’m told – and I was also asked to read my poem, The Rainmaker. Reading out my work, and indeed most public speaking is terrifying for me, but I was asked to do it, and I know I can do hard things :). I also knew that I had been doing lots of work over the past few months on my throat chakra to help me with this very issue – and it was time to give it a run. Through the week I practiced reading it, doing my best wonder woman stance – and rather than getting nervous, I was feeling excited. Strange! Finally, I’m standing up there in front of 50+ people, reading my rather intimate poem – and I feel good all the way through it. I speak it just how I have been practicing – and people love it! A new era? Let’s hope so 🙂 As my writer’s group friend Roby said – you are so brave Sara, and you used to be such a wuss!
It strikes me, somewhat belatedly, that this weekly inspiration is all about me. Nothing to watch or listen to and only one recommendation! Oh well, some weeks are like that, apparently 🙂 Have a beautiful weekend everyone, and I’ll see you on the other side 🙂