Extend, strength and open your heart

When I am in a yoga class, I take it seriously.
But what you are supposed to do is walk out of class and take the lesson of the work with you.
Me, I always forget, I kind of leave it all on the mat and I walk out feeling good about the work, good about my strength but I forget the lesson.
The one about healing and self-care.
The one about patience and calm.
The one about breathing because I forget to breathe.
The one about taking the time, to find space, to remember that this time is all about just this time.
Stop with yesterday, don't worry about tomorrow, here, we are here.
The one about rooting to rise.
The one about loving yourself first, the one about forgetting about what any of it looks like.
But this morning, the instructor's words brought me to tears.

I am having a month and I am looking down the barrel of another month that is not going to let up.
Everything is stressing me out.
Everything right now is stress.
Everything is tight, everything is taking longer, everything is making my jaw clench.
Everything is reminding me that I am not allowed to be human almost anywhere in my life.
I have to keep things together all of the time.
My kids can't see me unravel
my work certainly can't
and so, I cry a lot...quietly and alone and I think about how it's all going to get done, because it always does,
but what is "it" going to do to me in the meantime.
Running through my list is giving this type A a constant headache and I can't let it go.
I am forgetting to breathe.

The one that gets the absolute worst of me is always my person.
The grownup I can't take care of during this time.
The one I have to turn to and dump all of the "others" on and the one that gets the wrath of my destruction.
But this morning, she said that the important parts in relationships are so similar to what is important in yoga and I listened because I needed a reminder of the good in relationships and my inability to function right now.

You extend
you use your back for strength
and you lead with your heart open.

You extend, you don't go inward, you extend out.
You lengthen because you give of yourself to them.
It is when I am most selfish that we hurt.
It is when I am looking only inward that we crumble, because I crumble.

You use your back for strength.
Because we are strong
and we carry others.
In a family, you carry each other.
You hold them up, you use your legs, your arms, your back,
dammit, you use your strength and you carry them to the other side.
It is when I need to be carried that I forget that I too am strong.
It is when I am asking to be picked up that I forget that I still have a back, I still have my power to hold me too.

You show your heart.
It is outward, you cannot protect it because it won't get hurt.
This is your trust, you give your heart out, there is no need to hold it in.
It serves no purpose inward, the heart is meant to shine out to everyone,
but especially your family.

As I walk into this week and the next and the one after that,
I will hold on to this lesson.
I listened today and in that moment, I felt she was talking directly to me.
I listened today because the universe was telling me to listen.
I listened today because I was clearly in a state of panic and those I love were suffering.
I listened and I held the message close walked out of the class and kept repeating it to myself.

Sabrina, extend and stop looking only at you.
Sabrina, remember how strong your back was built.
Sabrina, show your heart and show the world the light you hold and they will, in turn, shine light your way.
Show your heart sweet girl, you have nothing to fear.


Five Minute Friday - BREATHE!

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on BREATHE.

About two years ago, I started doing yoga.
Not as a work out routine, but as a practice.
And I learned to breathe.
I learned to pay close attention to how I breathe,
and to have my breath and movement be one.
I learned that my body can be uncomfortable, but not in pain.
I learned to push myself out of my comfort,
to trust in me,
to trust in my body,
even though it has let me down in the past
even though it fails me
even though a disease takes my body and movement from me
I learned to trust in that very body
because my breath would move me
my breath would make me strong
I learned to breathe.

I learned to close my eyes
to trust in time
I learned to let go of control but gain it back
I learned about me and what I am made of
I learned that I am capable
because I learned to breathe.

I learned, once again to redefine beauty.
Because I am not graceful
I do not look right
my body doesn't align and therefore everything looks wrong.
But, I have grace and patience, even with not being graceful.
And I have courage and love, even if it looks wrong.
Because I learned to breathe.

I learned in my practice that life is a lot like this.
That life makes you uncomfortable, but you can use your breath to guide you
you can use your breath to stop fighting yourself.
I learned that when life turns you upside down, you should go with it
I learned that in life, you should always breathe.

And although something each of us does naturally seems so silly to practice, the truth is
most of us spend our days holding our breath.
Most of us spend our time tense and tight and clinched.
Most of us spend our days tied to a list.
Most of us forget that we are capable of so much more.
Most of us forget to deeply, and with intention and purpose,
to breathe.

Yoga for me became a transformation of me.
A time for me to fall in love with me again
a time for me to accept my limitations and what my body is capable of and not
a time to remember that life has purpose and meaning
and it is not to cross off a to do
life has beauty and there is rhythm
and there is space when you make it
to breathe.

Because when I finally found my breath again
I found purpose
I found trust in me
I found love of me
I found me
every time I breathe.


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