Sleeps With Fists. I do. In the film Dances With Wolves, the Lakota Indians gave the name “Stands With Fists” to a woman who was mourning the loss of her husband and I guess she stood around a lot with fists at her side. Me? I sleep with mine under my pillow. Thus, my name.
I love my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anyone else’s. I love what I do. Generally I’m a pretty cheery alpha female. That said, I worry. I get stressed out. Don’t we all? I guess. Nevertheless, I don’t like sleeping with fists. And I’m determined to be more chill. My daughter has been urging me to do yoga. Funny, in my book, I humor myself about making certain concessions but never succumbing to yoga. It’s kinda boring and I’m more of a cardio kinda gal. Well…I changed my mind.
Plus, I’m not even close to as limber as I used to be. When I get out of bed in the morning I’m not fully vertical until after my second cuppa coffee.
Over the summer, my daughter took me to Bikram, or hot yoga. I couldn’t mimic the poses because I couldn’t see anyone. I couldn’t see anyone because of all the sweat in my eyes. I kept slipping off my mat. What good is that? I was so hot. It was summer. I kept thinking that the room smelled like a Dorito...and that I wanted ice cream.
But, like I said, I don’t want to Sleep With Fists.
So I reached out. My girlfriend Brendan is into yoga and said she’d take me to a studio. One in which the temperature is normal.
Scattered about the room were women ten years my senior who could easily wrap their legs around their necks. If I tried that I swear my leg would snap right off my torso…fly across the room. Hit somebody in their Downward Dog. Sheesh. I used to be a cheerleader.
The very supple instructor, who appeared to be pushing 70, contorted herself into pretzel-like configurations that left me no doubt there must be something to this phenomenon. Then again I had to wonder…do these gals (and guys) get limber from the yoga? Or do they do yoga because they’re limber—the right body type?
Ok Shelly. Give it another chance. Quiet the mind. But in between Pigeon Pose and Lotus Position my mind is anything but quiet:
This business is a rollercoaster. I need help. Maybe I need a manger. But do I really want a manager at this point in my career? Maybe I need an assistant. I tried an intern before and by the time I told him what needed to be done I could have done it myself. Maybe what I need is a nanny. Yes! A nanny. Someone to hold my hand as I go through my day. Moving objects out of my way, literally and figuratively, so I don’t trip over them. And, of course, to advise me, protect me and direct my traffic. Derek sent me a link to that company that’s launching nanny-bots. One of those could work. I need to unclench my fists!
Quiet the mind. Quiet the mind.
But it keeps going:
—I’m bummed that Ramen Jinya got so popular that now you have to wait an hour for a table.
—Why do grapes go bad so fast?
—This Is Us is such an amazing show. I can’t wait for it to start up again. I hope (spoiler alert) that Toby lives.
—I think that splash of pea soup actually scratched my cornea!
—You’d think that after reading the “Untethered Soul” I’d be able to get quiet inside. I think I need to read it again.
Shut up shut up shut up
Jeez I can’t turn my brain off. And I can’t stop thinking about how I can’t turn my brain off. Not being able to turn it off is the reason I Sleep With Fists!
If I’m gonna continue yoga I’ll need to get a thicker mat.
And some yoga socks.
And those cute yoga pants I saw at lululemon.
Then again, can’t I just get a yoga video and do all this at home?
No. No. No. SHUTUP!!!!!
Class is almost over. There’s a whole lotta farting during happy baby. (Thankfully, not mine!)
Now I’m laying in Savasana (corpse pose). It’s my favorite part of class. Cuz it’s OVER! And because we just lay here and listen to chants or singing bowls or Bon Iver. I notice a burning sensation behind my eyes and inside my nose and then all of a sudden hot tears are rolling down the sides of my face. If they play Coldplay’s “Fix You” I’m seriously gonna to lose it. Why am I crying? That's a good question.
Truth is, I like coming here. I’m actively doing something to make my life 10% Happier. (OMG…did you read that book? I highly recommend it.) I’m holding myself accountable. Showing up. I've found grace in this room. Plus, I’m getting vertical a whole lot faster in the morning. I’m not totally unstressed but during the 90 minutes I spend contorting on this floor I'm better. And later if I feel it coming on, I’ll be more mindful. More aware that I’m aware. This is good. I'll be back.
Instructor suggests we concentrate on something we’re grateful for. I’m grateful that Brendan got my ass into this room.
I’m hoping that in a few weeks I’ll wake up to pee and find my hands flat underneath my pillow.
Or better yet, at my side, palms up, open heart.
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