Monday, April 20, 2015

God, yoga, gratitude and life

Recently I was speaking with a friend about how lucky we are that everything worked out just right with our recent move this past January. In December we decided we wanted to move school districts for the boys. So we listed our house, made a contingent offer on another home we fell in love with, and hoped and prayed the timing would be right. I held my breath for weeks, knowing this was the right answer for our future and nervous it wouldn't go as planned.

And for the first couple of weeks I was high on hope. This is going to work! This is awesome! I just know this is the right path God, I feel you leading me. And then slowly, my balloon began to deflate after just a couple of unsuccessful open houses. And by "unsuccessful" I mean people didn't show up and start a bidding war right on our very front door stoop. Listen, this needs to work out THIS EXACT WAY, I said to God. I figured out the plan and I know the school districts better than you. You are up there figuring out war and famine and Cancer and stuff. I got this covered- but I need you to have my back.

And then before even a month was up- it all worked exactly according to plan. We even made just enough money from the sale of our home to buy a pool here at our new house. How perfect is that?! If you've read THIS POST you know that Greyson doesn't just like the pool- he needs it. It's sensory therapy that he needs to feel comfortable in his skin. It calms him like a drug.

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So today my friend said, I still can't believe how lucky you guys got. You found this house and your house sold right away. And now you have this huge, perfect house with a huge back yard and a pool! And I remembered how grateful I was when it all worked out. And then I remembered that it really had nothing to do with me or my grand plan. I just followed the signs that were leading me. You know, it wasn't luck I said. It was God. For real- it was ALL God. Not me, not my plan, not luck. Not even our awesome realtors. It was God. It was all so complicated and perfect and easy and so clearly EXACTLY what was supposed to happen. I'm not that talented- or lucky to be honest. And I remembered how scary that in-between part of not knowing felt, and how a tsunami of grateful flooded in and erased any trace of fear the day we accepted the offer on the sale of our home. 

I imagine God and I having a great conversation about it one day. God- way to go on that big life change we went through- I think it was in 2015? I don't know how you pulled that complicated maneuver off, choreographed quickly and so completely just so. My gratitude is beyond words, but I know you felt it when we were at the Title company making it all official. Or when I was walking out my front door for the last time. Or how about when I got to watch the boys roam free in their very own back yard. 

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Like tonight when Parker swang into the sunset. 

Or the first time the boys got into the pool this past weekend. That was incredible.Thank you.

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And I would glow with a happy you could almost hear, and listen to him explain how happy he is when we are happy. He would tell me that sometimes he ached because of all the times I felt so overwhelmed because I felt like I had to do things all on my own. Chrissy, I was there the whole time, he would tell me and I would feel at peace because I knew he was right.  

And today I remembered how grateful I was when all this went down in December.Yes, I said- was. Because you see I kind of forgot all about how amazing that was a few weeks after it happened. And then I started the blur of life again and found the -next big thing that I can't wait to happen- for things to be right. I kind of feel like God's fair weather friend sometimes. I pray for things. I am grateful for things. Grateful for how much love I feel when I look at Parker's perfect chubby rectangle feet or the sunkissed highlights in Greyson's soft hair. Or grateful for the fact that I can buy bananas whenever we run out. I rejoice when provided to and I feel down and scared and disappointed when things don't work out right according to my version of right. Have you ever had a friend who only called you when they needed help with something like moving or needing a drive to the airport? We've all had a friend like that- but hopefully not for that long because they aren't that much fun to be around.

Today I remembered not to be her. I'm working on being more of a consistent friend, instead of a fair weather one. Remembering to let go more. Remembering to be grateful even when things are smack dab in the middle of uncertainty and even when things don't feel like they are going the way they are supposed to be at all. I'm not so good at it- but I want to try.

I went to hot yoga again this evening. Grown up me made adolescent me do it. 

But I don't want to go I whined. I'm still sore from last week.

That's ok, it will help those sore muscles stretch out, grown up me said in a tone that meant no nonsense.

But I'm too tired, I pleaded.

That's ok- it will energize you. 

But it will be too late, hot, far, sweaty... I trailed off. I ran out of buts and I knew I was defeated. Grown up me was so excited because I knew I won. And I needed it. And adolescent me was dreading it. The heat. The awful poses. The length (90 minutes!!!) I walked in to the warm room and the warmth welcomed me. Most "hot yoga" classes keep the temperature between 90 and 100 degrees. The room was dark except for the glow of candles. I rolled out my mat and placed a towel and drink within reach while I began to stretch.

And as soon as class started I thought- WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I can't believe I came here on purpose. And I went through the grief stages of yoga; this isn't too bad, this is getting hard, this is awful, this sucks, this hurts, it will be so embarrassing if I pass out, maybe I can sneak out, this isn't so bad, this is amazing, I am strong, I am brave, I am present. I realized I read and watch movies to escape my life. But I go to Church and yoga to be more present in my life. And in a world full of mostly busy blur days (dry cleaning, work, groceries, pay bills, wash the car, call the doctor, pick up a prescription, fill out paperwork, mail a package, check your phone a million times, get your hair cut, pick up milk) whirling by - present and escape are both needed.

And I remembered why I love yoga so very much (in addition to hating it)- because it is so much like life. And I sat in my car afterwards while the golden setting sun filled up my car and with gratitude, I wrote out how I felt. I wrote it out just for me- because sometimes- when you write it to share it -it becomes diluted. Here are the ways I found yoga to be like life:

1. You can't pay attention to what anyone else is doing. Some people are way more limber- they are not there to intimidate you. Just focus on you. Some people have hairy legs. Some people breath really loud. Some people sweat buckets. Some people barely sweat at all. It doesn't matter- none of it. Just focus on what you CAN do and work on the things you want to do better. Everyone is good at some of the parts and not so good at some of the other parts. Even the instructors.

2. The hard and awful poses feel like forever. I swear during one tonight I thought I was going to pass out. (WHY DID I PICK THE SPOT RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE HEATER??) And then I thought- If I pass out I hope they don't call an ambulance. That will be so embarrassing. And my tight and aching muscles would start to scream and wobble and I would think- I CAN'T DO THIS ONE MORE SECOND. But I could. And I did. Every single time. 

3. Each hard and awful pose always ends. Always. Each moment felt like a lifetime and then suddenly we were moving on to something else. Easy, hard, easy, hard, hard, easy. Yoga. Life.

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4. The harder the pose the more you grow and stretch and strengthen. You can feel the stretch of your muscles and you actually create more room inside your body. You lengthen and open up places that have been closed for much too long. We aren't meant to carry the stress of the world in our muscles but we do. We must find ways to get that out.

5. You don't have to do it perfectly- you just have to show up, be present and try the best you can today. It's funny- during one pose I thought- before my knee went bad I could totally do this. And 30 year old me would have rocked it. But then I realized one day 60 year old me could also say, Wow- when I was 40 I was so strong and I didn't even realize it. I'm trying to stay present and just realize it NOW. I'm trying to practice gratitude now.

I'm so glad grown up me made me go. I needed it. I told you so.


  1. I love this. It's so, so true. Sometimes, I think that you can probably hear my thoughts. You must be able to, to write so exactly how I feel at times... Love this. Thanks.

  2. Love Parker on the swing!

  3. I love your blog and your darling boys. Your posts often hit home. What a realization I've gained from your last two posts! I/m so sick and tired of adolescent me staying up too late, starting the day groggy and irritable, using my computer to escape from chores and life, living in clutter and chaos, not ever exercising, overeating sweets and junk, taking everything others do personally, talking too much, interrupting, and so on. It didn't dawn on me to parent myself.

    Thanks, Chrissy. I admire you so.

    1. Grown up me and kid me fight all the time too! I'm proud of you for your realization. I had a moment tonight where I felt more at peace than I have in SO LONG. I've been walking, eating healthy, taking vitamins, and making good choices and I feel better. At first it was hard and slow, but it's getting easier and I'm just feeling happier for being proud of me instead of feeling guilty. You go girl!!!

  4. Lately, I have been clinging to the belief that things have to work out in a certain way for me to happy and that I need to do everything I can to control the outcome. When I look back on the best things that have happened in my life they were always unexpected and the more I was enjoying my life and allowing things to happen the happier I was. Thank you for sharing your experience, I needed that reminder today! Yoga is the best. I'm so happy you're back at it. I often don't feel like going to class but once I hit the mat I'm in my happy place! Enjoy the day!

  5. hi, i just found ur blog by mistake, but as i was reading its just like life with my boys joe6 almost 7 and jake 5 just turned 5 on 4-17 hie was born 2010 at 21 weeks, and anyway i am blown away ur saying exactly what were going through now, my boys were just reaciently diagnosied with autsim , other things over the yrs but i jst didnt see this comming and i was just wanting to say thank you for putting into words how we are feeling, and kinda how to tell friends and family and even strangers about'MELTDOWNS" u know please anyone one who has any info or anything feelfree to contact me going to keep reading ur blogs thank you

  6. I don't always get the chance to read your posts but when I do I feel so blessed. I feel like you wrote this post one just for me. Thank you for being you & sharing!