January 12, 2017

Stretch, In Practice

Having set stretch as my focus for the year, I've started to put it into practice. A few things I am super excited about:
  • A six-week yoga class for beginners.
    Yep. Beginners. Sure I started taking yoga classes about 20 years ago (woah, that number sneaked up on me!), and no I did not begin with a beginners class. But here's the thing. I haven't practiced yoga on a regular basis for years and years now. And my body has changed quite a bit in that time. I keep promising myself that I will take regular yoga classes again once I've a.) lost some weight, b.) regained some of my former strength, and c.) become more flexible. Excuses, people. All 3 of those goals can be reached simply by doing yoga, which is come as you are. I am definitely a yoga beginner with this current body of mine. So with a great big nudge from this Annapurna Living post about yoga teacher training at age 56 (an entertaining read if you have the time), I registered for classes that begin on January 22.
  • The Magic of Myth II: End of the Quest, an online course with Elizabeth Duvivier.
    Registration closes this Saturday for the year-long course that begins January 15. If you've spent any time in this space, you've heard me blather on about how I identify first and foremost as an artist, but for the past decade or so have struggled to make art, to practice art, and even to know what medium is mine. Enough is enough. I'm counting on the content and exercises in this class and the interactions with the others involved to kick my butt and hold me accountable to myself. As Elizabeth writes in the class description, "To effect genuine change, we need the space to practice, refine, try again until the changes we want to make in our life can truly surface. This is not a matter of talking our way into the next chapter of our story. This is the steady work of paring away habits and responses that hold us back; this is the hard work of carving a new path." The path I intend to carve is the path back to myself, a path that I know can be uncovered and navigated through making art.
  • Daring Greatly by BrenĂ© Brown, the next book on my "to read" pile.
    I learned about Brené's work on vulnerability on a Ted Radio Hour segment a few years ago (listen to it here). By the time I heard the same radio program repeated for the 3rd time, I was intrigued and excited to read her books. Then, as things do, it completely fell off my radar. Until this past Christmas when my niece and nephew's Mama gave me Daring Greatly. It was like a switch for a powerful light was turned on inside me. And I haven't even cracked the spine of the book yet! But, friends, I need this one. The book's subtitle says it all: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. I simply don't do vulnerability. I might go out on a limb in this space and dip my little toe into it now and again, but that's safe. That's nothing. I'm not looking you in the eye. I'm not bearing my soul. I don't even bare my soul to myself. This should be an interesting (terrifying!) ride.

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