Namaste n’ Chill

S studies in the loft while I debate any further activity. “I should workout. I should do something… not dishes.” My shoulder seems to be healing alright, but it’s still a little sensitive at times. Leave it to me to injure myself in a way that requires what feels like all the time in the world to recover.

“Yoga it is, sir.” I think to myself as I consider hitting weights in the morning. “No. Patience, Jamal.” Having a free workout facility is a perk many don’t have at their workplaces, but to be honest with you I’ve been feeling a tad anti-social in the gym. I’ve always preferred working out alone and being on the injured list these past couple months has reinforced those feelings. The times  I did make it into the gym at a crisp 7-o-clock in the morning, there seemed to be another body flexing in the mirror; using the equipment I needed. Blerg.

I resolve that S will probably be in the books for another hour and a half and set my yoga session up in the living room.

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I spark-up a simmering cider incense – because I’ve killed almost all my large candles – roll out my mat, and turn on some mellow tunes. Iman Omari has been haunting my earbuds and speakers around the house for a few weeks now. I can’t get enough of the guy! This session would be somewhat of a date with myself. Good music, subtle lighting, a peaceful atmosphere and a little bit of sweat.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my husband while he’s busy studying – working so hard during the hours we usually spend together after work – but this evening was about me, myself, and I. My yoga sessions are usually a little more intense and happen before 6 AM. I wanted to take my time in each pose tonight to boost my focus in breathing while moving on the mat. I’ve been working up to handstand poses, so a little bit of crow pose action gave my arms and shoulder a safe test.

Remember to take some time to yourselves. I get so busy at work and tend to hit a wall (of boredom) if I don’t have anything to keep me busy at home – especially if I’m avoiding chores. Tonight I chose to hit the mat and I feel awesome. This will be a more regular occurrence while I heal and while S completes this last semester of classes.

Alright. Time for some headphone music in bed before the Zs catch me.

Our Father’s Anger, Our Lessons.

The men in our lives can shape us in ways we never realize. The recognition, and understanding, of the lessons their most honest energy projects, can strike as sharp as a burn to the finger. As a child you’re too young to recognize any damage adulthood has inflicted upon your father. As a teenager, you’re not allowed to comment on anything that is said between two adults. “Be seen, and not heard… Don’t speak unless you’re spoken to…” were regular instructions throughout my upbringing, and little did I know the effects of these instructions would only sharpen my understanding of my father’s unshared emotions.

In the world of adulthood, you tend to catch comments, expressions, and reactions of older members within the family; especially those of fathers.  My dad was an Army man with a tough exterior, social superpowers, and a strict confidence that ruled our household. He knew how to have fun, and we felt his love, even though we never really used the “love” word growing up. At the age of sixteen I watched him morph into another being. Divorce had blackened his insides, and bitterness flowed infinitely. Not knowing how to fully process this new man – a poisoned shadow that danced inside my father’s body – or his reasoning, I was forced to grow up and assumed that he was just setting a negative example for my siblings and I. We’re on good terms now, but it took us a while to get back to a settled place where we could begin to understand each other; although I still don’t get him all the time.

S’s father is a warm, honest, and gentle soul. I tried to offer him some of my hippy-dippy zen advice – after hearing enough complaints about something he and my mother-in-law had been left out of by his family – only to receive a sharp, and deeply planted response. “I don’t care to get over it.” My advice was to find a way to get over the issues he had with the family, for his own health. “Well, everyone handles things differently, I suppose. It definitely doesn’t help if no one is communicating” was my exit from the conversation. I know my boundaries, respect my S’s parents, and realize that you can’t help everyone, so I stopped responding to any opportunity to share my little bit of wisdom.  I still don’t have full details about what happened, but what was it that was causing him to hold on to that dark energy?

My dad is fifty years old, and S’s father is in his sixties. What I’ve learned from these two, completely different men, is more than I can fit into any closing paragraph. I’m only twenty-eight years old, and I know there are people out there that will say that I’m too young, and that I haven’t truly experienced life. Everyone has dark days, grey moments, and pitch-black thoughts in life at some point, and in mine, I’ve learned to let go. I search for the lesson in all of life’s curveballs and strikes, and try to move forward as positive as possible. Harnessing anger only turned me into someone I didn’t want to accept lived inside of me. The feeling was that of being stuck in quicksand with a speeding semi truck seconds away from barreling right through me; fear, uncertainty, and uncomfortable welcome. These gentlemen are a reminder to try. Try to accept, grow, and move forward. If happiness is faint, reward yourself in that happiness, and challenge yourself to gain more.

Lord of the Dance Pose

Yoga and strength training go hand in hand. Stretching equals blood flow, and promotes healthy, strong, loose muscles. Tight muscles lead to injury down the road. Remember to stretch after every workout, people!