Own it.

You have that voice that stands out in the crowd.  The one that everyone can hear and recognize and maybe even roll their eyes or chuckle at.  Own it.  You have the curliest, craziest. most unmanageable hair of all your friends.  Own it.  You are the tallest girl in your grade – taller than half of the boys… Own it.  You are the smallest, skinniest boy on the team – so what?  Own it.  Getting the picture?  The things that make you different and special,…these are the things I believe you should OWN.  Take them and hug them tight. Get to know them and  love them. Be proud of them, because chances are they are not going anywhere.  (And chances are that when you are 40 something, you won’t look back and regret that you OWNed them when you were younger.)

We all have those moments when we want to do something or say something or act a certain way, but we don’t.  We are afraid of the way others may see us, or think about us. Well, maybe, just maybe it is in these moments when we discover how strong we really are.  That we can overcome any fear about what we may look like or sound like.  In these sacred moments we can take what we have or what we want or what we think and OWN it. Then… maybe, just maybe it will be about how great we made ourselves feel when we finally found that courage.  Easier said than done?  Of course!

Let’s  take the sound of OM in yoga.  I chose this one because it is symbolic for me.  I have one of the worst singing voices I have ever heard.  This notion has been seconded and thirded and fourthed by many people.  It’s just bad.  When I first took a yoga class, I was so afraid to sound awful during the chant of OM, that I did not join in.  This happened many times, even though I really wanted to chant it.   According to B.K.S. Iyengar (a famous yogi), the OM symbol stands for the “realization of man’s divinity within himself.”  (How can you not want to chant this?) One day, before class started, I did it.  I decided to “Own my OM.”  I really did it.  I belted out that OM like there was no tomorrow, and guess what?  It felt great! I felt the vibration that everyone said I would, and I wished I had OM-d along with everyone else always….So many lost OMs that I could never recover….

This is what I believe:  no matter what your particular “OM” is – no matter what you fear others may think about it or how you don’t want to be different because of it…decide right now to make it your own.  OWN IT.  I can say with certainty that you will feel better after you do.  After all,  it’s what makes you “YOU” , and you are perfect exactly the way you are!  I believe it and so should you.

Hence, the name of my newest project:

ownyourom

(I know you’re gonna like yourself.)

How we found each other.

Before our scheduled first meeting I was extremely hesitant. “Would this seem to last forever? Would I be bored stiff? Should I just back out?”  I remember the moment: standing, waiting in front of the glass doors, trying to peek through and get a hint as to what I could expect.  Maybe I could spot someone – just a glimpse.  “Go in!” my friend shoved me out of my dreamlike state.  Only then did I notice the line of women forming behind us.  Waiting to get in?  “Weird.” I thought, and in I was pushed. I was about to take my first yoga class since maybe 1975. (when I sat cross-legged on a thick shag rug and stared at Lilias on PBS.)

It was not love at first sight.  Sanskrit?  Never heard it before.  Completely uncomfortable in my own skin, I watched women around me move gracefully through poses.  Grace was never my strong suit anyway.  At the end of the hour, my breathing confused me and my friend was sound asleep next to me on her mat, snoring. “I’m done.” I thought.

So I admit it.  I used yoga. I used it only when I needed it.  You know- to get the nice hamstring stretches after the cardio high that only relentless pounding of the pavement and chronic plantar fasciitis could give me.  How could I ever feel as great as I did after my runs? – all sweaty and gross and in pain and great at the same time.

Then I took Her yoga class.  I don’t remember a word she said, but I will never forget the way I felt listening to her.  Her class brought me to a place where I found myself mindfully placing my body into poses that were more way more challenging than they were relaxing.  I was sore after class, and I became stronger.  She gave me permission to let go of my thoughts for an hour.  Permission to just move, breath, and feel. I began to realize what my body did for me every single day, and what it was capable of doing.

Then came the discovery of what I think of as the “oasis.”  A yoga studio nestled between two of the busiest street in my town.  It was here that my practice began to deepen, and I learned how much more I could physically challenge myself – yes even cardio – in a yoga class.  I began to lose my need for the high impact workouts; those workouts spent thinking about all the things I had to figure out or do in the days ahead. I could stand here, on this rectangular piece of pretty thin rubber, and do everything I needed – physically and mentally.  Moving through poses in the steamy heated room, I learned to be patient with myself, knowing I would definitely wobble and fall over. (gracefully, of course)  Another thing?  I never knew that yoga music could be so cool.  The playlists that the teachers at Milton Yoga had were unlike any other yoga class I had ever been to.  I remember it:  dark room,  surrounded by sweaty bodies in corpse pose, completely exhausted.  The coolest song was playing.  I lay in stillness, and I knew it.  I was in love.

That, my friend, is how we found each other- Yoga and I.

We’ve come a long way together.

weekly photo challenge: change.

My kitchen.  It has seen 18 years of unrelenting traffic.  Its floor supported 4 infants in their tireless progression from crawling to walking. Its walls have witnessed family meetings, pasta parties, book club discussions, and family political debates.  Its walls are happy walls, having heard their share of life’s familiar sounds: garrulous gossiping of teenage boys and girls, cries of toddlers, rants from frustrated parents, relentless barking from a Goldendoodle.  Its oversized, now very distressed, farmhouse table has been loved to the point of its own exhaustion (one leg is barely holding on with a pathetic looking screw.)  It is a proud table.  Proud of its ability to hold plates and glasses and books, papers, and pencils, and 9- year- old boys.  My kitchen is a gallery of children’s artwork – all priceless originals.

My kitchen is about to change.

Walls are being torn down to make space for a kitchen a bit larger and much more efficient and able to accommodate this growing family of mine.  It no longer is home base for 2 adults and 4 children.  Children are quickly becoming adults over here, and we need more space!  As much as I am welcoming change – and believe me I am –  this kitchen has been good to us, and I will miss it in some ways for sure.

However,

CHANGE? 

…Bring it on!

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