listen up! less yang. more yin.

i cried on my yoga mat today.

first day of 30 days of yoga with marianne elliot. starting a home yoga practice. even though i signed up for a monthly membership at the local studio (they were having a deal on memberships … not much of a “deal” when you’re paying but not going). maybe this home practice will be the thing for me. i probably wouldn’t have let myself cry in a class full of people … or maybe i would have. i’m all for crying, have no problem with it. crying is just a release of energy, right?

so yeah, i cried. at the end of the almost hour-long practice. in savasana. first thing in the morning.

lying on my mat, i could hear from deep inside my body -- or my inner voice, or my soul – actually being grateful, saying: finally! you’re doing something for me! taking care of me. paying attention to me and to what I need.

sure, exercise has been spotty-at-best, of late. but it wasn’t just about moving my body. it was deeper than that. 

little tears at first, welling up. i listened to my little voice, alongside marianne’s lovely, soothing, new-zealand-accented voice.

upon marianne's suggestion and wanting to take even more care of my Self, i placed a pillow under my knees and drew my (much neglected) meditation blanket over my body. savasana. full stop. total relax. that’s when the tears spilled over my eye sockets and down the side of my face. not sobbing, just tears flowing for a bit. my trusty four-legged companion daisey came over to lick my eyes … she hasn’t learned how to bring kleenex yet.

that little voice inside is so hard for me to hear most of the time.

this time, i even talked to her. please help me to hear you better. please speak to me more loudly! please help me learn how to take better care of you. please please please.

i’m pretty rotten at relaxing. i wrote to my friend manny the other day that i’ve always wanted to be a bon vivant (bonne vivante?). good at  -- what elizabeth gilbert readily pointed out in eat pray love – that italianesque ease of “dolce far niente." the sweetness of doing nothing. but in reality, i’m no good at it. i relax the four days of thanksgiving. and when i’m sick in bed (so i don’t mind at all when i get sick, which is rarely). i have the constitution of a bull.

but this getting older thing requires gentleness. not bullishness. less yang. more yin.

i had a notecard by renée locks on my refrigerator for the longest time before the annual january fridge door cleanse. it read, “what people really need is a good listening to.” listened to. seen. heard. and i really try my best to do that for other people. have been acknowledged for being a good listener. 

may i now translate this for myself: what i really need is a good listening to. by me. 

hello hillary, can you hear me?