Thursday, August 18, 2011

From the Valley of Death back to Life

Things continue to open up, and shifts are occurring almost constantly, catching me by surprise--in a good way.

A couple of days ago I was laying in bed and realized how much time I spend not moving: I'm either sitting at my computer writing my blog or editing, or I'm laying in bed reading a book. Even with a very fast metabolism, my body certainly isn't what it used to be when I was working out. As I have been dealing with survival issues and other intense interactions, going to the gym has not been in my consciousness. But all of a sudden, a few days ago, my body said to me: time to get back to the world and to your body. Let's find a gym.

I have to admit that some of the inspiration came from having lunch with a friend I've known since my New York days. Twenty years ago we worked out at the same gym on Sixth Avenue and were both in great shape. This time, she looked great and I felt like the Pillsbury dough girl. When I commented on how good she looked, she confirmed that at 65 she's in the best shape she has ever been in. Apparently she had worked out and done Pilates by the time we met for lunch. I had woken up at 10 am, meditated an hour, and barely had time to get dressed to meet her. Hmmm...

In the past my incentive to work out was to look good, to fit into sexy little mini-skirts. Well, I gave away the mini-skirts years ago. This time, rather than looking forward to the results, I was looking forward to the process. I checked out three gyms yesterday and two of them have specials going on. A really great health club in Santa Rosa, Parkpoint, is giving a free week's pass. Today I got myself out of bed early (by my standards) and drove to Santa Rosa to sign up. I had my first yoga class in probably six months. In the beginning it seemed easy, but half way through I was doing more "child poses" than anything else. Wow. If you don't use it, you lose it.

Still, I felt glad that I was there, and that I was with other people, in an environment of relative luxury. I felt as if I were returning back to the world after a long foray into the Valley of Death. At the end of the yoga session the instructor said something that really hit a cord. She said, "The body is our tool for awakening. We need to honor it and take care of it." Hmmm...I have barely remembered that I have a body, except for feeding it.

I left feeling energized and happy. The sun was shining, it was 79 degrees, the convertible top was down, and country music was playing on the radio. I noticed the scenery around me and the smiling people. I decided to take myself to one of my favorite, and least expensive, restaurants, Papas and Pollo, in Sebastopol. While eating I called my mom on my cell phone, and had a long talk with her. Life. I was beginning to feel alive again. The death cycle seemed over--at least for now. And I was glad.

I'm realizing that being spiritual isn't about praying and meditating all the time. It's about honoring the cycle you are in, and what is giving you joy. It's all good, unless you are buying into somebody else's idea of what you should be doing. Now if I'm meant to keep working out, a way to pay for the gym will show up. We shall see...

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