As a child, I was fascinated by my hands’ dexterity. I am ‘double-jointed’ and can bend my hands and fingers into all sorts of strange, unnatural positions. I wish I could boast about how this ’talent’ has benefited me, but other than being the undefeated “Thumb War” champion in my family, it hasn’t. It only serves as an oddity and an off-putting party trick. Still, I treasure my flexible little hands and thank them for seeing me through countless yoga poses, hours of drawing and painting, and a lifetime of ability.
I’ve posted about sleep before—lack of sleep, interrupted sleep, and jealousy over my dogs’ ability to sleep so peacefully. Lately, though, I’ve been the one sleeping soundly—and without any chemical assistance. I read an interesting article about sleep in a recent issue of Yoga Journal. The author suggested that night waking wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, and that it should be acknowledged, then pushed aside. I’m simplifying the concept, but the article helped me think about sleep in a new way. I’m no longer afraid of waking up in the middle of the night and tossing and turning while listening to my husband’s tranquil restful breathing. I’ve let go, and as a result, I’m sleeping. Good Night. And I do mean good.
“Good Night”–Watercolor Pencil on Multimedia Paper
Yesterday, my massage therapist, who I think of as a true healer, came over to work on my uncomfortably tight lower back. After she inspected my sacral region, her questions shifted to my mental and emotional health. As the chaos of the previous weekend spilled out, I started to make the connection. A large part of my discomfort had been brought on by stress. She asked if I was still practicing yoga, to which I proudly replied ‘yes,’ but then she asked me a question I wasn’t prepared for: “What’s your mantra?” Suddenly, I was a kid in school who hadn’t done her homework. I didn’t have a mantra. I wasn’t even sure what a mantra was, or what I was supposed to do with one. Luckily, my therapist is a great teacher, too. By the end of our 60 minute session, my pain was gone, I had a mantra, and I knew how to use it. At least once a day—and any time I feel stressed—I am to breathe in deeply while thinking “I am at peace,” then exhale slowly while silently reciting “My creativity flows freely.” I am confident that my new mantra will help my body and mind to function more efficiently and peacefully. I think of it as a decadent piece of dark chocolate that I can pull out of my pocket any time I need a little something to take the edge off—only it’s calorie-free. Namaste.
“Namaste”–Pen and Watercolor–from my sketchbook