The Night I Cried Doing Downward Dog (No, That's Not a Euphamism)

It's funny sometimes, practicing yoga. It requires you to breathe, to tune in, to sit in the tension you carry and then to release it. It's particularly funny to practice yoga as a caretaking perfectionist in crisis during a holiday week. Tonight I dragged myself to class, with my family limping around without me (everyone's sick but me), barely able to get in the door for being so stiff and terribly undercared for. 
I lie down on the mat my beloved teacher set out for me (because I was late). Just curling my legs into my chest, I feel them coming. The music is playing. The lights are dim. Tears. I am so fucking tired. Everyone needs a piece of me. There's not much left tonight. And so the tears come. In this one clumsy, stiff hour, I have so many wounds to bind up. The anxiety of trying to feel better in the one hour I've got juxtaposes with the amazement that I have a whole hour to myself to stretch every muscle that is locked down in tension. Penny is not asking to be held. Dinner has already been made. I am alone with others. My favorite way to recharge.
Going through all the positions, some feel wonderful, others really difficult, the tears slip out, one by one. Hiding under the sheath that is my undone hair, little by little the tears give way to release. Bone-deep, soothing release. Release leads to rest. The rest I long for. The rest I desperately need. The rest I cannot always allow myself in this time of crisis (Tim is still looking for work). 
I came home and read my little Cheryl Strayed book of quotes Brave Enough. One of the nuggets of truth that jumped out at me was this, "The particularity of our problems can be made bearable only through the recognition of our universal humanity. We suffer uniquely, but we survive the same way."
Sometimes it's surprisingly hard to be a person. I have so many beautiful people in my life. I've experienced so much grace and mercy when we weren't sure how something would work and it just has. But sometimes you just want to hide in a room alone for a month. Tonight, I had one hour. An hour I moved through with tears. But I came away having done what I needed to do. Exercise, yes. But really, I needed to cry. Don't be afraid to sit in your tears. Perhaps it's the only way to walk back out into the cold and into the fray. And ultimately, to survive.

You Never Left

Like most people, I've changed a lot over the years. I've lived in different countries. I've traveled quite a bit. I've been privileged to participate in many beautiful relationships with people who may or may not still be in my life. I've done professional ministry in a multitude of settings, which can be very intense and bonding. As a sentimental person, I've often missed stages of my life or versions of myself that I feel like I can no longer access as the time passes. For a long time I idolized my high school faith. No one was more devout than 1995-1999 Kristy Nystrom. 
It can be easy to compare your life now to what it used to be and to come up wanting for whatever reason. Even more so, I think I tend to compare my current self to my younger self and sometimes feel that my maturing process has at times, looked more like a slow slide into "less than." Yes, this is perfectionism in its finest. I see this often in my girlfriends body image. It's easy after having a few kids, to feel like your "maturing process" is not yielding the results you want.
This morning, I woke up at 5:30 to go to yoga. For those of you that don't know, I did yoga regularly during both of my pregnancies and found it to be very helpful, but have not maintained any regular exercise since I became a mother the second time. I'm busier and our family was in such crisis with the post-partum depression for so long that exercise felt like an "extra." 
But I went back to yoga last week and came home feeling amazing. So, here I was getting up at the crack of dawn after an incredibly busy day celebrating Tim's birthday, wondering was this really a good idea? How am I going to handle the kids all day when I only got 6 hours of sleep (that is way too few in the Sibley house)? On my way to class, I saw the most gorgeous sunrise. Just a bright orange orb in my rear-view mirror and I knew it was a good idea. 
As we were going through the poses, my teacher came around, put essential oil on my forehead, checked my alignment and graced me with this phrase, "You never left." Tears welled up in my eyes as the blessing of her comment washed over me. I never left. Yes, I haven't been there in 2 years. And my life has changed dramatically in that time. Possibly the most accelerated personal and family growth of any 2 years of my life. Trauma has a way of intensifying everything. And yet, my body knew what to do, my heart was open to the work and my spirit was at rest. 
Yes, we go through change. Sure, the maturing process can be painful and make us reminisce about days with simplicity and fewer responsibilities. But ultimately, in those moments where you check in with who you are and how you feel about yourself, you never really left. No one can take away from you anything about your life or yourself. Of course, most things in life are temporary. And loss slips through our fingers like sand, often unexpectedly. But there is a stability in us, a permanence that is refined by life but cannot be stolen. In trauma, it feels otherwise, but on the other side of it, I can honestly say, I'm still here.