Adventures in Imperfection

As the Crow Flies

Bakasana
Via

A year ago at this time, I was feeling smug and cocky. I’d just finished making my Vision Board, wrote about it on my blog and blathered on about its existence on Facebook.  Kind readers like you encouraged me, built your own vision boards and shared your personal “Word for the Year.”

I took your words, plastered them on my poster and entered 2014 guns-a-blazing! Imagine my shame when I stumbled across the evidence while vacuuming the guest room over the weekend.

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In addition to the dust bunnies and vacuum cleaner lines framing the poster, I was a surprised to see that I’d actually accomplished most of the goals displayed in the collage.

I should feel happy and accomplished, right?

Instead what I felt was the regret about the items not checked off the list -and guilt. Time I should have spent with my family was often sacrificed at the computer, in an airport or even in the back yard.

Normal people pick a word or set goals with measurable milestones and benchmarks. My MO is to pick seven or eight objectives and keep adding to them. Each goal has a timeline, owns a list and takes up space on a spreadsheet. My internal rev limiter is broken and knows only two speeds – go and asleep.

This obsession looks like twenty-mile training runs before dawn, KC-Fargo-Denver travel (in one day) and planting seedlings with use of a headlamp because there are only fourteen hours of daylight on Mother’s Day. These extremes have resulted in stress fractures, fender benders and more tomatoes than a neighborhood can eat in a year.

And that’s how I have always (over) done everything.

Give me a job: I’ll volunteer for every special project and travel across ridiculous geographical obstacles to make an appointment.

Print out a training schedule: I’ll increase the mileage by ten percent.

Start a blog: I’ll hurl myself headfirst and manage three blogs by mid year.

Give me a garden plot: In six months I’ll beg my husband to help me build a greenhouse from reclaimed wood and windows so that I can grow everything from seed.

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No wonder he keeps threatening to disable my Pinterest account.

 “The ingredients of both darkness and light are equally present in all of us…The madness of this planet is largely a result of the human being’s difficulty in coming to virtuous balance with himself. ”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Do you see what’s missing here?

Harmony

Parity

Symmetry

Balance

And there it is. My itty bitty, ONE word for 2015. No spreadsheets, lists or vision boards…just a word and a mindset.

I cringe when people comment about how calm and balanced I look. Really? If only you knew how much mental micromanagement it takes to hide the neuroses.

Now that I’ve opened my eyes to it, the need for balance is evident everywhere: family, faith, work, writing, sleep, exercise and relationships.

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One of the things I vowed to do was balance my extreme exercise routine (boxing and running) with strength training and yoga. My friend, Louisa, and blogger buddy, Michele from Mished-Up, have been gentle yoga mentors. After threatening to do so for almost a year, I went to my second class last week.

And that’s where the Universe yanked at my ponytail from the roots up.

Class was great! I didn’t bend anything that couldn’t be bent and my biggest fear – farting in Downward-facing Dog – didn’t happen.

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Aside from facing the wrong way and mixing up lefts and rights, it was delightful, calming and quiet. The hour flew by and as we came to the end, the instructor encouraged us to take some time and practice any pose we wanted to work on. Being a newbie, she chose for me and encouraged The Crow (Bakasana).

Easy enough, right? Palms on the mat under the shoulders, knees tucked into the armpits and toes lifted from the ground.

Like this:

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Or this: (the variation Louisa was doing)

http://yogabycandace.com/blog/2013/3/8/yoga-tip-how-to-do-side-crow-pose
via

But, I looked like this:

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Via

It took every bit of strength and concentration to stay centered and focused on the task at hand: breath and balance. It was certainly an appropriate metaphor for how hard it is to do both in daily life.

We know where our priorities are (or should be), but yet they get sidelined by self-imposed deadlines and unheeded or blasted-away boundaries. We say yes when we mean no and say no when we should have said yes.

Then, there is such a thing as having too much balance. You can’t love who you love in a measured or even fashion, right? I couldn’t imagine loving my family with any emotion short of all-in and off the Richter scale.

“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”
Alain de Botton

Everything in moderation – even moderation, right? ARGH!! It’d be a sit-com if it wasn’t so tragic.

When I was almost up in the full pose, our instructor gently said, “Don’t look down at your feet. Crows look forward so they don’t fall to the earth.” Then she patted the top of the mat and said, “Pick a spot ahead of you and keep your focus there.”

As the crow flies” is an idiom meant to depict distance and direction when going from point A to point B. The illusion in this expression is the ability of a crow to fly directly from point to point without the encumbrances of roads and landscape features that restrict man.

This journey toward balance won’t be without obstacles – even as a crow flies. For me, it’ll be baby steps, back-tracks and start-overs.

  • writing and reading
  • exercise and rest
  • work and play
  • sleep and awake
  • private and public

I’ll pick a spot, find balance and fight the natural tendency to keep my nose to the grindstone while looking at my feet.

I’ll also fight the urge to go to yoga class every day until I master the crow. For right now, it’s just yoga on Friday mornings before work…like a normal person.

Tell me. How will you keep balance in your life?

 

67 thoughts on “As the Crow Flies

  1. omg omg omg!! So lil mama…just this morning at 3 in the morning i was up and Big Mama showed up and started telling me things…i will fill ya in off line but here is how it ended…

    *Charissa speaking out loud to herself*: I speak balance to you, Charissa Grace White…balance. Balance to the body, balance to the spirit, balance to the soul, balance to the mind, balance to the heart.

    *Charissa notices there are 5 things she was led to speak balance to and realizes that it is on the 5th day of 2015…and she rejoices for in her lil noggin 5 signifies Grace and Charissa is ALL about the grace, bout the grace, bout the grace, no legal! (to steal the lil song going around!)

    *Charissa then hears Big Mama say that healing will flow to these areas as a result*

    …then I read your post, a couple hours later…
    …I think I see a trend here in 2015!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks like the Universe was tugging your ponytail, too my friend!
      This was a post that almost didn’t happen. It was so messy and I worried that it was too much about me. How awesome to know that you were having this conversation about balance, too. I love it when that happens!
      Here’s to a happy (and balanced) 2015. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, the balance debate. This is a lovely post and one to which I can relate. I used to host “women in leadership” events for my company and “work life balance” was always a topic people were interested in. The answer? Whatever balance means to you. But, we often have an answer in our heads we think is right – but it may not be the answer for us.

    I also seek balance because I see where I have been out of balance this past year. I’m reducing the number of people (read: men on dating sites) I engage with. I’ve already done that for a bit and it feels better. I need to take advantage of the time I have with my son while my ex lives far away. Resenting the restriction on my life got me nowhere. It will be gone before I know it.

    I think a great step is NOT trying to do yoga every day. Friday is a good start 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Ann, I love seeing you here…thank you for taking the time to read and comment.
      Your words are such a great addition to this post. “Work-Life Balance” were the buzz words when I first came to work for my company…and it’s still the Holy Grail I seek 😉
      I’m glad that you can already feel good about the balance adjustments you’ve made and I look forward to reading and taking that journey with you.
      Thank you again, Ann. xoxox

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  3. Oh Michelle, your words are a soothing balm. I’m more prone to the asleep side of the spectrum, but I do know a thing or twenty about guilt and regret for paths not taken (even if they were impossible). Balance is such a great word. It seems like it could be a sort of guiding force to help you step outside yourself (or go back in, or however that works) and slow down. Balance allows so much enjoyment and fun, moreso because we really get to feel it. Or so I assume. I look forward to seeing how it all plays out for you in the year ahead. And I love that greenhouse! Did you build that?

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    1. “Soothing Balm”…YES!
      And just so you know, your words have been my balm is so many instances.
      As for the greenhouse. Not yet! The picture is one I found on Pinterest…the blueprints are sitting on my desk…now, I just need to scrounge for abandoned windows. Wanna come help??

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  4. I’m sure doing this will throw your balance…for a moment….but I hope you’ll join me at yoga some evening! 🙂 Don’t say yes just yet…just know I love yoga and would love to have your mat next to mine!

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  5. Balance is a wonderful word!
    And too much about you? No, sweetie, especially this one…has to be all about you. Settle in, get used to the word and allow it . I’m writing a little on the fly here because I have an appt. this morning, I will be back to digest this a bit more.
    HOWEVER….
    a year after a (usually) 5-6 day a week yoga practice and i can only DREAM of crow! (I attempt, but…) Your second class and you are attempting it?

    UM…I figured you were taking a nice basics class, starting to learn about asanas, a little flow, etc. I’m a little blown away and grateful I’m not the jealous type (Hah! bullshit!).

    You go Michelle!

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    1. You have helped me get to this space and I’m so grateful!
      As for trying the crow…I only know enough to be dangerous. I heard my husband laugh out loud this morning when he saw the picture of the puppy on it’s head. That’s EXACTLY what I looked like when I tried to show him last night.
      The more classes I take, the more obvious it’ll be that I’m a newbie–it was really dark and quiet and I may have hid in the corner just a little.
      I’m trying to learn the terms and the sequences and just experiencing it. My version of “curious” for 2015.
      Take care, dear Michele…I look forward to spending some 2015 adventures with you. xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your word! I have been trying to bring balance into my life more with more movement to counteract my slothful writing stance. It’s hard in the winter, especially when it’s icy outside like it is right now. Balancing on walks isn’t easy…and there is only so much walking I can do inside before I’m just pacing and making everyone else nervous. So on gloomy, icy days like this, I have to balance life by lowering my calories (which means no peanut M&Ms…EEEEEK!). Life is a balancing act, which makes it not boring.

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  7. It sounds like you accomplished a lot more than not farting in downward dog! You make me laugh. I prefer the word harmony to balance because a friend once told me that balancing makes her think of holding her arms outs with weights on them. Not fun. Instead, she prefers to look at life like an orchestra with different instruments that have to play at the same time but not necessarily at the same intensity. Some play loudly and require more conducting while others are happy to play in the background. Just about all of mine play off key! Whatever you call it, I totally relate to what you’re describing and the need to tone down the ‘go big or go home’ mindset. Just reading your post makes me feel like I accomplished something and it’s time for a nap! 😉 xo

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    1. Hi Karen!
      I love your friend’s perspective: the weights, the orchestra and the harmony.
      I know it was only one day, but I felt a decided difference in my mood, attitude and energy yesterday.
      It almost felt…harmonious 🙂
      As always, thank you for reading. You popped into my head this morning, I put your name in my prayer journal…and here you are.
      As for a nap–that seems like something I should definitely incorporate as part of the balance. Too bad it’s only 7 a.m.
      Have a great day, my friend!! xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like this too, Karen…was dialoguing with a friend about defining balance and the idea of dynamic tension emerged…think walking, riding a bike, etc…all involve balance, but all also have a dynamic tension and shift between opposing forces brought under harmonious control!

        Perfect word for it, Friend! 🙂 Here’s to Harmony, consonant with That Melody!

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  8. What is this word “balance” you speak of? I know not what it means…. *in best Za Za Gabor voice* LOL!! My pastor’s wife said yesterday that was her word as well! Hm… I haven’t found my word yet. But I will strive to do better with the list I already have 🙂

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    1. Oh Za Za! I can see the pink feathers floating in the air as we speak.
      IF I figure it out, I’ll let you know.
      Working with the list you already have absolutely sounds like balance to me. Perhaps I’ll do the same.
      Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantastic week!
      Michelle

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  9. I laughed out loud at your description of doing spreadsheets and timelines for your resolutions Mama. Granted if you expect to move ahead, you do need a timeline – but I’ve never seen anyone use a spreadsheet for that before. And the puppy on his/her head doing yoga was hilarious.

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    1. WordPress cut me off there -at least it saved the comment so far. Any way, balance is a very fuzzy term. Like when the Supreme Court was asked to define pornography, the response was: We can’t define it, but we know it when we see it. Same with balance. You may decide you need to do better Mama , howver, I would point to the positive attitude of your kids, their kindness and work-ethic, the love in the family, along with your love of your job (helping others), your obviious great relationship with your husband, your physical fitness, your willingness to share and give (even in your blog), the variety in your life, your love of others, and I could go on – all of which I picked up from your previous blogs.

      You may determine you need more balance – it is after all your life and no one would know better – however that being said it sure looks from the outside looking in that you have done a fine job to date. Nobody is perfect Mama and yet your life is as close as I have ever seen.

      I’m sure you will feel better Mama as you fine tune your life – if for no other reason than you are acting on what you see as areas needing adjustmement. To put it in perspective on a scale of 1-10 your currently life appears to be about 9.0. You may add a further .5 with diminishing returns but you deserve a large cheer for what you have already accomplished. (Oh, I could put all that on a spreadsheet and send it to you if you wish – Ha!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Paul,
        You are indeed a good friend. Thank you for the kind comments, words and perspective. It makes me a little uncomfortable to know that my life looks darned near perfect from the outside. It’s fantastic, but it’s far from perfect…not even close to the 9.0.
        I have fears, doubts and not enough energy on too many days to count. I have bad habits and don’t do enough to make sure the people in my life know how much they mean to me. I don’t read as many blogs (from my friends like you) as I’d like and it’s humbling to get kind words like yours when I haven’t had time to go read the people sending them. I could go on and on.
        Balance IS a fuzzy word and does look different to everyone (like pornography!)…so, you’re right. I’ll look at what balance means to me and go from there.
        As for the spreadsheet…I’ll be expecting that later today if you can get right on it 🙂

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    2. It’s a sickness that I can’t even help, Paul!
      As for the puppy…pooches make me smile. My husband laughed out loud from the kitchen yesterday when he saw the picture. He said, “That was totally you!”

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  10. I like how you’ve covered the multiple definitions of your word for the year, Michelle. You’ve got it going on from the start. Your head and heart and body are all in the right place in week one. Wow! And your hubby was laughing at a doggy photo instead of building you a yoga studio. Happy day, huh?

    Balance will be beautiful for you, Michelle, I can tell already, because all of your previous determination will be enhanced, not supplanted, by this new and startling concept.

    Happy New Year, my friend. Music downward dog by? Put on some Dave Brubeck for a yoga session and tell me what you think.

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    1. Hi Mark!
      Even your comments are beautifully written 🙂
      Thank you SO much for the music reference…I just wrote it down and will try it out. Keep those recommendations coming…you know my plan to expand the musical horizons this year.
      As for that yoga studio, he may consider moving me someplace else if he has to keep witnessing the face plants in the living room 🙂

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  11. If you were my hero before, I need to come up with a word that describes what you are to me after reading this post! Holy mackerel you are one motivated individual. I realize that you think you are leaning too far to the (right? left? does this analogy even make sense?), but from where I sit you are an inspiration!

    The funny thing is that I just found out about this inspired idea of Mished Up’s, and I was considering balanced myself. I need to put more time into it before I commit, though, just started thinking this afternoon! But my balance needs me to act more.

    Maybe I should be the one to travel to you and help you build that greenhouse. Then we would all win 🙂

    So glad to be reading you again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh YES! Josie and Michelle working on a greenhouse! Can you imagine the stories? Are you good with a saw?

      I noted one very specific phrase in your comment, “But my balance needs me to act more.”

      My BFF sent me a text message with that very notion yesterday. So, she and I are incorporating a buddy system. Maybe like Alice in Wonderland with the “drink me” and “eat me.” She’ll let me know when it’s too much and I’ll let her know when it’s too little. Our mantra?
      Balance Bee-yatch!
      And yes, Mish started all of this madness…somehow it keeps coming full circle to Alice.
      Or is that just in my own messed up head?

      So glad to see you here, too. You are in my thoughts almost everyday and I love to see your pretty face come across my screen. Have a great week!!
      Michelle

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  12. Great post Michelle. I laughed till I had tears.
    I let it all go Michelle. I had allowed it all to have mastery over me by worrying over it all. And that is the key. What do YOU want…not others or especially some perceived expectation my friend. Come back into your heart and give to yourself first, which will put you into a lovely, happy place, and then give from that place.
    If you walk into a room and there is in one corner a happy, cheery person chatting away…and in the other corner there is a grumbly, angry person mumbling away…who are you attracted to.
    Be that person, and then give from there. Oh, and the hard bit, learn to say no. You are not doing anyone any favours be giving from a tired, drained, flustered kamikazi pilot place within.
    Do you first, and then watch the sun truly rise from where it should within. Speaking of which, when was the last time you grabbed hubby, drove to a nice look out :), and watched a sunrise. Take a coffee and be free, just for you. Namaste

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Mark, loved all of your words (I always do). My takeaway from it all?
      “Be that person”
      You have always had the knack of breaking down complex concepts and making them so simple and actionable.
      As for the sunrise…I love that idea and yes, it’s been awhile. That said, I’m going to wait until the air temp raises above zero…hopefully, in a few days.

      As always, thanks for stopping by, reading and adding your valued words. Namaste

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      1. See there is a positive right there, if it’s that cold, it gives you a reason to snuggle 😀 Mind you, frostbite will take a bit of the romantic side out of it 🙂
        My pleasure Michelle, I enjoy sharing your journey. Enjoy finding you, wherever it is 🙂

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      2. *giggles!
        My friend, Mark the eternally optimistic, hopeless romantic.
        Now…if I could just wedge the dogs from out between us, I might be able to snuggle with the hubs!

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  13. I learned from you 🙂 I had to look up ‘parity’, and I didn’t know that that position was called The Crow (or that it was yoga or even HAD a name) but it’s fun, right?

    I haven’t given it great thought, and I’m not sure I plan to, but I think if I were to have a word for the year, it might be ‘uplift’. That’s one I think I might be able to keep up with, without failing horribly 🙂

    I hope you find your balance, whatever it means to you. You sound very competitive, even if it’s only against yourself. I find that I’m competitive in the wrong ways. I’ll be interested to see how you do 🙂 Happy 2015.

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    1. Dear, sweet Lizzi!
      I always do a little happy dance when I see your smiling face come across my screen.
      I didn’t know that concoction was called the crow either….and I’m super mad that my husband plopped down on the floor last night and did it on his first try. Then, he told me what I was doing wrong.
      Competitive? Who me?
      Just so you know, I love what you write over on your site and part of my balance is to read more from the people I respect and admire–people like you. I never say it enough, but I really appreciate the heart and soul you put into everything you write. And that Sisterwives project? WOW.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. It means the world to me.
      Michelle

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      1. Sisterwives is IMMENSE. It’s so, SO incredible and it feels a little bit like being one of the people at the controls of something absolutely MASSIVE, and that’s incredible. Hey, if ya ever wanna chance your hand at submitting something…go right on ahead 😉

        Thanks for the sudden influx of bloggy love there! I’ll quickly add that I’m so happy you like my writing, but I hope you never feel obliged to read it 🙂 I put heart and soul in cos it’s all I know how to do 🙂

        As for competitive…Beth started a bunch of us on a planking challenge on Facebook and now not only do I have a fitness Pintrest board, but I’m ashamed to post the times I’m doing because I’ve taken myself on AHEAD and skipped to the end of the challenge and am thinking of extending it.

        Aiiee!

        Glad you did a happy dance, and thanks for the inspiration…it got a poem out of me today…now to decide what to do with it.

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      2. I agree that the Sisterwives projects is immense and I have visions of it growing and being even more. The words that you ladies have written have even helped my non-blogging friends in ways beyond imagination. You guys are a blessing in a sometimes bankrupt world.
        I’m honored that you’d ask me to submit, but my stuff just doesn’t have the punch. That’s okay…I learn from reading and am inspired every day.

        And, just so you know…I NEVER feel obligated to read you! I LOVE reading you (more bloggy love!). I do understand that statement though as I’ll feel bad about publishing something and then getting really nice words from somebody I haven’t been able to keep up with. It used to kind of stress me out until Ned Hickson (awesome dude!) simply said, “Hey, I read your stuff because I want to. I won’t feel obligated to read you as long as you don’t feel obligated to read me.” It was a great reminder.
        I’m cracking up at your fitness challenge and your skip ahead. You’re a boxer, too, right? Maybe that’s just how we do!!!
        Love you Lizzi 🙂

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      3. Yeah I’m a boxer 🙂 And today I discovered that wearing shoes while doing the plank challenge let me add THIRTY seconds to it! Ow! Not sure if I can do that again, but I’ll try. Boxing, Pilates, Netball, Cycling…all grist to my mill, but not running (any more. boo!) because it’s grouch to my knee.

        Ned is quite brilliant for that. I never got into this ‘oh, someone’s commented, I MUST follow them home and read their blog etc etc’ – I tend to be a bit slack and just read who I like and try to start conversations wherever they happen. I’m glad you don’t feel obligated though, that’s great.

        And there’s also no obligation to write for SW (well, or anywhere, as it happens!) but the offer’s open if ever you need/want the space. I’m thrilled to PIECES to hear that it’s even helped your non-bloggy friends. That’s awesome and I’m gonna share that with the gang, if that’s ok 🙂

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      4. *Charissa pictures the smug jerk one-upping her lil mama, and fumes, cus she knows the dolt isn’t even aware of what he just did there*

        grrrr…giggle

        reaching out my invisible hand across miles to hold you in place and in his face!! 🙂

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  14. Deeply touched by this post, Michelle–by its intentionality, transparency and honesty. Truly, it is number 2 in posts of yours that have touched me most and Exactly what I needed to read today.

    I understand so much of what you wrote, of where you’ve been, are and hope to be. I understand standing in the unimportant while watching the heart of us coast by. I understand the desire to be more than perhaps I need to be to truly be Me. And how that need says volumes about who I was and no longer want to be. I understand the fear of the fart (honesly, R and I took a yoga class together yesterday morning. He has a fear of the fart, too). And I understand how nourishing it is to realize our limits and bend into them instead of breaking against them.

    The jury is still out on my word, but Charissa sent me blessings of Fullness and somehow, that felt like home to me. It could be many types of fullness, I gather: womb, heart, grace, spirit, mind. But all of them speak kindly and graciously above jagged peaks of heart hurt and past pasts.

    Anyway, thank you for you. May you be gifted with the Balance you desire. And may that balance breathe harmony into those you love and cherish.

    With heart,
    Dani

    P.S. “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter – a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” -Henri Matisse

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    1. My dearest Dani,
      I read this yesterday and just let the magic sink in. Do you have any idea what a truly insightful, honest and FULL heart you have? I can’t even find the right words to respond back and yet, I’m calm with that. You know my heart and always find the way to say the things I can’t or am too scared to.

      “The jury is still out on my word, but Charissa sent me blessings of Fullness and somehow, that felt like home to me. It could be many types of fullness, I gather: womb, heart, grace, spirit, mind. But all of them speak kindly and graciously above jagged peaks of heart hurt and past pasts”

      Yes to this and to all that you are!

      And thank you for the PDF you sent me. It’s like you knew I needed a little extra something…and I did. Monday was full of harmony and balance and yesterday was shot to heck with work fire drills and commitments. I know I need more than a piece of paper to keep me sane, but just seeing it will remind me of the calming effect your words always have on me.
      Thank you from the bottom of my heart and for filling my days with joy.
      Michelle

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  15. “And that’s how I have always (over) done everything.” I KNEW you had Korean blood in you. (Roar!)

    Yoga is on my hit list for the year. Gotta bring it back. Your WORD has long been my nemesis. I have given much thought to the concept. Health is simply balance. But it’s so hard in the modern world, for women, for those with these crazy workaholic Korean genes.

    Loved the post, the humor, the YOU, M. Let’s get saner this year.

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    1. ROAR!! If only you knew the timing of your comment.
      First of all, you popped into my head yesterday as I thought about our similarities…I still remember you making a comment about being a strong Korean mama and that you’d sleep when you were dead (or something to that effect). I thought, hmmmm…maybe I’m really Korean and the German/Irish thing is all a lie!
      Secondly, your comment dinged on my phone while I was at Dane’s wrestling meet. I wanted to read it right then and there, but one of my “balance things” is being present in the moment…without phone, iPad, computer, etc. I put my phone away and watched Dane-O pin a poor kiddo in the first round. I would have missed it if my head was buried in my phone. The whole scenario screamed of balance.
      I hope your week back to school with T-dog (sorry, it seemed fitting after the wrestling talk) is going well.
      We can figure out this whole breathe, balance, yoga-thing together.
      Love ya!
      Mickey

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      1. LOL! SO glad you put Dane-O before me, momma. Yay, you’re practicing what you preached to yourself. That was awesome he did that. And I love that you pulled the T-Dog (do it again sometime). Guess what??!! I’m about to post because so many of the leaders and kids in our group were sick yesterday we postponed the spring cycle one week!!!!! LOL.

        “We can figure out this whole breathe, balance, yoga-thing together.” And yah. I need all the help I can get.

        Xx
        Me

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  16. Such a wonderful, thought-provoking post. Seriously, your thoughts always give me the warm and fuzzies. This is something I must focus on more, with our little one on the way. I find myself wondering where my priorities lie, what kind of mother I’ll be. (A good one, I hope!) It’s all so overwhelming. By the way, I LOVE gentle yoga. One of my favorite classes at the gym. Especially needed after a long morning of bartending. I could have used it after today, when an older gentleman who didn’t get his beer quick enough called me a wench. Ahem. I bit my tongue. Hard.

    Oh, and one more thing….it’s a boy. 😉

    xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Squeal!!!!!!! A boy 🙂 I’ve been thinking about you all week.
      You will be a great mama–I know it in my heart. As for balance with the babe? You’ll more out of sync than ever, but it’ll be for all of the wonderful and right reasons. I am beyond happy for you.
      As for the dude who called you a wench…lemme at ’em! I’ll be in your neck of the woods in February.
      Much love to you, Nicole!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you my love!!! I sure hope so. How about I learn to appreciate the beauty of being out of balance? It’s a start. 🙂 Ahh email me when you’re heading my way!!!

        Like

  17. I can’t add to all that’s been said by the wonderful readers here. So much to mine from this post. Like the other Paul said, I too think that you’ve got so much of it all. Okay, we are seeing what you present to us all, and we can all fudge that to an extent, but the gist of your vibe and presence is that of someone who is present, outgoing, focused and a go-getter. With a smile and a warm heart and kind gestures for all. I don’t say that blow smoke. I don’t say that for glad handing or reciprocal fawning. I say that because that is what we all see here. It’s essentially you.

    Sure, you have crappy days or moments. I am not naive enough to think you don’t have your times. But you seem to have a good grasp of things. And like so many have said here, balance to one is not balance to another. For example, my wife needs and likes to be busy. She also likes and needs her yoga (Bikram). She likes and needs her salty snacks and bad TV at times. That’s not for me. I don’t like busy as much. I am simpler. I am busy in chore-like ways. I am a simpleton that way. I have my running and my social media and that’s pretty much it. Like I said in my last post, no vision boards for this cat. But that’s me. So I can’t compare myself to others.

    I think what you are talking about is healthy and I am sure you will find your level. You seem to be coming from a very grounded place and no doubt you will nestle into some uncomfortable spaces for the betterment on your journey here. And that’s the work, I suppose. For all of us.

    Anyway, I am rambling. loved the post and the crow analogy. Good on you for working on that. I suck at yoga…lol.

    Blessings
    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But see…you did add. Like you always do–that fabulous perspective that I value and respect.
      Please excuse my short reply…my computer has caught a cold and I only have brief moments of access. IT hell!
      I just wanted to say thanks for always taking the time to read and proved such thoughtful words. You mean the world to me.
      Michelle

      Like

  18. I’m new to your blog (thank you for sending the link to the studio). I’ve really enjoyed having you in my class & I also really enjoyed reading this piece. When I struggle with it, I remind myself that balance is a dance. On the days it’s pretty good, I go about my daily activities in a blur of harmony and all the planets seem to be aligned. And then there’s those other days when I struggle with the simplest of poses, and other stuff. The physical practice of yoga, the asanas, is a wonderful mirror & mindfulness tool for self -inventory. As you change the way you feel, you change the way you live your life. I’m glad you started down the path. You have the right attitude. Yoga is not a race, and it’s not about what you can do well, but how you can approach challenges along the way. Enjoy the journey! Namaste

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Brenda,
      Thank you so much for the visit!
      I absolutely love what you’ve shared in your comments. It’s full of wisdom and concepts that fall in line with what I need to consider.
      You used the word “harmony” and I’m a fan of that lovely word, too. Harmony…dance…it all works.
      Thank you again for taking the time read and comment.
      Most of all, thank you for providing the inspiration that helped me finish writing this piece.
      Namaste

      Like

  19. No surprise that it sounds like you plucked this right from my brain. I have only two settings…on and off. If I’m on. it’s full steam ahead and I beat myself up endlessly when I don’t accomplish everything on my never ending list. There is one set of words that really hit me between the eyes – ‘We say yes when we mean no and say no when we should have said yes.’

    This is me. All day long.

    Love this post so much. Thank you for writing it. I feel a little less alone now and my eyes are a little more open.

    And I’m really, really glad you didn’t fart during downward dog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sandy! Sandy!
      It always makes me so happy when I see your beautiful face come across my screen.
      I kinda had a feeling that we were kindred sisters in these ways with our lists and duties and deadlines. It’s good though, right? We’ll walk in each other’s shoes and be a gentle reminder to each other about our yes-no battles.
      So great to see you here…I missed you over the holidays 🙂
      xoxox
      Michelle

      Like

  20. Great post Michelle! And next year’s word can be ‘surrender’ LOL! Bet that word brings you out in hives! Whatever you think…you’re doing great! That arc we travel along, moving from planner to surrendered is a huge un-learning curve. It took me 6 years from leaving corporate ‘plan down to each breath’ life to get to ‘surrendered-ish’! And I still get the pesky urges to write lists or make planners for my creative work! but I just breathe through them and do the crow (just joking – yoga is on my to-do list for this year. Oops, I mean the universal path will rise up to meet me when the time is absolutely right 😉). Love your posts! ️Xx

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    1. LOL! Oh, you have me laughing out loud, Angela. I’m so glad to see you back in these spaces. Reading your words brings me comfort and direction. I can think of nothing that would make me happier than having my yoga mat next to yours.
      And, oh yes. I hear your message, I agree with your words, but admittedly, I have a long way to go. Surrender sounds divine….like the perfect step after I get that forever out-of-reach balance.
      Baby steps, right? xoxox

      Like

      1. How wonderful! I DO miss your poetry and am so happy to see you back. I’m also so happy to be back in my office tomorrow…maybe I can get caught up and read some of your beautiful words to keep me on task. xoxoxo

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  21. Ok, this was like looking in a mirror. I definitely need to find a way to balance between my two speeds: “150 mph” and “trying to sleep.” I also cringe when I hear “wow, you’re so organized” or “how do you keep it all together?” EEEEEEEEE!!!!! IF ONLY YOU KNEW!!!!! Obsession? I know no other words…

    Like

    1. Oh Leigh!
      How wonderful to have found a kindred spirit…even if our commonality is chaos! I met a wonderful nurse this week and her doctors kept calling her “Duckie.” When I asked where she got her nickname, she shared, “it’s because I’m like a duck in the lake. Calm and smooth-appearing on the surface and flapping my legs like crazy underneath just to stay afloat”
      Just keep swimming, my friend!! And thanks for taking the time to read and comment!
      Michelle

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      Liked by 2 people

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