Summer is making a stereotypical Minnesota long goodbye. With six days in a row of 90+ degrees it is hard for people or buildings to cool down. I have a new appreciation for the practice of an afternoon siesta.
If I were a self-help guru and wanted to make a lot of money convincing people that all of their problems could really just be boiled down to one essential thing-- that if they changed that one thing their lives would completely change... here is what I would be evangelizing on:
Part of me (admittedly a pretty big part) wonders if all the food sensitivities, all the weird inexplicable illnesses attributed to environmental crap can really be traced back to the body's reaction to stress.
As a musician, a linguist and a teacher it was once my greatest fear that I would lose my hearing. So naturally when I was über-stressed I would occasionally suffer partial deafness in one or both ears. A high pitched ringing noise replaced the ordinary sounds. And then gradually if I calmed down about it, my hearing returned.
It freaked me out to no end until a friend pointed out that these fits of hysterical deafness perfectly coincided with some sort of ultimate stress-fest on my part.
Her theory was that my body was trying to tell me to chill out and slow down, but I wasn't listening. It tried shallow breathing, racing pulse, that icky fight-or-flight thing. When I didn't do anything to change the situation that was making my body inhospitable, it shot back with a little dose of deafness. NOW ARE YOU LISTENING? CHILL OUT! WE NEED A BREAK.
Beginning on Tuesday I am going to be getting back into a regular practice of Pilates again. After child number 2 I was very interested in Pilates and even considered becoming a certified instructor. Then I don't know what happened (busy? birth of 3rd child?) but I just fell away from pilates.
And then I was ashamed to return because I had all kinds of body-image issues about being much heavier now than when I was regularly practicing. Duh. And here is the thing: I go to the YMCA. There are people of every shape and size there. It is not where you go to "see and be seen."
First I didn't want to go back because I didn't want my teacher (who had encouraged me to follow the instructor route) to see how much I had fallen apart physically. This is stupid. My teacher is one of the kindest, most amazing people I know and never judges anyone by what they look like or what their bodies can do.
Then I didn't want to go back because I found out that my teacher is no longer teaching the class. And she is one of the kindest, most amazing people I know...
The people they have now are good instructors, but I don't know them. I have no personal connection with them. They seem (superficially at least) more interested in being thin and fit than in the practice of pilates and other mindfulness-based exercises. It is just one of many classes that they teach.
I can't go sometimes. Meaning I can't just wake up and decide whether or not to go. Because that is what I have done, and I don't go. I have to just make it part of my schedule.
Tuesdays and Thursdays I will do pilates at the Y. And I will get to know the instructors. And my child will get to know the fantastic childcare staff (the woman in charge has been there since my 10-yo was 2).
Grateful Crap: August is almost over. My new teaching schedule is very very set unlike my chaotic site-visits of the past few years. I think I will benefit from some enforced structure since structure does not come naturally to me.
tangent: When I was looking around at the disaster of my home, I told a friend that I needed to get a system that would work to keep the house clean. She laughed at me. "You can't have a system. That wouldn't work for you. You just need a rhythm." I liked that. Mind you, I haven't found the rhythm, but it bears remembering as I am trying to get things under control.
Quaker, teacher, parent,