Weakness and frailty make consistent appearances in my thoughts and reality. On a personal front, my 77 year old father is literally running out of air as emphysema closes down his lung function. Globally, our world faces tremendous challenges in all realms, especially political and environmental.
I, like other working mamas, can feel the outer cloak of fortitude weaken under the pressure of being fully present in the multitude of roles I inhabit.
My mind spins as I try to stay calm when feelings of impending doom cloud the many shiny elements in life.
Just breathe, I think to myself, just breathe.
But I know that breath is not enough. I need oxygen, but even more, I need physical and mental strength. Power will serve as a warrior shielding me from my negative and pessimistic thoughts. Power will wake me up and make me show up in my life, when I feel a desire to turn off and shut down. Power will bring me peace when I hear unwanted news; it will remind me to breathe and focus on reality instead of journeying into dark imaginings. And most of all, power will fuel and fortify my fragile interior in order for it to hold space for those who need me and who need my protection – my father, mother and, most importantly, my children whose own lives are sweet and young and do not need to be coated with the rusty tarnish of fear, bewilderment, and frustration. For them, life is still mostly fair and just. There are rainbows after storms, playgrounds at schools, kisses and hugs after fights and snuggles before bed.
Physical strength gives me energy, makes me stand taller, think more clearly and offers me a foundation upon which my priorities can take root. When I have felt the least powerful in my body, I remember feeling less secure about choices, less engaged in my surroundings and MORE crowded with emotions that were not as healthy – anxiety, doubt, fatigue, apathy, etc.
I know that by committing to a challenging and powerful yoga practice, I give myself the gift of possibility, potential, progress, and positivity.” I KNOW I CAN” speaks volumes in this ever-shifting world: these words throw arrows at roadblocks in the shape of fear and regret. I choose to practice strength to be strong just as I choose to practice kindness to be compassionate. And in my yoga practice, I often accomplish both.
So, for myself, for my parents, my friends, family, children, and community, I want to be strong. And I am.