Archive for June, 2021

Soul Cleaning

Friday, June 11th, 2021

“You know how to do this,” the nurse said to me during a “wellness visit” that Medicare pays for. Chuck and I said, “why not?” when our doctor insisted we sit with a nurse and talk about wellness. I know what I have.. the aneurysm, and I get checked. I do all the normal annual and other scheduled visits I need to do… So what else?

“How many times a day do you eat vegetables?” She looked up expectantly at my silence. I glanced over at Chuck who was looking at me too, seeing if I would lie? “Not very often,” I mumbled. “Grains?” she continued. “Grains?” I answered. “Do beans count?” I was getting desperate to please this lady, and I was batting zero. “Water, first thing in the morning,” she said, “when you get up. A glass of water?” “Coffee,” I whispered, as I slid down in my chair. “OK” she said cheerily, “Exercise!” She is grasping now. I looked over at Chuck’s growing tummy. Pillsbury dough boy has nothing on us. Chuck, God bless him, said,”I get the mail every day!” The nurse looked at me, and she grinned, “short driveway?” OK this is not good. She’s got us down. I guessed the short walk to the mailbox didn’t impress her. So then she started talking about our will and our executor as if that’s the next step. “Well,” she said, kindly, “you know what you are supposed to be doing”…. “Yeah yeah yeah, eat vegetables every day. Eat whole grains. Drink a bottle of water before coffee.”

Sedentary is not good. Ice cream is not good. Popcorn is not whole grains. Knee pain is “a first sign of….” and it goes down hill from there. So I got yoga pants in a larger size and started off to yoga 4 days a week. I’m still rehabbing my knee since I tried to ride my bike, uphill, off our street. So I ride now to the beginning of the hill and walk up. I’m slow but sure. I come home from yoga and pull weeds. Now this does sometimes lead to me falling into bed for a nap at noon, but I figure it’s a start. Broccoli, asparagus, and carrots have been added and I actually drink a whole glass of water before my 830am yoga class!

So much for the physical body; my yoga instructor, Beth, working on our bodies, is also working on our Spirit. She’s digging around for the tiny muscles that scream and shout when I try to do poses from my knees. I can’t lay on my belly and lift both arms. Yet. … In “the child’s pose” my butt is up in the air while others sink placidly flat onto their calves. Beth makes us breathe. “How’s your breath?” she asks. “How’s your neck?” “Inhale and turn to the right. Exhale and turn to the left.” “Don’t strain; it’s only yoga.” Huffing and puffing, groaning a lot, and often sitting on the floor in confusion… I am trying to do some soul cleaning! You see, Beth sees this as us getting to know our body and our spirit. Can’t do something? Modify the exercise. No pushing or pulling, just gentle moving. Clear the head. Monkey brain, “out!” Constantly listening and adjusting, I listen to a straining muscle and ease up. I must give my body the same respect as I give my nutrition and hereby comes the Soul Cleaning. Beth wants us to listen to our Spirit! Move away from the clutter and noise and listen to the still small voice that says, “gently, silently, lovingly. It’s life.” Beth asks us to be aware of the genial love of our Father. We open our hands to receive Grace, and we lift our hearts up. Oh how far we can go! Gratitude. The release of anger. Peace. Find your Beth and listen to her. She might be an angel in disguise! God bless you.

It’s Time!

Friday, June 4th, 2021

The Church is in Ordinary time, which is like summer, when nothing happens. We have celebrated the Annunciation and the Visitation and … We have celebrated Christmas, Lent and Easter, the Resurrection and the Coming of the Holy Spirit. Now we settle into a “teaching time.” A time to listen and to think about what God wants. And I will take this time to “get back into shape” with yoga, and to “oh my goodness” try to make a difference with my own personal hoarding. Yes, I said hoarding. My hoarding is the piles of pages I’ve torn out of magazines and newspapers, saying, “Must read this book, must read this poem, must paint this picture.” Yesterday I wrote down the DVD I found at my library, and today I will pick the DVD up at the library and throw away the piece of paper that says, “See this.” There is a wonderful book I clipped to read that I will order on Amazon. This is a “do it or throw it away” time. This energy is fueled by a nightmare I have occasionally. I’m leaving school on the last day, never to teach again, or I’m leaving work, never to go there again, and I have boxes and boxes of papers to take home. You see, I stash my clippings everywhere I go…. So then, the nightmare continues, there I go, burdened with paper, no ride home, so I must trek to the bus stop with all that stuff. Needless to say, my cell phone is at the bottom of it all, I fish out coins for the bus, but get lost. I wander around in a downtown area, gradually leaving boxes behind. Chuck said he had a dream, he and Dave were looking for a lost trooper. I said, “I saw you way far away but you didn’t see me.” I usually wake up, exhausted, on the corner of who knows where and who knows where… I showered, jumped into my Yoga clothes, grabbed coffee, washed last night’s dishes and settled in to get busy. Ditch this paper!!! What’s your hoarding? Love you! God bless us.