On Sunday, January 5th, 2020, I began teaching a 7a yin class at the studio in Maplewood where I had a regular restorative offering.
I got there early, around 6, with a leather bound journal and cleared the room. I set the lighting dim, put the battery operated candles all around and covered the supply shelf with a blanket, added height and dimension. Once the room was set, I put books of ancient text, my mug of hot water and – of course – the leather bound journal & pencil – out on the floor and I sat in the space I created and prayed.
“Backwards, moving, warming. The words are underneath my brain all the while things kept moving…”
Those are the first words I scribbled in the journal, waiting for the flow to begin… to be told what to teach. I approached that Sunday morning yin class as a door for me and others – a sacred opening for us to maybe even come fully alive in a pose or in a breath – and feel that awesome feeling we get sometimes when we are truly fully present: that suspension and peace.
Each Sunday, I held myself to the same practice: preparing the space, sitting and waiting, sketching the thoughts and the poses. Until March 22nd, 2020 – the last class in person before we went into lock down. I remember the 9a teacher arriving early for her last class and our students mixing in the lobby… a few tears… what is going on? Are things really like closing?
2020 was the first year I started with a practice and kept it up until disrupted by the world. I remember considering continuing with a weekly morning email for folks to practice at home. Doing the same thing in my own home and sharing. But it did not feel right. So I did not.
Now we are on the 2nd of January – the first Sunday in January – and having a Sunday morning practice of sitting with an open heart and listening feels right. This year, it is not a yin class I prepare for, but the continual growth of Appletreemagic.com and the four books I plan on putting into the world this year.
I am prepared to let go of any of those four books should the world force my hand while also I am confident enough in what they are and how I know them to say they are what I am doing. This is the balance of effort and ease. Trusting yourself to hold on to something with diligence while being open to the way they will be shaped, the way your hand may be forced to let go, the way creativity may ebb….
And so here lies the January theme:
What do you know well enough to allow to be constant?
What do you know well enough to allow to change?
We get our kids back over the course of this afternoon and the next couple of days from their other parents’ house where they have been for a week. David and I have had a week of hiking, eating well and rest. We feel good. I can tell we feel good. But, when you look around the house we live in – you would see our current crux: our “endless loop” of shifting a room’s purpose and furniture and stuff to work for our family.
Even with all the ideas floating around as to how to set up the family room, dining area and sitting area, I still hung four pictures in the corner of one of the rooms. Because it is where my desk is… This corner is my constant in my house of change. It’s an anchor that will baseline the evolution of how the rest of the house falls into place as well as how the year goes.
In closing, at 40 years old, I have gone through enough iterations of myself with full head on awareness of what I wanted to spin out of or step into that I know one of the tricks is to allow some thing to be constant. Overhaul as much as you want, but keep the thing that works the same. At least try to until the world forces your hand. Because even in that case, the sacred place and priority you gave it will make it fun to see how it comes fully circle.