I make quite a deal out of my birthday each year, like really! I could say it's simple - I'm a Leo, we are like that. but being born in a water year, I believe my qualities are usually more low key and I tend to roar a bit less than my other bright shining Leo cohorts. Except birthday time. Anyone in earshot usually will know my birthday is within a month or just was.....I find myself thinking how obnoxious I'm being, and then being fine with that too. I just feel I can't help it. ME month!
However this year for the past couple months, I realized I'm not bringing my usual zest and enthusiasm for the upcoming day, so a bit of digging in and processing here is what's been on my mind. I realized that I've needed bring something in my heart to an end, and my age seems more in my face about this than it ever has any other time in my life. none of these milestones I cared too much about- double digits at 10, turning 18 officially into an adult, 21 you can drink, than the you can't do milestones start, most likely not going to be famous if it didn't happen by 25, you're not going to be in the FBI anymore if you are over 36, Over 40 as a woman you most likely will not have a baby. Sometimes age does matter.
Since Mark and I have been married we have tried to conceive a child and over the past year, many signals that I imagine for most women would be a sign of their body changing, my slightly unrealistic over optimistic hope and possibilities have been that lateness or differences I have dreamed were of possible conception. These past couple years, I only accepted reading about stories of women beyond their 40's conceiving a child and the viability of it all. Only those closest to me have had some personal and deep discussions and known even though probability was unlikely, I learned and I appreciated knowing not everyone's story to conception was easy, yes I'm aware of how old I'd be when my child would turn 20, these hard realities and honestly their thoughts and support were so caring and kind I tried to find relief and peace with this dialogue, but I have been rather inconsolable. (because yes, but my body is supposed to be able to do this!)
so as this birthday nears I decided I wanted to have a more somber way to honor my age with a ritual of letting go of this hope and possibility. maybe not a fun arcade night and multiple lunches and dinners with friends to celebrate my birthday month, but something that can put this difficult monthly trap of ups and downs- am I, could I be, maybe?????? - nope. and repeat - to peace.
I've been doing my best to not be incessantly on social media, I have been reading a lot more lately and writing, and regardless of the knowledge I have about looking at screens right before sleep - cute dog and cat videos can set me up for a good night's rest. Sadly after an adorable belly-up puppy video - what came across my news-feed was that a classmate, a lovely soul, a swim team teammate -Katy had lost her battle with cancer. This quite quickly after she posted receiving a 3 year cancer free prognosis in May. It returned with a vengeance and with complications to chemo she lost her battle last night.
Since graduation Katy had went on to so many things, she was a successful lawyer, lived life to the fullest- met her soul mate, attended rock concerts, traveled the world, all these amazing things and impacted so many people. then cancer. FUCK CANCER!!!! she has been on my mind quite a bit today, I have suffered quite a bit of loss this year and hearing her passing has bubbled and stirred more sadness and grief up again.
It's only happened a few times in my life (3 that I can remember) I hear 3 LOUD knocks in my dream. They wake me up, they vibrate so much that I truly believe that they were in the waking world (I get half way out of bed to answer the door and realize our door is wood not metal) and they echo in my body and ears for hours afterward. This is how I woke up this morning, echoing knocks - mostly what the dream books say is that a major SHIFT is coming.........
I believe all of this is some type of clarity to instant presence - first off, acceptance. I think I'm somewhere close to acceptance about my body. I had been seeing this all backwards, I don't have to give up hope and possibility in my life I like those parts of me too, what I found is seeking acceptance in my heart. my body, life, cancer, loss, uncertainties, all of it. we really cannot control or manage most of what comes our way. It's not bad to hope or believe in possibility, but I need to allow what these things are and not let them be bigger than they are. I also think I need to celebrate my birthday and my life as it is.
We all have stressors that rattle us, knock us off our moments of balance, or burden our lives. These are things we either want to change, pretend not to exist, or even wish away every so often.
Loss, Stress, jobs, bills, messy homes, the toxic people in our lives—they all from time to time “own” us, consume us, or drive us spiritually away from our true selves. Acceptance means that you do not let these things own you or your life. They exist. They will continue to exist.
It is our response to these stressors, not the stressors themselves that is within our control. Accepting life, including its burdens and hardships, helps us thrive despite these stressors. Instead of making these stressors bigger than they are, we simply need to recognize and accept them as part of the journey.
This is why humility and non-attachment are essential components to a sound yoga practice and a good life. We cannot let the the sad moments or the "too" great of moments “own” us either by making them bigger than they are or living in the past at the expense of the present.
how this can show up in your yoga?
Practicing Aparigraha (non attachment or acceptance)
check out this article for more ideas and practices-
Mantra to practice: “I am at peace as I am”
Namaste dear ones!!!!
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine
& Spiritual Literacy - reading the sacred in Everyday Life by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
& Lifelong Yoga by Sage Rountree and Alexandra Desiato
I'm Valerie, Yoga Teacher and following my Sankalpa!