Slightly Off Center

Today my mom asked me to fix the back of her hair with a comb. She said it didn’t have to be perfect. I asked, “Do you remember who you asked to fix your hair?” She laughed, because I am the last person you want to fix something if you want it to be perfect.

On the weekend when we are doing chores or hanging around the house, Luke will ask if his hair is sticking up in the back. I’ll move his hair around and tell him it looks fine. He’ll grumble and say he’ll get his cap. It’s not that his hair looks bad. A few pieces may be out of line, but I like it.

Then there’s ironing. Again my son or husband will ask if a shirt needs to be ironed. I’ll take it, give it some firm whips through the air, and hand it back. It looks good, I’ll say. They will either get the iron or find something else. I will admit that if you want to torture me, then ask me to iron something.

It’s not that I’m lazy or don’t care about how my loved ones look. It’s that I really think it’s fine. I don’t need to have every hair in place. Have you seen my hair? It’s usually going in every direction, which is how it’s been since I was three years old. I think I am a product of my hair. I flourish in chaos. I enjoy looking at life off center and feel most balanced when everything else is off kilter.

Now for those of you who need everything perfectly placed, close your eyes, because the following picture will throw your day off completely!

offcenter

I took these photos. There are two more to the right. It’s the evolution of the sunflower. I actually hung them up by myself, and yes, they are always crooked. I have tried straightening them out, but they never stay. Quite frankly, it doesn’t bother me.

Should I be bothered that being off center doesn’t bother me? I’m not really sure, but I don’t think so. Sometimes it just is. As Popeye would say:

popeye

Are there parts of me that I wish were perfect or improved or different? Sure. Does it affect how I live my life? Sometimes. How can I get around those thoughts to live fully as I am and meant to be? Acceptance. Acceptance isn’t giving up, it’s letting go of those expectations that are sometimes impossible to meet. It’s loving myself as I am at this very moment.

Write about a part of you physically or personality wise that you are completely happy with or doesn’t bother you in the least. Why doesn’t it bother you? Why are you content?

Next, take a habit, a personality trait or perhaps something physical that you have never been happy about and ask yourself why this is so? Does everything have to be in its place all the time? Does it affect your mood if it’s not? Does it cause problems with other family members or with how you feel about yourself? What can you do to accept this part of you? Do you truly love yourself?

 

 

Being With What Is

ice

I will be the first person to admit that I am a control freak. Not so much that everything has to be in its place (just ask my husband), but more like I need to be involved in anything going on around me. I need to keep striving to improve, fix, and adjust. That’s fine to an extent, but when you wear as many hats as I do, you have to let others take the reins on how something should be done.

When I first began yoga two years ago this month, I struggled with the fact that I couldn’t do many of the poses. I was very inflexible, and the strength I had developed from other forms of fitness didn’t always serve me on the mat. I have always been very competitive and hard on my body.

Yoga exercised my mind and spirit as much as it exercised my body. Eventually I understood two concepts. One, if I stayed in the moment (the pose), I was more aware of what was happening in my body. I relaxed, because I didn’t dwell on what had to be done at home, at work, with my writing, or with my family. I didn’t think. I enjoyed or sweat through the pose I was in.

Two, I accepted what is, which translates to accepting myself. If I fall out of a balancing pose over and over again, it’s all right. I take a deep breath, often laugh, and move on to the next pose or keep trying. When the last pose is done, I go on to the current pose. I don’t think about what comes after, but revel in the joy of being in the moment, of being with what is. Being in the moment and with what is gives me a sense of freedom to explore and releases that need for control all the time.

It can be difficult to do, especially if you are dealing with health issues, loss, or any crisis that bombards your mind. But by being with what is right now, you can live in the present moment and not worry about tomorrow. You can enjoy now.

What can you move aside or let go of, so you can be in this very moment with what is? This may be releasing your expectations of what your body should look like, how your health use to be, or what your life was like. Write about where you are at this very moment only.  Write about how this feels to you.