Taming the Monkey Mind: Day 11

Today is one of those days that deserves a name, a title that anchors it in my mind and lets me retrieve the file at will. I dub today, The Opening.

I have recently developed my own Sunday ritual. My morning begins with a 90 minute power hot yoga class. Now that spring has arrived, I follow this class with a visit to the nearby botanical gardens for an hour or so. It is a perfect combination, as it makes good use of drive time and the plants don’t seem to mind the fact that I am sweaty and stinky from yoga (or at least they are too polite to say so).

This particular yoga class has been a delightful challenge for me. Every week I learn something new about a pose or about myself. It pushes me beyond my comfort zone in so many ways. My biggest obstacle in yoga has always been my hips; they are tight from running, lack of stretching, and my natural biomechanics. But, most of all, they are tight because it is where I hold tension. Those hips are starting to open. As those binding ligaments loosen, I can start to feel my mind relax as well. Stress moves out and acceptance moves in to take its place. My yoga instructor says, “Open hips, open heart.” I think she may be on to something.

I had to smile when I entered the gardens today. On my last visit two weeks ago, The petals on the tulips were closed tight, rigid and upright. Today, they were splayed open, faces towards the sun. Those tulips mirrored my own feelings.

The gardens were beautiful today, full of riotous color and fresh verdant growth. Of course, that also means they were full of onlookers; the quiet solitude of the early spring a thing of the past. I decided to approach my visit a little differently today. I pulled out my phone, interested my headphones, and started a track that contains meditative music that follows a diurnal rhythm. This allowed me to be in my own world and not be aware of the people filling the garden. I took a different route through the planting, maintaining a calm mind. This was my meditation today. I had no goals, no destination. I allowed myself to just be in the space. It was wonderful. Restorative.

I now feel open, face turned towards the sun.


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