this past weekend was filled with contrasting days. if i had to define it by a book, perhaps ‘eat, pray, love’ would have best mirrored the thoughts and emotions i went through. if, ‘eat, pray, love’ happened to be just one country per day, that is.
friday – the day of me, my ego, of which i ate up (following by eating a lot of peking duck)
the mood of this day was surrounded by my therapy session and what came out of it. it was a good therapy session and much was summed up by my journey these past couple of months. without going into full detail, i will say that the theme immediately started to center around getting to that point of actually loving myself.
it’s a strange concept. no, really. think about it. i know we hear it all the time. that analogy of air pressure dropping in a plane and air masks falling form above. the illustration of a parent putting on the mask first before putting it on their child. the basic message – how can you take care of anyone else if you can’t take care of yourself first? which easily can be translated to also loving ourselves… not just so that we can love and take care of others, but with a bigger and purer heart.
and yet, i say it’s still a strange concept to practice because everything in our society makes our hearts cynical, jaded and non-trusting. we’re raised to believe that loving ourselves means we are conceited with an overly-sized ego. and everything we do just isn’t right – our body image could be better, we could have a better hairstyle and we definitely need to replace our wardrobe and use gobs of make-up to cover our imperfections. our car could be better – so can our house. the list goes on.
so as i sat in front of my therapist, nodding in agreement of how being kinder to myself and loving myself, is an important, daily ritual, there was a part of me that felt uncomfortable with this process.
saturday – the day i prayed, but more for my ass
we went up to collingwood for a day of boarding/skiing. thanks to a friend of doug’s, we got cheap lift tickets at a private club. which meant we didn’t have to face the crowd of blue mountain or horseshoe – the two popular public ski resorts up there.
i was doing great! i felt great! we spent our morning on the blue runs. they weren’t long but tricky with some of the steep parts. but the conditions were a bit slick. the light was flat and the snow was packed and not at all soft. icy patches were also noted in certain areas.
a lot of people will question what it is about me and snowboarding. most of my friends have given it up, sticking to skiing. even claiming that snowboarding is out.
well, for one, i love it. i love the feel of it and that alone drives me to continue. secondly, and finally, i committed myself to it. once i commit to doing something, especially if it’s something physical, it’s not often i give up. i may take a hiatus but i’ll go back to it at some point to conquer it.
then in the afternoon, we headed back out to tackle a longer run. i was psyched because this was the first time i had a chance to go on a bigger hill for a longer trail. and i was doing great about 1/3rd of the way.
then all of the sudden, i lost control extremely fast. i don’t know how it happened, but i think i went air born before landing hard on the left side of my arse. followed with the rest of my body going back before bonking my head.
the pain seared and radiated in a most excruciating way. the ski patrol wanted to sled me down but i was too angry to let anyone help me. i graciously declined, saying that i’m okay with proof as i showed them i could still walk over to the side and move freely. i could walk… a bit stiffly, mind you, but i could. and i’ll be darned if i wasn’t going to finish that run on my board.
it wasn’t pride. it wasn’t embarrassment of being taken down by sled. it was my drive and my focus. i committed to doing something and i wanted to finish it.
my friend, hoa, who was my dragon boat captain at one point over a decade ago, said that sometimes i’m so geared up for my goal that i’ll kill myself doing it. he pointed this out again when we were at a place doing indoor rock climbing. he was spotting me as i climbed upwards and found myself in a tricky spot. without looking anywhere but up, i leaped off and tried to grab the next available piece, only to miss and fall. after he lowered me down to safety, he said that i tend to only go vertical, never horizontal. he pointed up to the areas i could have maneuvered left and right in order to make my way up.
i didn’t realize it back then. no – back then, i just analyzed what he was saying as mistakes i was making while rock climbing. but the developing message was – i’m so overly-focused that i don’t take a step back to analyze the situation. i’m in such a hurry for the win that i forget to ease up when i need to. and therefore, i miss a better solution.
so back to being stuck 2/3rd up that hill with my snowboard. i did manage to get down on my own, but most of it was just side to side on my heels. any turning to the other edge of my board proved to be too painful. i made my way back to the lodge and was forced to call it quits.
on the way home, i spent a good 15-20 minutes crying with anger and frustration. i questioned over and over again what i did wrong and how i could have avoided it. only until i calmed down a bit, i thought about those moments with hoa from my past and my therapy session the day before. that’s when i eased up on myself. i was so worried that this was a set back for me – a negative way to end the season and therefore, bringing much fear before the start of the next – that i forgot to take a look at how far i’ve come. and that the day’s condition was horrible which was not something i could control.
sunday – a day of love
i woke up feeling quite sore and stiff, but the searing pain i felt the day before, had subsided enough for me to walk around more easily. the first thing i said to doug when i woke up was, “i think i will go to the yoga show after all. will you guys come with me?”
we had a big, family brunch with excellent coffee. then quickly showered, changed and drove to the subway station.
i made it just in time to see a great yogi instruct a class in the yoga garden. his name is paul galloro. while i wasn’t able to make it for this class of his (and a bit too beat up to do it), i enjoyed showing my husband and daughter what a great yoga instructor he is.
we made our way through the floor and sampled lots of treats. some purchases were made and then 2 hours later, we headed back home.
as i said to a friend and fellow yogi, “it was just a great feeling to be there, surrounded by people who not only understood yoga, but love and are passionate about the practice of yoga and all the spiritual teachings it comes with.” and of course, i got to share the day with two people who are the utmost important to me.
it dawned on me that perhaps paul has a blog so i went home to look it up. as if it was meant to be, a sign that rounded up my entire weekend, i found this post he wrote a little while ago called “Nourish Your Soul with Love.”
i will dive on this more later but just wanted to add that this is a must read. it also made me realize that i HAVE been loving myself through the practice of yoga. and i’ll get into this deeper as well as i explain my journey – from when it was just a tool to my fitness regime to the point where the practice has become so much more.