Monday, May 2, 2011

All The Way

During this morning's meditation and breath work, Frank Sinatra's song "All the Way" came to me. When somebody loves you it's no good unless they love you, all the way. It's time for me to love myself all the way. I had an aha moment after my individual yoga lesson with Pat Donaher last week. The pivotal memory of my mother (God bless and rest her soul) neglecting me physically and abandoning me emotionally after contracting paralytic polio has led me to a struggle in my own healing journey. There are moments when I realized I was abandoning myself. I abandoned the feelings of self love. I felt that taking care of myself was a burden. I 'sacrificed' my needs to take care of others. My husband used a beautiful phrase this weekend as we talked about the Warrior pose in yoga. He expanded on what I said in my previous blog post. The Warrior unleashed is not unleashing the anger at those who 'wronged' us but rather unleashing the power of love and forgiveness. Tom said, "The Warrior is there to protect our own happiness and joy."

I could go on and on about ways in which I did not love myself all the way but I prefer to focus on what it means to love myself all the way. It means asking myself at all times, is this action, is this choice a loving choice and one which serves my joy, happiness and love? Sometimes there are things I choose to do which I may not particulary want to do but know in my heart it is the right thing for me to do. When I make those choices, I want to do things with a full, happy and loving heart for that is how I can love myself all the way. Choosing thoughts is another way to love myself all the way. When I allow myself to be fully present in the present moment, I am loving myself all the way. When I choose how I respond to a particular external situation, I am loving myself all the way. When I choose healthy foods and eat mindfully, I am loving myself all the way. When I smile, notice God and the power of Divine within and without, I am loving myself all the way. When I adhere to the list of exercises for breathing and strengthening every day, I am loving myself all the way.

Patience is a wonderful form of self love. The practice of yoga is like learning to play a beautiful musical instrument. It is a process of discovering and nurturing self love and opening up parts of myself that once were numb and dead. When a beautiful series of notes is played, the harmony is magnificent. When I find myself 'off key', I can smile and love myself all the way knowing that practice makes progress and comes a little at a time. In yesterday's Yoga for Runners class with Sarah Sturges at Back Bay Yoga, I moved slowly and with intention. I noticed. I made adjustments to make myself more comfortable in a pose while deepening a stretch. I listened and absorbed the music. Sarah's voice guided my meditation in movement and fueled self love and inner wisdom. It was a total sensory experience. During Savasana, as Sarah walked gently around the room, I could feel energy flowing. I felt my abdomen and pelvic area respond to the energy. In one moment, as Sarah walked by there was a swish of air and I felt fluttering on the right side of my abdomen where there is scar tissue and adhesions from multiple surgeries. I shut down so many parts of myself to defend against pain. Now I get to love myself all the way. "Taller than the tallest tree tops - that's how it's got to be. For when somebody loves you, it's no good unless they love you All The Way."

How are you going to love yourself all the way?

God bless, be well and live like you were dyin'
From my heart to yours with love and gratitude,

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