Friday, March 11, 2011

Be Like a Bird Who ...

Thursday, March 18, 2011, 3:00 p.m.

It's a sun drenched 40 degree day. Immediately after this morning's T'ai Chi Chih class Frances, Namaste, and I left for the Twin Cities. It's a wonderful travel day: warm, bright, and shining. Patches of earth and grass peek through snowy fields where deer graze quietly. I expect we'll see more snow at our Twin Cities' destination since that area received more winter storms thus far this year.

In my rush to get out of town I arrived at class in a flustered flurry. I gratefully grew into stillness as we practiced T'ai Chi Chih and sat together for 15 minutes of quiet meditation.

My overactive mind and body relaxed so much during class, in fact, that I napped in the car during the first three hours of travel. TCC class was a wonderful transition from a hurried, over full week into/toward a relaxing weekend getaway. I look forward to visiting with friends and relatives and attending my first opera on Saturday night.

I'm back to writing in my traveling journal since I'm unsure whether an opportunity to sit at a keyboard will present itself. Oh, joy! a welcome respite from a regular schedule and daily habits and patterns!

Friday, March 11, 2011, 1:30 p.m.

We're comfortably settled into the house of two friends in St. Paul. I stayed 'home' this afternoon while Frances and one friend ventured to the Minnesota Textile Center. Me? I'll happily practice T'ai Chi Chih, blog, read, take the dog for a walk, and nap. With my energy renewed, I'll be ready for more visiting or an outing this evening.

This is what I know about myself. The older I grow and the more I practice moving and seated meditation, the happier I am living quietly and simply. When I honor the energy (or lack thereof) that is available to me in this moment, I gradually learn to respect my limits. When I respect my limits--my Self--I'm less inclined to feel that I'm missing out when others take off adventuring. I allow myself to be filled with--and comforted by--the peace and silence that surrounds me in the quiet place I inhabit in this moment.

Today's TCC practice was wonderful and refreshing. With all humans out of the house I positioned myself in front of a mirrored wall and watched not only my reflected self but another shadow of myself that mirrored back to me from a glass door. Two selves: one identifiable in her black pants, lavender turtleneck, and tennis shoes, and another who had a similar shape but who was dressed entirely in black.

I quickly realized that I was more accepting and nonjudging of my shadow self than I was of the reflection that was the more accurate representation of me. The shadow didn't need to look or move a certain way. The identifiable Steph did. Whew. I consciously focused on my shadow and appreciated the feelings of relaxation that flowed into me. (It felt much better to focus on what's inside instead of being waylaid by outward physical appearance.)

I found this framed quote on my friend's desk and decided to include it on this blog because in a certain way it, too, is Taoist philosophy:
Be like a bird
Who halting in her flight
On a limb too slight
Feels it give way beneath her
Yet sings, sings
Knowing she has wings
Yet sings, sings
Knowing she has wings

No comments: