After an hour of strenuous activity during my yoga class at the Y, our instructor, Sandy, a soft-spoken, gentle spirit, has us lay on our backs while we close our eyes, listen to soft, soothing music, and go into what she calls the final relaxation. She asks us to free our minds from the cares and worries of our lives and see with our third eye. When I close my eyes, I actually see a faint white light in the middle of my “vision,” and I focus my mind on that. Within minutes we are all transported to a place free of stress and worldly concerns. We feast on the sensation of true peace. By the time Sandy strikes the chimes to bring us back to earth, we are renewed.
The trick is to carry that feeling with me once I leave my yoga class. Indeed, it does stay with me for part of the day, but then I let the apprehensiveness of daily life creep back in with all its anxieties and regrets and what-if scenarios. That sense of disquiet was felt so keenly this past week after a wonderful visit to Michigan to see my daughter and granddaughters and son-in-law. I relished every moment of our time together, even though all I did was to follow my daughter’s busy routine. Because it was spring break for the girls, they enjoyed a slightly slower pace than usual. That left time for my daughter and me to sit at the kitchen counter most of the morning, savoring our coffee and conversation.
By the time my daughter took me back to the airport, we had had just enough time to settle into an easy routine of our own, and now I was disrupting it to return to Virginia. Each time we say goodbye to each other, we hug each other a little harder, hold each other a little longer. I love my daughter with all my heart, and she feels it. She doesn’t worry about entertaining me or having a spotless house or cooking fabulous meals every night. She doesn’t have to pretend to be someone else because I know who she is.
The problem is that we don’t get to see each other as much as we want or need. Retirement has given me the opportunity to see her so much more than I could when I was working, but it still is not nearly enough. It will never be enough. I used to play this game of trying to figure out how many more times we would get to see each other (twice a year times the number of years I probably had left equals maybe forty-four more times). Thank goodness I stopped that nonsense!
But I still carry a sorrow with me because I have missed so much of her life and her children’s lives. I want to ease that pain by looking at my life with that third eye, the eye that sees life not as a series of years we can never get back, but as a present reality of the blessings that surround us every day. And yes, I am surrounded with so many blessings, my cup overfloweth. That third-eye sight sees only the now, not the was or the could have been or the yet to be, but the now that is the only time we really have. Oh, to be able to live in the now and be content with that alone. I’m working on it, Sandy. With your help, I’ll get there.
I love you mom. I might not have Yoga, but you have given me the gift of writing. That is where I find my peace. Thank you.
Oh, I love this post and very much relate. My daughter is quite different, a drama-queen married to a drama -king who frequently gives me all the reason I need to run for the meditation bell. I feel like I learned much of what I know about living after she was gone from our house. I actually started Older Eyes with the thought that I wish I could teach her what I learned. But yes, I’ve been having these thoughts, too. I think it comes with the territory and mindfulness gets more difficult as I try to soak in everything I can.
That word “mindfulness” is such a great word. You have to be intentional to be mindful, and we seem to be so much more intentional, the older we get. Loved your comment, Bud.
“I want to ease that pain by looking at my life with that third eye, the eye that sees life not as a series of years we can never get back, but as a present reality of the blessings that surround us every day. And yes, I am surrounded with so many blessings, my cup overfloweth. That third-eye sight sees only the now, not the was or the could have been or the yet to be, but the now that is the only time we really have.”
A wonderful thought; just the lesson of small group discussion last night.
Would love to have been there!
I’m glad to see you get so much more out of Yoga than I did. I had to give it up, but I do believe that the class I tried was not the best. The focus was fitness more than wholeness.
The instructor definitely has a lot to do with it. You could try another class, or, if you know enough of the basics, you could get a good yoga book and practice it at home. I do that sometimes when I just can’t make it to the Y. I’ll do a 30-minute sun salutation. Great way to begin the morning.
What a beautiful post! When I do yoga, I can get more centered with my breathing and just be in the now. I agree with you that some days this feeling carries with me but I find it hard to hold onto that feeling sometimes. Especially when I feel regret or sorrow (like you mentioned with missing your daughter) I am working on letting those negative thoughts come into my mind, then accept them without judgement and let them go. Very difficult to retrain our thinking this way, but it works in helping us heal. Meditation also helps with this and really I suppose yoga is a form of meditation with our bodies.
I really like your comment about learning to accept those negative thoughts without judgment. Maybe that’s the only hope we have of letting them go. You are so much younger than I am, and yet we can make a connection because we share similar attitudes about life. That’s what I love about blogging!
Another great post. Thanks for sharing this. Spending time with my family is something that truly makes me happy in life. I enjoy reading your blog very much.
Fun Family Activity Ideas
That’s what I love about blogging. I find so many other people who I can make a connection with because we share similar feelings about our life journey. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Just today I found 2 of the blogs I follow had similiar themes to mine. None of us were doing the suggested topic – we just all gravitated towards the same theme on our own. A great part of the blogging community.