One Friday night I dragged myself to a restorative yoga class, which was routine for me at one point in time. If you’ve never taken restorative yoga, it’s designed to calm the central nervous system. All the poses are specific to relaxation and typically involve laying or stretching on bolsters and pillows, suspending from a chair or hanging upside down in ropes like a bat. The after effects of doing this for an hour and a half put one on such a high it’s indescribable. Which is why I kept going.
However, this particular night I was exhausted. I didn’t really want to be there. Despite the euphoria class induced, it required a degree of concentration and energy. Quite frankly, I just wanted to be a blob in front of the t.v. “In order to relax, you have to put in a certain amount of effort,” the teacher told us. I’ll never forget that comment. It seemed such a paradox – that in order to relax, you had to actually invest in the process; work it. But like anything, relaxation is a practice and practice requires investment. I thought about the energy it takes me to swim regularly but how this in turn allows me to sleep and be sane. It was the same principle. It’s the same with prayer and meditation.
So here I am in the airport. It takes energy to get away. It can be a pain in the tush actually orchestrating plans and taking off half your clothes as you go through security. But once you put in the effort, the surrender takes over and it becomes worth it. I already feel my body softening as I wait to get on the plane. To me, travel (or retreating) is like pressing the ctrl/alt/delete button on the computer. (Okay, I’m a Mac user and that doesn’t apply but you get the analogy). It’s a form of rebooting. Of canceling out the errors and gummed up-ness of our lives and starting over from a fresh mode of operation. I so look forward to rebooting my psyche. To shutting down. Getting out the glitches and listening to what God has in store for me. To see where I’m at, once I slow down and stop processing ad naseum.
It was a long year. I lost my mother and grandfather in the last four months and prior to that my mother was incarcerated. I also jumped between two different and new job sites within the same hospital system. The work was familiar but the staff and set ups were different. And the kind of work I do requires a lot of people investment. I’m tired. I’m ready for a break.
I have a window seat but when I flew to Wisconsin for my grandfather’s funeral at Thanksgiving, a travel company had made my arrangements and put me in an aisle seat. (Being Thanksgiving, I was lucky to get a flight). Nonetheless, I asked at the gate, if a window might be available. Surprisingly, there was. As I got on the plane, and looked at the numbers on the over-head compartments, my number wasn’t there. It turns out, they had put me in first class. I’d never flown first class before. It was a trip. Literally. Before I even sat down, a glass of wine was put in my hand and I didn’t have to deal with noise or crowds. And they actually served a meal. I felt like I was flying in the 1950’s. I don’t know what my point here is expect that God always gives us little perks just when we need them.
*The quote in my last blog posting was from Jackson Browne’s brilliant song “The Pretender.” I forgot to credit him and don’t want the blog police coming after me.
**This blogging is fun. Like being handed a microphone (scary). Maybe I’ll get a digital camera to add photos.