Autumnal Awareness

Today I am unsure what to write. which seems like a waste of words really. I am sitting here on my porch in late October with only a down puffy vest on aware of how the sun slants in on the douglas fir floors, next to my dear friend Melissa who is also writing along with me, and keenly aware of the faint sounds of birds chirping as they fly overhead with the jet airplanes on their flight patterns elsewhere or returning home, and squirrels rustling in the fallen colored leaves, that make everything outside look like it is littered in bountiful colors of Christmas tree lights. I am more aware of the breath that exhales in that soft space beneath my nose and the whistle of it at the back of my throat as it rises out of my center, my belly, and wraps up my ribs underneath my underarms and into my throat and head. I am also observant of the excess tension I hold in my hip flexers, something I have done for some time now, maybe even my whole life, but as I sit fully supported without the full strength of my abdominal rectus muscle in tact I have transferred tension and function to my hip flexers and even sitting they are not aware to relax unless I tell them. Moving this automatic reflex from my subcortex to my cortex takes awareness and mindfulness that I float in and out of today as I meditated in silence watching my thoughts float in and out of my to do list for the day, and feeling my second cup of coffee move through my system with a hyper-ness I am unsure of needing, but grateful for its internal warmth.

Something that is floating through my consciousness is the role of a healer and educator. I heard people talk this weekend how a healer heals but an educator helps people heal themselves. Yes, this may be part of it however, a faint memory of this discussion in SP floats like dust particles through the sunlight and I make a note to myself to go back to my notes and look this up. For I do not think this is an either or situation. But truly a both. An and, and more...The invitation to become more aware internally so I can be more present to my life that is before me is huge! To feel the subtle lines of energy moving through me is something to nurture. To recognize my habits in posture, in this body, is something for me to grow awareness around, to become an experimenter around, an explorer of my body and how it lives in this daily world. To try to find that edge of internal and external presence and the dance between them.

This weekend, for the first time without fan fare, or much deliberation I wore a headband and went to yoga training, no wig. Not even a hat. A safe experiment. Thursday and Friday I wore my wig and hat and the itchiness of my scalp as it grows back wore on me. I was hot underneath it all and felt hidden in a sense. I realized the freedom that comes from wearing my wig was now not there in this situation. So while I almost did it Friday morning, I mustered the strength to do it on Saturday. I walked out with my wig in my green bag packed just in case along with my hat. I tried not to think too much about it. Molly, one of my yoga teachers, kissed me on the head as we made a stop at French Meadow bakery for coffee and pastries before training. We did not exchange words about it. I walked into Tula. I felt my nervousness grow a bit as I saw more and more people. I grabbed a moment with Marcee, a woman I love from my 200 hour training, to ask if it looked ok. She peaked, her dad having had alopecia for her whole life, and I knew she would answer me honestly, "Well, it is a little thin in back but not bad, way more than last year." She tucked a piece of my hair back. We walked back out from the upstairs kitchen to the studio and I sat on my mat. I decided I would take a deep breath and own it. Who cares! I chided myself. (I do I whispered back.) And I settled into myself with a breath. I knew some were wondering but I did not let it get to me. I just sunk into the gloriousness that it was growing back enough to do this moment. I decided people could approach and ask me if they wanted, but I would not announce or deflect it by wearing my hat. No one did. I know some wonder. I know some wanted to ask but did not know how, this is theirs I thought.  For now, I sit in gratitude of my bravery.

And I watched how this bravery continued on into Monday morning at Macalester while I dropped Seamus off, and wore only my kerchief. I debated on the stairs as I tied shoes before school. Peter said, "I never liked your wig any way." His comment took me by surprise. I hadn't known that. So for a few more days into the week I payed with not wearing the wig. Gaining freedom to wear it when I need or want it because it allows me to enter a situation more gracefully, and the invitation to not hide behind it. I felt proud. Excited even. The leaves continue to shimmer in the sun this morning, and I feel the warmth of the sun's rays move across the floor. As a few leaves let go of their branch, I feel my own beliefs and contractions let go too. I wonder what this winter has to bring.