S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g Beyond My Comfort Zone

IMG_2101 12I did it! I finally did it!

So maybe this isn’t going to sound like a big deal to some. But to me, it is.

I’ve been practicing yoga for about six years now, I believe. I lost track of how long, really. All I know is that I can’t live without it now.

But one thing I’ve always wanted to do was to do my yoga practice on my deck. But the chicken in me always won the battle every time I’d feel the impulse to want to do so.

I’d worry the neighbors would see me and think I’m nuts. Well, I am a bit nuts and rather like it that way. The older I get the more I embrace this just being me thing, which is quite liberating.

Today, a beautiful not too hot, but just right kind of morning in Wisconsin, the impulse hit me again. I could hear the chicken bawking in my head, “You’ll look silly! What if someone sees you?”

But it was time to quiet that loud, obnoxious chicken and stretch myself beyond my comfort zone.

As I rolled out my mat and placed my purple blocks at the front of the the mat, I was already beginning to feel in this new peaceful place inside. This. was. going. to. be. amazing. I was already feeling the positive effects.

And oh how it was!  Many of my poses have me looking upward at some point in the pose. To see the open, blue sky with whispy clouds floating by, and the rich green of the leaves on the tree above me, it felt like the earth was wrapping itself around me saying, “Welcome home. Welcome home.”

I truly didn’t want my practice to end today. I held each pose longer than usual. I drank each one in as the peace of those moments melted down to my soul.

I thought, “This was a whisper of my heart for so long that I kept pushing away.”  Here I was in this moment of finally rising to what had been calling me, those whispers that were finally answered, leaving me with a divine calm that still has me floating on a cloud two hours later as I finish writing this post.  Namaste.

You may notice on the left hand side of the photo what appears to be a dog bed and blanket. Underneath is Gidget who is practicing her own type of yoga. I posted this photo in a Facebook group I belong to earlier today and someone said:  “That blanket is her yoga mat. She just prefers to be under it to achieve peaceful meditation. Serenity!” I do believe she is right!

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Joie, My Late Dachshund with IVDD, Forever Beautiful in Stained Glass

joie stained glassI received many lovely gifts for my birthday, but truly, none more touching than this stained glass of my Joie given to me by my mama. She commissioned an artist friend to do this for me.

It will be one year August 22 since Joie moved into spirit world. You may recall that I adopted her from Oregon Dachshund Rescue knowing she had IVDD and needed a wheelchair. John worked his magic and took Frankie’s wheelchair and adjusted it to fit Joie.

Joie was only with us for ten short months. But she left many gifts behind. Her biggest lessons to me were to pause, sit in stillness, and to understand that I no longer needed to prove my worthiness. I can rest securely in who I am.

As I did a bit of research for this post, I went to the Facebook page for the movie Joie took part in last August, The Surface Movie. I was wondering if there was any notice of a date of when the movie will be out in our area.

As I scrolled down the page I saw a post noting the movie is now complete. The post was on July 14th. Four days before my birthday and three days after my mom gifted me with this special gift.

Tears immediately sprang to my eyes. Joie’s spirit is strong and well. My heart smiles.

It will be bittersweet to see her in the movie (I’ll keep you posted once it is out in theater’s- projected to come out later this year). But I’m ready to see her sweet face roll across the big screen in her wheelchair. It is going to be a proud, proud moment.

The stained glass piece of her is a shining, loving reminder of how lucky I was to have her in my life, even if for just a short time. She blessed me in ways I would have not otherwise been blessed.

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My Joyful Pause Moments: Weekly Recap.

What were your joyful pause moments this week?  Here are mine!

1924324_10203292171678285_3643091216225265851_nChilling out with Miss G on the front stoop of my house. She is such a contemplative dog!

20140723_123448 eSitting outside on my deck enjoying lunch and perusing this new magazine I recently heard of, “Artful Blogging.”

20140724_083431 eEnjoyed being a part of the Horizons 4 Girls retreat at Tree of Life which is only about 8 miles from my house.

delilahThis is Delilah, a sweet faced dog I met while visiting my friend Cassy at her art studio.

20140726_115600 eFinding this skirt that seemed to be made just for me (and everyone else who loves wiener dogs)!  Found it at our local Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market. These are skirts made from t-shirts.

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