Livestartled was a blog about the confessions of a startled woman. This blog is not maintained anymore. But if you still want to follow the old blog owner, you can visit Twitter.
Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The sun warms instead of sears me, the air feels lighter, and the temps draw me outside tobe.
Early this morning, walking the Wonder Dog on a dirt road, I heard the sounds of fall above me. Stopping to get a bead on the location of the honking, I scanned a perfect deep blue sky and waited.
There they came.
Spread in their trademark V just in front and above me, they flew low enough I could see the neck rings and the tonal separations. Saw the leader flapping away and saw for the first time how mathematical their degree of separation is from each other.
Then the gift. As one, they tilted just enough so the early morning light caught their bellies and burnished them gold.
Startled. Pleased. Smiling.
Hope your day overflows with serendipity.
Because I’d like to promote a Dutch website, I write this article in Dutch.
Moderne webwinkels kennen tegenwoordig een groot gemak. Wanneer u meubels online wilt kopen, is het in de meeste online winkels voor meubels heel eenvoudig om de meubelen te bestellen en direct af te rekenen. Er wordt u handig duidelijk gemaakt welke handelingen u moet verrichten om je meubels online te kopen.
Van banken tot stoelen: meubels online aanschaffen kan een stuk voordeliger uitpakken dan op de gewone meubelboulevard en meubelwinkels. Met online meubelshops kunt u namelijk vaak profiteren van speciale aanbiedingen en kortingen.
Aarzel niet, maar maak direct gebruik van de allerbeste vergelijkingswebsite voor meubels.
I’m continually startled during my BeamFit class at my rec center Dimple Dell. Sometimes it’s because my body, which performed adequately in the previous class, is not in this class. Most of the time, however, it’s because I’m learning life lessons.
For those of you who are not familiar with BeamFit, check out their site. In essence, it’s a fusion between Pilates, yoga, and tai chi, all performed with the added instability of a squishy beam that sits on the floor. Get the image of gymnastics out of your mind: it’s not wood and it’s not off the floor. You don’t have to be a petite, lithe five-year old to do it.
I initially went because it challenges balance and I’m all for a class to help me avoid the ranks of Women Who Fall.
Yet what I’m getting is insight into living each moment of each day. Class reminds me of life concepts:
“Before you take a step, receive the information your feet are giving you,” is a standard encouragement from certified BeamFit instructor Lisa Condie. Stepping on the beam changes everything. It changes my weight distribution, balance, and, my attitude. I am now listening to my darling feet which carry me throughout my day and are often ignored: Lean, lift, compensate. And occasionally, HEY, STUPID, I’M WORKING IT DOWN HERE.
I hear much. And not just from my feet. I hear, “Who am I receiving information from in my life?” “Who do I want to hear information from?” I remember I want to receive information from God, because He has good plans for me and loves me more than I will ever know. I remember I want to hear what Adventure Guy is saying about his life because he’s important to me.
The first day I attempted BeamFit, I blew into class on a schedule. One hour for class, check my emails immediately afterward, 15 minutes to drive home through major construction hassles, and oh, did I bring the library books to return?
Moments into class, however, I abandoned anything further than stepping on and off and my focus point (which is NEVER another human–a lesson in itself, huh?). I couldn’t do both. Center first, then move. Right. Took longer than I thought. I have much in my head and it’s a 24/7 reality show with no sponsors. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe? What a concept. My body sent me information that I don’t breathe nearly deep enough often enough.
Even in the semi-dark, with lovely music, there are distractions. Am I squeaking my beam more than someone else as I grab for balance? That woman next to me is a heck of a lot older than me and she’s mamboing on that beam like she’s stuck to it. What’s wrong with me?
Lessons I’m learning include that distractions are a given, both in class and in life. The choice is what I’m going to do about it. That path makes all the difference. So in class I now stick my sneaker in front of me about two feet and focus on that. Steady on. I pull my body up as though kind hands are cupping my face and turning me toward the sun. Rise up. Focus.
Unlike weight lifting, here I see a steady increase in strength and endurance (if I apply myself regularly), balance is a moment-by-moment thing. Some days I walk the beam with more ease than other days. Some days my left side seems to be completely severed from my body and on its own agenda. Then, as in distractions, I have a choice. “Center first, then move” or be frustrated. (Hint: Frustrated is the joy-sucking wrong answer here.) On the days when I have to keep choosing life over death thoughts (“You are never gonna get this; why put yourself through this?”) I recall that the astronauts headed for the moon were off course 95% of the time and they still made history.
So, I’m startled to learn off the beam and in my dailiness, I am increasingly thinking: Change is inevitable. Misery is optional. So is the status quo.
In a perfect world, epiphanies would flow and be wonderful and I’d never have a time when I want a quick exit. Reality check. I hunger for the movement of the clock during class: When is the last five minutes?! Near the end, we do the BeamFit version of a Child’s Pose on the beam. The joke among BeamFit instructors is that it’s called the Child’s Pose in yoga and the “Oh, Thank God” pose in BeamFit. I can so relate.
I am sweating more than I would possibly think, moving as slowly and deliberately as I have been. I moan and groan and sometimes apologize because I’m the only one doing that. Sometimes I forget to rise up and I look more like Quasimodo than a delicate woodland sprite. Lisa says, “There’s no extra credit for pretty,” and I laugh and look at the clock again and think, “Just this next move. That’s all I have to do. Just one more move.” And then it’s the next, and the next, and I’m laying back on the beam and breathing deeply and feeling the sweat trickle off my breastbone.
I survived. I’m alive, no really, fully alive. I’m glad. And it’s like things off the beam, where I just have to do one more thing. Rise up. I’ll be glad after.
Still going for green…
As I’ve whined before, since July, I’ve been sporadic about moving my molecules in any regular fashion.
Enter Jen, the Coach in My Inbox, with DirectLife. When she emailed to check in with me (yes, she does that), I whined to her about the additional job, the new classes at school, life in general, and…well, no need to go further. You’ve all whined the same chorus before.
She came up with a great idea. She suggested, since I use Google mail, that I create a Google calendar of what I have to do each month and then tell her what I’d like to do with movement. Then send her the calendar and she’d take a look at it and see where perhaps I was being unrealistic or could fit something in.
A fresh idea! And I could do it on my computer. So, I did. I added the time with my husband I wanted as well as the school schedule, the Mac classes for the new laptop (yes, there IS a learning curve), Keep Moving and BeamFit classes at the rec center, and oh, yes, my friends. The friends who were complaining that they never see me anymore and was I “cocooning”?
Since the thrust of DirectLife is an overall increase and maintenance in lifestyle moving, she covered something I hadn’t. Going
5 checks x 5 mins. = 25 minimum minutes moving my molecules. Lifestyle math.
to classes is valuable and helpful. And then there’s the rest of my life. Jen suggested I make five boxes to check off each day. Each box would be movement of at least five minutes.
This got me thinking. My office is at home. There’s the stairs up and down to the washing machine. There’s jumping jacks and emptying the dishwasher. There’s dancing to I Love Rock n Roll. Okay. I can do something there.
Then she suggested that I print out the calendar and put a big ‘ole red check when I accomplish the scheduled movement. It’s a tweak of improvement on the gTasks checklist I have on my home page. I see a calendar posted on the white board more than the gTasks list which I check off and then don’t see when I’m not on the home page.
My coach in the Inbox. And get this. She said if these ideas didn’t help me, to let her know and she’d change her approach. Gotta love that.
Go green dots. Thanks, Jen.