Strength and Mutability

The holidays were wonderful and busy. I found I missed having some activity in my day to day life. Not crazed, mile-a-minute things, but manageable portions of social interaction, physical exertion, and even some artistic endeavors. It was also a time of big choices. Not making them, necessarily, but being presented with them. In this new year, I’ll be developing answers to those choices. That’s what this whole year will be focused on: making choices and following through with them. While that may be the goal for everyone ever year, I’ve skated past most new years with nary a thought about how I will alter my life in the coming months. It always felt like I was setting myself up for disappointment with new year’s resolutions. Half-hearted and guilt-fueled, these decisions never last for longer than a few days and leave their progenitors feeling like failures. I spend most of my day to day life feeling like a failure; I don’t need a holiday focused on a dramatic reenactment of that process.

This year may or may not be different. I started making some changes in December through the influence of F. She suggested yoga and after a few days of deliberation, I went to the studio she attended. It’s a lovely place that is low key but still professional. Instead of a hands-off, competitive approach that a lot of yoga studios have in Santa Fe, the teachers at this studio help correct the students. The other students don’t judge. They’re all learning, even if they are at higher levels. I’m someone who learns by doing and I need to be able to do it correctly. So far, it’s been fun. That’s also important. The goal is to attend 10 classes by the end of the month. I’ve already attended 2 in the past 6 days, which is sort of cool considering my past year of immobility and lethargy. Those aren’t the days I’ve been active either. I’ve been trying to do something physical at least once a day. Already there is a shift in my body. I can feel it working to become stronger and it surprises me. Clearly, it wanted movement; I just had to find the right source.

As I type these words, I know they sound painfully American with the undue focus on small achievements. Sometimes, though, that’s all I have.  Everyday I’m fighting mixed messages on how our lives should be led. I’m lucky enough to live in a place that encourages a diversity of lifestyles without a lot of judging (like I said earlier in the post, there is still a certain amount of judging that takes place within a certain segment of the population). Regardless of how successful this place is in actually promoting its diversity day to day, the diversity still exists. For me, that promotes a certain kind of… expansive viewpoint about how a life CAN be led. Not always SHOULD be led. Still, I read the news. I’m exposed to the ideas of peers that are more militant and fixed in their actions. While that may be the most productive way for them to live, it’s certainly not the best way for me to live. I need some mutability. I need to know that I can change course. Maybe that’s flaky, I don’t really know. With yoga, I’m trying to bring both strength and flexibility into my body. That seems to be something I crave (yeesh, I typed “grave” before “crave”. What does that mean?) in all aspects of my life. While mutable tends to mean fickle or inconsistent, it also carries with it an idea of being easy-going. It means “liable to change”, indicating that something has the ability to change. It’s not fixed. Living in a fixed space for the past year has been illuminating and evidently it needed to happen. I retreated into a hermitish space where I could turn inward to find my next path.

To be strong and mutable. That’s my path for this year and the years to come.

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