dog running

A slight play on words… speed of light, speed of life… they are both very fast.

It seems like what I planned to write about becomes out-of-date faster than I can write about it. Regardless, I’m going to go back two weeks, to when I went to a restorative yoga practice. The event was called “Yoga in the Yurt” and was at Will Heal Farm.

I almost didn’t go because I was so tired and achy. And I didn’t feel like I could spare the time. It was a Sunday evening and I had to work the next day and needed to do laundry so I’d have something to wear.

It was actually Steve who reminded me how much better I feel after these yoga sessions. There is at least a few hours of residual happiness and calm I get to take home with me, which he probably appreciates.

I like the group of people who attend the classes held at the farm. I don’t get the chance very often to hang out with or work with people I feel that kind connection to. It’s important to get a dose of shared-mindedness and space every once and a while.

It makes me do a little happy dance…

dancing dog

The floor of the yurt was quickly filled by women carrying yoga mats, pillows and blankets. There was cinnamon tea and Golden Milk to drink, along with candlelight, and a wood burning stove to warm us. We were each given an eye pillow to shut out the light and a rock from Lake Superior to hold during our practice. I don’t know anyone who lives in Minnesota who doesn’t feel a certain love for the North Shores. I held my heart-shaped rock in my hand, against my stomach, and remembered the sound of the waves that I knew so well.

I don’t know if we all came to the yurt for the same reasons, but I’m guessing everyone was looking for a feeling of peace and to let go of whatever worries and busyness they were carrying, at least for the two hours we were there.

The focus in this session was on “contentment,” which Allison Miller, the yoga instructor, told us was a combination of gratitude and letting go. Whenever dark thoughts fill our heads, we can replace them with thoughts of what we are grateful for. It may turn out that we will even feel gratitude for the dark times someday, when we are on the other side of wisdom and can see what lessons were learned and new strengths found.

dog standing on a rock

After the practice was done, I went to the farmhouse and bought some of Will Heal Farm’s honey, garlic, lavender body butter and facial serum before I drove home.

One other thing that Allison said during the class was how an article she read reported that the warm, grateful, awe-struck feelings we experience at certain times in our life can be re-experienced when we share the story with others.

So here I am sharing and reliving a bit of the contentment I experienced.

It’s my way of slowing down the speed of life and taking a moment to be grateful for Allison, Rachel and Pat at Will Heal Farm, all the women who attended the yoga practice, Steve who prompted me to get my priorities straight, and for you, the other like-minded peoples in my life, who have come here to read this. Thank you.

walking in the woods

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dog on Gunflint Trail

“There are stories of animals that have been bred in captivity experiencing the terror of the open door. It might seem counterintuitive, but captive animals often have the good sense to know their chances of survival in the wild are uncertain at best. The prospect of running away or flying off is simply too painful and frightening. So they stay put in the sanctuary of the cage… The instinct for liberty may be deeply ingrained, but we are all captive in someway to something… The cage of habit. The cage of ego. The cage of ambition. The cage of materialism. The line between freedom from fear and freedom from danger is not always easy to discern.” ~ Kyo Maclear, “Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation”

Last weekend, Steve and I and the dogs were at Gunflint Lodge for my 60th birthday escape. As we drove along Lake Superior towards our destination, the sky was cloudy and gray, as it had been for days. The wind whipped the expanse of blue Superior water into a white capped frenzy. Waves ran towards the shore where they struck against black rocks and the cliffside, sending fountains of white water spraying into the air. We passed by a couple spots where surfers, clad in wet suits and carrying surf boards headed towards this welcome gift of raucous water.

Lake Superior

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Dog looking out at Mississippi River

How does one get unstuck? You know, that kind of stuck where you can’t seem to carve out enough time (or what you believe is enough time) to do a decent job at something so you do nothing.

We’ve all seen the articles that tell us that we DO have enough time if something is REALLY important to us. Often what we say we value is not backed up by how we actually spend our time.

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