Tag Archives: celebration

I am worthy

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Inspired by Brene Brown and her book The Gift of Imperfection and Ruth Fishel and Time for Joy

If you liked this, you might also like David Kanigan’s post from yesterday, There’s the purpose. Right there. Ah, to accept myself completely and let go of pleasing others as a way to feel good about myself.

Creating life with yoga

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courtesy of yogatraveltales.com

courtesy of yogatraveltales.com

Yesterday, I posted about how delicious it was to get to my yoga classes twice this past week – a treat, like my favorite wedding day cupcake. 🙂

Given my travel (and a week of being sick), I have missed most of my yoga classes this month. Having gone consistently since after my surgery over 2 years ago, there was an empty spot inside without it. I read inspirational books, did some gentle stretching in my hotel rooms or at home – and it just wasn’t like being in the ‘sanctuary’ that our UIHC gentle yoga is.

I’ve been thinking about what yoga creates in my life, and this is what I’ve come up with:

  • I gain an understanding of myself and clarity about what I believe.
  • I am able to be who I am, not who I think someone else wants me to be.
  • I am encouraged to show up and be more present.
  • I  accept and celebrate what is. 
  • I have the strength to get through the tough moments and flow through challenges.
  • I refine my ability to have a good day and celebrate when things feel good.
  • I live deeply into my values and serving others.
  • I open to finding balance in my life.

Yes, there’s a good reason I like it when I can make it to class!

As I anticipate more travel in March, I am leaning into the possibility of creating these things even without my class. Here’s to creating an inner sense of peace, gratitude, and joy in life with whatever shows up in life…

_______________

Other posts about yoga:

Gentle Yoga Soothes the Soul

Sanctuary

Breathing In…Breathing Out

the gift of giving

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I saw it. In a flash. A glipse of myself. Just like my father.

Sitting at the table with 20 other women – gathered together as breast cancer survivors – we were celebrating ‘generous J” who has given so much of her time to our group, ensuring we had plans for monthly dinners and knew the yoga schedule. When J decided she needed to ‘retire’ from her leader role, me and another member of our group thought it would be nice to say a special thank you to “J”. And, then some part of me, shaped by the goodness and giving of my father, stepped in and started organizing a party, gathering us all up in our goodwill and giving a special gift of gratitude to “J”. I’d been instrumental in making it all happen. Sitting there next to K, I saw it. It was a flash. A glimpse of myself – just like my father. For an instant my Dad was there with me; I was him. He was me. We were one giving spirit.

Thank you, Dad, for all the giving you’ve done and continue to do and for being a role model of selfless generosity. I am proud to be your daughter and hope that my glimmer is even half as bright as your glow. I love you.

Bayram…holy offerings scattered throughout life

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I loved the poem below that was shared with me by my dear Turkish friend, Resmiye, about Bayram written by Can Dündar. I haven’t seen Resmiye in quiet some time – she is nonetheless bayram to me. I hold her sweet smile with me and memories of her kindness and love are etched in my heart.

She says Bayram is a word that describes in short “holiday”, but it is more than holiday. In Turkish context, it includes embracing a sense of celebration, enjoyment, collaborative festivities, renewal of relationships, forgiving past wrongdoings, establishing peace and connection, among other things.

Bayram by Can Dündar

With time, the realization arrives: bayram is more than a opportunity for vacation squeezed into 3-4 days… Holy offerings scattered throughout life randomly may bring the spirit of bayram day in day out to those, capable of recognizing and appreciating them.

* * *

To breath is bayram for example: when you can’t someday, you appreciate it…
Ever lasting darkness teaches what a bayram it is to be able to see; being alone teaches being able to love…
Every organ that doesn’t talk to you is bayram.
It is bayram to be able to move around, to be able to control your body and mind, to find one’s path in life and be able to say “Thank goodness, we’ve arrived at today safely” …
Every day you spend with your loved ones is bayram.
To forgive and arrive at peace, to reach out for a hug after a long trip, to speak after a period of silence, each is bayram.

* * *

To complete a building, a book, a school, a nightmare, jail time, each is bayram.
To come to the end of a night full of pain in intensive care unit or to sever a gangrenous relationship, as well. To long for a loved one is also bayram…
To receive a letter, anxiously awaited, from your loved one, to hear their voice unexpectedly on the phone, to wrap your arms around the one who you’ve been longing for, each is bayram.
To find a loaf of bread when you are deadly hungry, to find room on the chest of trusted one when you are anxious, to knock on the door of a friend, when you are in need of help, each is bayram.
A gift you find in a surprise package, the blanket laid over your body during a brief nap, your mother’s hand traveling over your hair affectionately, each is bayram. To be able to say “I trusted him, he deserved my trust ” is bayram. Never having betrayed is bayram…

* * *

To learn a new word, to come to the end of a tunnel, to push aside a task and go on a long trip, each is bayram.
To face big challenges by yourself, to rise up against injustice when needed, is bayram.
The cotton curtains put up in a new house, the first earning framed up on the wall, shaking hands while paying off the last share of a long term debt, each is bayram.
Company’s breath at home ending loneliness, lover’s kiss meeting you at the door in the evening, a hand in love traveling over your skin, each is bayram.
A child’s scream in the yard, his first tooth erupting, first word uttered, first step, first scribble, first report card, each is bayram…
To start a day with a smile is bayram. “I am glad you are with me” is bayram, “I have no regrets” is bayram…

* * *

To age graciously to see your children grow up to find their own happiness, to go home every night with a full sack of produce, to chat with neighbors in front of your house, to steep tea with a never-aging enthusiasm, each is bayram.
To look at photographs frozen in time with no regrets, to reread books underlined many times with the old aspirations renewed, to face your activist friends with no embarrasment, each is bayram.
To age with no shame and embarrassment, to die upright like a huge oak tree, is bayram itself…

* * *

If you can appreciate all this, every day you live, every breath you take turns into bayram. Don’t worry, because you if do, nobody will call you “insane”. Even if some does, this insanity is much better than the unappreciative sanity of those who suffer through the post-bayram days.

 

In Turkish:

Zamanla anlıyor insan: 3-4 güne sıkışmış bir tatilden öte bir şey bayram…
Hayata rasgele serpiştirilmiş ilahi ikramlar, kıymet bilen kullara her daim bayram yaşatır.
* * *
Nefes almak bayramdır mesela; günün birinde soluksuz kalınca anlar insan…
Görmenin nasıl bir bayram olduğunu karanlık öğretir; sevmeninkini yalnızlık…
Sızlamayan her organ, hele de burun direği bayramdır.
Bayramdır, elden ayaktan düşmemek, zihinden önce bedeni kaybetmemek, kurda kuşa yem olmayıp “Çok şükür bugünü de gördük” diyebilmek…
Sevdiklerinle geçen her gün bayramdır.
Küsken barışmak, ayrıyken kavuşmak, suskunken konuşmak bayramdır.
* * *
Bir kitabı bitirmek, bir binayı bitirmek, bir okulu bitirmek, kâbuslu bir rüyayı, kodeste ağır cezayı bitirmek bayramdır.
Yoğun bakımda sancılı geceyi ya da kangren olmuş bir ilişkiyi bitirmek de öyle… Vuslat da bayramdır öte yandan…
Endişe içinde beklediğinden mektup almak, telefonda ansızın sesini duymak, deli gibi burnunda tütenin boynuna sarılmak bayramdır.
En acıktığın anda dumanı tüten bir somunun köşesini bölmek, korktuğunda güvendiğine sarılabilmek, dara düştüğünde dost kapısını çalabilmek bayramdır.
Bir sürpriz paketinden çıkan hediye, tatlı bir şekerlemede üstüne serilen battaniye, saçlarını müşfik bir sevgiyle okşayan anne bayramdır.
“Ona güvenmiştim, yanılmamışım” sözü bayramdır.
Hiç aldatmamış, aldanmamış olmak bayram…
* * *
Yeni bir sözcük öğrenmek, bir tünelin sonuna gelmek, müzmin bir işin kapısını çarpıp uzun bir yola çıkıvermek bayramdır.
Zorluklara tek başına göğüs gerebilmek, gereğinde haksızlığın üstüne yalın kılıç yürüyebilmek bayramdır.
Yeni eve asılan basma perdeler, alın teriyle kazanılmış ilk rızkın konduğu çerçeveler, yüklü bir borcun son taksiti ödenirken sıkılan eller bayramdır.
Evde yalnızlığı noktalayan insan nefesi, akşam kapıda karşılayan yavuklu busesi, sevdalı bir elin tende gezmesi, nice adağın ardından çınlayan çocuk sesi bayramdır.
Sonrasında gelen ilk diş bayramdır, ilk söz bayram, ilk adım, ilk yazı, ilk karne bayram…
Güne gülümseyerek başlamak bayramdır.
“İyi ki yanımdasın” bayram, “Her şeyi sana borçluyum” bayram, “Hiç pişman değilim” bayram…
* * *
Evlatların mürüvvetini görebilmek, eve dolu bir torbayla gidebilmek, konu komşuyla yarenlik edebilmek, akşamları eskimeyen bir keyifle çay demleyebilmek bayramdır.
Zamanı donduran eski fotoğraflara nedametsiz bakabilmek, altı çizilmiş eski kitapları aynı inançla okuyabilmek, yol arkadaşlarının yüzüne utanmadan bakabilmek bayramdır.
Alnı açık yaşlanmak bayramdır; ulu bir çınar gibi ayakta ölebilmek bayram…
* * *
Bunların kadrini bilirseniz, kıymet bilmeyi öğrenirseniz, her gününüz bayram olur.
Meraklanmayın, öyledir diye size deli demezler.
Deseler de böyle delilik, bayram artığı günlerdeki nankör akıllılıktan evladır.
Her gününüz bayram olsun!

Can Dündar

Noticing

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courtesy of accidentalcreative.com

courtesy of accidentalcreative.com

Today I am celebrating. As I contemplate whether to go to the gym to lift weights today, I realize that I accomplished something I desperately wanted to do after my surgery. I am back in tip-top shape. Even lifting more weight than I did before. What got me here? I find myself wondering.

Discipline and determination. My father gave those gifts to me. Faith and belief in myself. Thanks, Mom. Confidence and courage. Jim’s love a solid foundation from which to take each step.

Our bodies are truly amazing. One day I can’t move my arm an inch and slowly, over time, with exercise and therapy, I’m able to move it a bit more, and then a bit more. Today I probably have stronger, more flexible shoulders than I did before. Nineteen months since my surgery. I feel really great.

I still notice some things. I can feel my pectoral muscles when they flex around my right breast. I giggle to myself when I see how it contorts the shape of my breast as I dry off with a towel. I wonder what people think when I occasionally massage the area near my arm pit between sets of weights. There are some yoga postures where my body tells me to ‘go gentle’. I’m not the same as I was, but I am good. Life is good.

All the noticing made me think of this poem from Mostly My Heart Sings.

Noticing
By Vicki L. Flaherty

I noticed how glad I was to get the bandages off.
I noticed how cleansing it felt to finally take a shower.
I noticed how freeing it was to have the drains removed.
I noticed how I reached back to brush my hair the way I like it.
I noticed how I made the bed without exhaustion.
I noticed how the discomfort under my arm disappeared.
I noticed how taking a walk did not tire me.
I noticed how my arms were extended to the sky during yoga.
I noticed how the scars changed from dark to light pink.
I noticed how the tingling sensations occurred less often.
I noticed how the skin of my breast was not so numb.
I noticed how I am not noticing anything anymore.

© 2013, Mostly My Heart Sings, Vicki L. Flaherty