Goofs and Gadflies

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Flexibility

There I am, breathing deep breaths in a sea of lulu lemmings and stupidly flexible women at Yoga on Monday. I decided to start with yoga again because it adds a certain kwan to my exercise routine. I get enough cardio and weights in, but I was missing the balance that Yoga brought to my core strength. There we are at the beginning of class doing simple meditation exercises. Releasing our bodies to the earth, and finding the release valves to our spiritual nozzles. I enter this dream like state, fully consumed by the calm washing over my physical body. I am now in a vision.

The air is cool and crisp, gentle waves of a consistent breeze swirl around my body. The sky is a bright blue, with puffy white clouds billowing high atop the atmosphere. I am in a desert valley, perhaps in Arizona or New Mexico. There is not a soul for miles, just deep canyons and valley peaks with rivers streaming hundreds of feet below. Oh, I should point out that I am also an eagle. I have the vision and perspective of an eagle, as I perch on the ledge of the cliff's peak. Gazing all around, my eyes see the panorama of the valley. The bright red hues of the clay soil on the ground contrast with the sky blue on top. The only noise is the swirling of the wind. I am alone. As I walk about, I puff out my chest and extend my wing span in a massive display that no one will see. As my wings once again clip under my chest, I settle at the peak of the canyon. Looking for something to change or move, I am fully aware of the prescience of everything in my field of vision.

The Yoga instructor has something different in mind. She wants us to imagine we are in a dark cave. Empty, with no light or sounds, but with the gentle cascade of water and life moving all about us. I try to fade my eagle vision and get into the cave, but it doesn't work. To me, knowing everything is the state of calm. For others, they can only achieve relaxation by removing themselves from existence. For me, I can only achieve relaxation from accepting and understanding all that is around me. Later on in the class we were doing a quad stretch that required a partner, so I joined with the instructor. I told her about the difference in my visions from what she was trying to visualize. She was fascinated, and she told me that everyone seeks peace in a different way. It got me thinking about flexibility, specifically about emotional flexibility.

I don't have opinions. They weigh me down. They strangle me with the absoluteness of thought. I have values and ethics to guide me. I trust myself to be flexible like a marsh reed and not rigid like a sturdy oak tree. The person I am doesn't change because of where I am. I don't buy into situational ethics. I will not plunder in a riot, or engage in hooliganism after a soccer game. I carry a little ethos biosphere around me wherever I may roam. I bring my vision, my perspective, to every adventure I find. I am home where I am.


I was at Century Lounge on Friday. Grooving and moving with a drink in my hand and fire in my feet. People were packing the Lounge tight, it seems there was a lot of getting the stink of the week out going on. Loud music, bongo players, ridiculously priced Malibu and pineapple, and more groping then a group of blind people square dancing. I had my drink in my hand when a woman approached me and asked me if I was having fun tonight. I answered in the affirmative. I told her that everybody here tonight was here to have fun and soak up the energy of the music and vibes. She told me that this "wasn't her scene", and that she was just here for the birthday of a friend. She wasn't there to groove, and she rather wanted to talk to me pub style. She was making all sorts of datelike smalltalk when I realized that her aura was out of synch from the room. I had engaged her in a little "so, what do you do?" type repartee. She was right, this literally was not her scene. She had pulled herself out of the collective energy of the room out of protest. As I realized she was uncomfortable, I told her this:

"Here we are, in a room full of people that came here to have fun. To look at people and be looked at. To have a drink, and soak up the energy and music and blow off a little steam. It may not be your scene, but for me, I am going to just roll with it. I'm gonna find the fun."

And with that, I took my drink to the dance floor and got my groove on till what felt like the break of dawn.

The lesson is that emotional flexibility is as important as physical flexibility. We live in an insane world. The only way to keep our heads from exploding is to bring your vision wherever you go. Bring your sanity with you. Carry a little sanity backpack if you have to. Because there is nothing worse than being out of your element. As the line goes from that Crowded House song, "everywhere you go, always take the weather with you".

10 Comments:

  • Hm...You sound to me like a middle child.

    By Blogger Sandy, At 6:20 AM  

  • I've always loved your ways in public realms. This post really has given me something to think about. Thank you, darling.

    By Blogger Comrade Chicken, At 8:26 AM  

  • Sandy: Nope, younger child of two. My sister is a 34 year old social worker. I know, in Canada aren't we *all* social workers?


    Comrade: Take the amount I give you to think about, multiply it by 3.72 Kajillion, divide by 42. Thats the amount *you* give me to think about. When I hurt, when I ache, when I feel ugly, I pretend to have a conversation with you. I hear your voice, those loud yet dulcet tones bathing me in goodness. That's the sign of a good friend, the invisible companionship. You're always with me.

    By Blogger Rye, At 8:37 AM  

  • I always have my sanity with me, except when I'm posting on my blog. I hope your Yoga instructor doesn't force you to visualize any more dark caves; you need to be able to visualize what makes you feel relaxed and carefree.

    By Blogger Jamie Dawn, At 9:53 PM  

  • I've said it before and I'll say it again...
    Ryan...
    I hope you never tire of hearing I love you.

    By Blogger Comrade Chicken, At 12:18 AM  

  • I'm usually late with the comments. And by this time, not many care. So I can say what I want, right?

    Describe how you feel ugly. I've always wanted to know the description people give their "ugliness" I can go on forever explaining mines, but I'd like to know yours.

    By Blogger V, At 7:28 AM  

  • V, to me feeling ugly is feeling like a failure. Ugly is not living up to my potential. Feeling weak and unproductive. Making excuses. Being easily distracted and not fufilling obligations. Not living up to my word.

    When someone looks at me, and yet doesn't *see* me, I feel ugly. I've made my stake on my personality, so when I don't feel it has been displayed authentically, I feel ugly.

    By Blogger Rye, At 7:50 AM  

  • Rye, I see what you mean. Thanks for answering my question.

    Here's hoping we don't experiance such ugliness in times to come.

    By Blogger V, At 11:01 AM  

  • Just back for another visit. I'll be back when you have a new post.

    By Blogger Jamie Dawn, At 2:05 PM  

  • I'm settling into the one a week pattern well. I know most of my blogs that I read post a lot more. I'm not nearly as prolific nor composed as these more professional writer sorts. Thanks for sticking around though!

    By Blogger Rye, At 4:06 PM  

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