the llama blog
practicing yoga off the mat.
School’s out! It’s time to play. This school year’s ending has special meaning for me. Nearly five years ago, a spirited and bright little girl entered my life. This past May she said good-bye to her preschool, and started prepping for kindergarten in the fall. This transition has me thinking about how my life has changed in the last five years.
Before having children, I slept past eight o’clock in the morning. (I’m a morning person.) I could eat a whole meal before it got cold. I read books into the wee hours of the night. I complained there was never enough time in the day.
My life is so different now. I have to get up really early to have me time. (My children are also morning people.) It takes months to finish that latest New York bestselling novel. I am not only physically drained at the end of the day, but also emotionally. And surprisingly, I love it. I wouldn’t go back.
My daughter has opened my eyes and my heart to so many things I went blind to. She’s helped me embrace and practice what yoga first taught me – union of breath, mind and body. Sure, meditation is easier in a quiet room when you have no responsibilities, but with children (and any adult responsibilities) you have to work harder to slow down.
In her journey thus far, she’s also taught me the following:
Savor the small things. Have you noticed how a child will find pure enjoyment out of the smallest items like rocks and bubbles? Watching my daughter try to catch a butterfly reminds me to seek the simple beauties in life. Each morning, I excitedly await to see what gorgeous sunrise will appear in the sky. I, like her, have a hard time letting flowers stay in the garden. We pick bouquets to enjoy them indoors too.
Laugh and smile more. To my little llama, life is not serious. It’s silly. And funny. On days when I feel frustrated, she only needs to flash a smile, and I find it hard to remember why I’m upset. In yoga, we tune into our breath during these stressful times. The smile, like the breath, is a tool to help break us out of our reactive mindsest. Give it a try right now.
Surround yourself with friends and family who love you. My little girl is a social butterfly. She loves people. She lights up when friends young and old visit our house. Opening a bottle of wine, and sitting on the porch with a good friend could be all you need to shake yourself out of a bad mood. Spending time with positive, loving people reinforces those traits in us.
To my little llama, Charlotte, I love you so very much, and I still have so much to learn. Please continue to be my teacher, and I’ll continue to be your biggest supporter. Happy Five Years to you.