Protect Your Heart

Protect Your Heart

Baby if you hold me, then all of this will go away.” ~ Budapest, George Ezra

I looked at my social media the other day and scrolled through more slogans than I could count. My feeds were overflowing with advice on everything from how to be happy to how to find love to how to be loved.

I even walked through Brooklyn on my visit last week and stepped on some sidewalk art that told me to protect my heart.

It seems in every direction, people are looking for the right direction.

Some of us are lucky enough to give up the search. I think Jeff was one of these lucky ones. I think by the time he met Alexandra, this young man had already grown into himself, and I think in her he found what he was searching for.

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Polka Dots

Polka Dots

And here’s the hand my trusty friend, and gives a hand o’ thine! ~ Auld Lang Syne

It’s the holiday season, and it’s dark and cold. And on this night it’s rainy, too.

I pick up some sushi after work and gratefully arrive home, changing out of my clothes and warming up in a quick, hot bath. Then I go downstairs to turn on the television and pour a glass of wine, quickly deciding not to go to yoga, even though that’s been my usual spot on this night for the past few years.

I text my friend to let her know I’ll be absent from my mat. I’m already tucked into another of my usual spots, the space between the sofa and the coffee table. With so much seating in this room, I rarely take an actual seat. I’m a perfect fit in this cozy nook, and it’s often ideal for watching TV or eating a meal.

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Ghosts

Ghosts

I always feel like someone’s watching me. Tell me, is it just a dream? ~ Somebody’s Watching Me, Rockwell

I believe in ghosts.

There. I said it. And lots of other people do, too. I know this because I picked up some chips and guacamole the other night after yoga, and on the bag was written an essay, titled, Two Minutes About Ghosts, by the author Amy Tan.

Ghosts are among us, she writes. And she counts herself as one of what she says is 42 percent of Americans who believe in ghosts, too.

I have followed Amy Tan as a writer. She writes captivating stories about the intricacies of families throughout many generations. And it’s no matter who is alive and who is not. Her characters love and argue and whisper and holler, often from one realm and into the other.

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Fierce

Fierce

What’s in a name? That which we call a  rose by any other name would smell as sweet. ~Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare

I met a man named Adeoye.

I’d met him before. He works in a store I frequent when I arrive at yoga too early and need a place to go before class.

I didn’t know his name then. He is a beautiful man, with a beautiful voice and smile to match, who serves as the greeter for the store.

And he does a good job greeting. I even remember what he said the first time he greeted me. He paid me a compliment. He told me I looked fierce.

I smiled back and thanked him. It was early on a weekend morning, and I was feeling far from fierce. I was dressed in a hodgepodge outfit with my hair half done. I had blown out my bangs but left the rest to dry in every direction. Wearing barely any makeup, I had on my yoga gear and what I call my supersonic socks, the rugby socks my son had bought while backpacking abroad. Emblazoned with the words,

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Strength

Strength

Put a little love in your heart. And the world will be a better place. ~ Put A Little Love In Your Heart, Dolly Parton

How long does it take to strengthen a heart?

I think that depends on what kind of shape it’s in and whether it is a strong one in the first place. 

The heart is a powerful muscular organ that never rests. It beats continuously throughout a lifetime, and so it’s important to provide it with the necessary nourishment, especially if it’s a big one.

I’ve been trying to strengthen my heart.

It’s a long overdue effort, but apparently my strategy to date hasn’t been the most effective. I’ve basically preserved mine rather than fortified it, and it can’t get stronger without the proper nutrients.

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The Spider and The Fly

The Spider and The Fly

Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.

A warning to the naïve, this phrase has twice been directed at me. 

It references a poem by Mary Howitt published in 1829 about a naïve fly ensnared by a less than honest spider.

I have met some spiders in my time; but, I really never thought myself to be the fly.

Why, then, have I bumped up against these words more than once?

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Reflection

Reflection

At yoga, we practice in front of mirrors.

Not every studio is like this; in fact, I think on the whole, most are not.

So, almost every day and often first thing in the morning, I am eye to eye with myself in front of floor to ceiling mirrors.

And, because my mat is placed closely by, it is a pretty close up view.

I see myself, then, like this, head to toe, in a little outfit, hair back, and many times with not much make up.

Basically, arriving at the yoga studio is like coming out of hiding. I am there on my mat with no armor, so to speak.

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Perspective

Perspective

One day this past summer, I was to pick up my parents from the airport after their two weeks of travel.

I raced to finish a chock full day to meet their six o’clock evening flight.

The rainy rush hour had the traffic wound up tight.

I turned on the radio and flipped through the stations and talked on the phone.

I arrived at the airport with time to spare and time to buy a chocolate bar. Going to the airport is like going to the movies for me. I have to buy some candy.

Standing at the arrivals, I looked down at my phone to realize I had a voicemail. It was my mom, letting me know they had missed their connection, and that they would be arriving four hours later at another airport!

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Heart Opener

Heart Opener

I would like to say I have an open heart.

It sounds nice and like something I should have.

Blessed with family and friends, I have people in my life for whom I open my heart.

Yet, the heart can go through some rough terrain over a period of time, and it can cause the guard gates to go up, requiring encouragement and often a leap of faith to get back in gear.

Wheel is one of my least favorite poses in yoga.

It is a back bend, something I have not done since I was a little girl.

More than 20 years ago, I sprained my lower back and have since been on guard against it getting hurt again.

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