Saturday, March 12, 2016

my awakening

Something’s been happening lately,
and it’s a good kind of something.
For the past little while (weeks? months?),
I’ve been caught up in an unsettling wave of fear & anger.
I almost allowed myself to be swept away.
Irritating Donald Trump posts on FB.
Bad news on TV.
Overheard conversations in cafés
about politics or religion or
the depressing state of the world.
I almost got swept away
by the fear and the anger.
Or maybe i even did
for a little while.
But alas… I threw myself a life preserver. :)

I decided I was not going to let my life
be filled with such negativity.
Some days are easier than others, but
I decided that there were certain things
I would simply rather not know or see.

Getting myself all worked up
over things I cannot control
is of no worth to the world
and certainly of no use to me.
Anger & hatred & fear only spread
more anger & hatred & fear.

Not how I choose to live my life.

I needed to get back to the basics.
I needed to get back to gratitude.
Back to my heart.

So I began a yoga practice again.
And it's the best decision
I've made in a long time.
I had done yoga years ago,
and over the years, drifted away from it.
I also tried Tai Chi and Qi Gong,
gentle practices that always bring me back
to the essence.

I’m doing it in the comfort of my own home,
by watching YouTube videos (Yoga with Adriene!)
and i love it.
No expensive gear necessary,
no fancy wardrobe,
and no one to impress. 

Yoga is great because not only is it affordable (or free!)
but you can do it anywhere with just a bit of space,
and practice can vary from 10 minutes to an hour. 
Who doesn’t have 10 minutes to spare
to improve their life?

You need YOURSELF.
That’s all.
Yourself - and a heart
that's ready to receive.
And if the word “yoga”
feels too much like exercise to you,
that’s ok…
just to sit yourself in a chair
and become conscious of your own breathing
for 5 or 10 minutes every day
will change the way you see the world.

The first few days were hard.
I could feel my bones cracking,
and the muscles in my body
practically panicking
after being in limbo for so long. ;)
But after only 3 or 4 days,
things got a little easier.
And after a week
I started to feel better.
Like I was able to breathe easier.
I could do things without so much effort.

After 2 weeks,
I was conscious of my breathing
even when i wasn’t on the mat.
When I was standing in line at the grocery store.
When I was waiting at the stop light.
And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
If you start practicing yoga (or any other gentle practice)
you become more present.
Without wanting to sound too cliché,
I became more conscious of this one moment,
right here, right now.
The only moment that really ever matters.
I began to feel more peaceful.
More connected again.
It’s only been about a month
and I have to say
that I am surprised
at the difference I feel,
inside and out.
I am more flexible.
I used to wake up in the morning
with all kinds of cricks & cracks when i stretched.
There's very little of that now.
I can calm my heart in 2 minutes
just by doing a downward dog. ;)

I’m not gonna move to an ashram in India,
nor am I gonna change my name to Mala Shanti Moon. ;)
But I AM going to continue practicing yoga.
I still have so much to learn.
And it’s slowly bringing my body and soul
back on the path.
On MY path.
(dad in the 1960s, playing horseshoes)

There’s something about being on the mat,
with yourself - by yourself -
that forces you to look within
and although that can be scary for some people,
it’s necessary that you look within
if you want to hear your own whispers.
It’s necessary that you be ok
with where you are now in life -
even if it’s not where you thought you would be.

It’s necessary because it connects you
with gratitude.

Sometimes it takes a while 
for this connection to happen,
and sometimes we’re distracted
by the annoying noise around us -
but the answer to your well being
really does live within your own heart.
It can't be found anywhere external.
I am finally beginning
to understand this.
Thanks for being here.
I am grateful for all of you.


  1. wonderful art and well thought out post and wisdom Pauline. My birthday is next week and having had some flare ups with health issues got me a bit down because I wasn't able to do the activities I love so much. Well, for my b'day-and to get my butt in gear, I too have started yoga ( a gentle version) , along with a gentle Pilates program and after reviewing a bunch of DVDs from the library I have found some that I love ! They are on order and will be here soon:):) Best wishes on your journey!

    1. that's wonderful Linda! I'm sure the Pilates & gentle Yoga will do your body (& heart) a world of good! Wishing you an "early" HAPPY BIRTHDAY next week. Good for you for treating yourself to something that will make you feel good. xx

  2. We must all do what we can to have that balance. I have had to find mine as well. Wonderful post and I love your "DAD" art. Have a peaceful weekend.

    1. Thank you Nicole. Yes, some of us need reminders now and then that we've veered off the path. ;) Have a great week! xx

  3. My dear friend,this post belongs in a book you will write and publish one day .
    So much truth and wisdom !!

    1. Merci ma chère amie. :) Thanks for being there with me through thick & thin. J'apprécie beaucoup ton amitié! xx

  4. Hi Pauline! What a wonderful post...really wonderful post. I am trying to be more present and it is so hard with all the "noise" around me and in me. I would love to learn yoga that I could do with my bone/pain issues. Can you learn it on YouTube?

    I love the progression of your paintings throughout your post. You sure did a great job on your dad. I was wondering if that was anyone you knew or just a person who appeared in your painting. Very cool! Happy PPF (on Sunday). Have a great new week! Thank you again for sharing what is really important for many of us to be reminded. We can get caught up in the negativity and fear so easily. Hugs, Rasz

  5. Pauline this is my second read of your post...I had to rush away to write what was in my head as you always inspire me! Love that you are taking charge of your emotions and growing the positive over the negative. However don't diminish the power in those feelings as you are one artist who can make a difference with the power of your passion and anger amalgamated!! I'm sure doing yoga and being present with also help direct those emotions into great things!! Fabulous your dad art and that cartoon has my heart!!

    Hugs Giggles

  6. gorgeous art and a fabulous post... I have been very into making sure I am more present and getting back in touch with finding some peace amongst the madness... 10 mins makes such a difference in your day... so sorry I am so late getting to visit this week!!!

  7. 'Threw myself a life preserver'. LOVE that P! One of your best ever posts, for me. So happy you've found your way back to you through this. xxx