Saturday, May 14, 2011

Yoga Reflections

I was lucky enough to make it to my Saturday morning yoga class today. After abdicating my body to Betsy for so long, it feels so good to be reclaiming it for my own purposes. I can feel muscles, organs, and ribs pulling back into their proper locations.

But for the most part, what I reclaim a healthy body for is to better serve my family. Adding Betsy to the mix of resumes, callings, carpools, housework, and behavior modification makes things full indeed. My nights could be a whole lot worse—but they could also be a whole lot better. The waves of demands on me overlap. I need to work, but Betsy is crying. Someone needs to be picked up or dropped off, but dinner is on the stove. Three people have a question at the same time. I need to eat dinner, but Betsy needs to eat as well. People need printer cartridges, snacks, socks, shin guards, baths, diapers, counsel, discipline, dinner.

In yoga, the teacher introduces a pose and your first reaction is, “My body can’t do that!” But you engage your core, focus on a still point, and next thing you know, you've floated into position. You find that, yes, your body can. You hold a pose and your muscles rebel and you think, “I cannot hold this any longer.” But you pull in your core, breathe deep, and find that, yes, you can go on. Your pose may not be as deep as your teacher’s or as graceful as your neighbor’s, but you let go of competition, judgment, and expectation and accept that all you can do is sufficient.

Yesterday afternoon I was so tired I felt dizzy. Betsy skipped her morning nap, putting me even further behind schedule in getting clients’ resumes to them. Jesse threw fits all afternoon. Logan argued about homework. A quick trip to Target got hung up at the pharmacy. The house began to look like a tornado aftermath as packs of kids blew in one way and out the other.

And it’ll get worse before it gets better. In a few weeks, everyone will be on summer break, eliminating all hope of any kid-free time to run my business, get my housework done, or even shave my legs. My first reaction is, “I can’t do that!” But I’m scheming to renew my spiritual devotions and devise some schedules and systems--and I believe I’ll find that I can.

There will be rough edges. My house won’t be as graceful as my neighbor’s. I’ll feel frenzied and frazzled sometimes. I’ll let go of the expectation of a peaceful, smooth ride. I’ll excuse myself from competition and judgment.

When we look back, we’ll forget or laugh about the quarrels and messes. We’ll remember Betsy’s first summer and how wonderful it was that all six kids were home.


  1. An excellent outlook and suggestion!

    I suggest just not shaving your legs. Who cares? Nobody should be looking anyway. It's worked for me for years.

  2. Hi Angela -

    I'm a friend of the Flemings & have met you once or twice - I hope you don't mind my following your blog. I just had to finally tell you that I absolutely adore the way you write. There is some kind of magic in the way you put words together that always leaves me encouraged or somehow inspired. I love to sneak on here & try to adapt a little bit of your perspective into my own busy life - Thank you!

  3. At the end of this summer will be the first time school will affect our routine. I salute experienced moms who go from one or two at home to many.

    This post makes me miss yoga. Nice description.