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Drishti

“Find a point on the ground about a foot in front of your mat and softly fix your gaze on it.”

I’ve heard that instruction tons of times in various yoga classes (depending on the pose, the point of focus changes). It helps me with balance poses, like Tree pose. The other day in class, the teacher was giving that same instruction. Softly is the key word. It’s not an intense stare. “It’s almost like you’re looking behind your eyes,” she said. “It’s called Drishti.”

I never knew it had a name before.

Mr. Forgetful

Remember Mr. Men and Little Miss?

I was a child of the 70s and loved those characters. I think Mr. Funny was my favorite, but last Sunday I was reminded of Mr. Forgetful.

It was mid-morning, and my husband and I were exiting a crowded parking lot. The pavement was packed, and cars were bumper to bumper as everyone tried to work their way out onto the main road. A couple policemen were directing traffic and one waved us on. Two seconds later a second policeman held up his hand indicating we should stop. Confusion ensued as my husband rolled forward then hit his breaks as he tried to follow the directions. Cars honked. A red truck squealed his tires and raced around us, cutting us off and running over a couple of orange cones.

Guess where we were leaving?

Church.

We had just finished listening to a sermon about treating others kindly.

How quickly we forget (and I’m not just talking about the guy in the red truck…I found myself feeling annoyed with the traffic too!).

At times I’ve noticed Mr. Forgetful making an appearance in yoga class. Here’s what happens: we spend 90 minutes stretching and meditating and bowing and OMing, but as soon as class ends we’re all shoving our blankets into the shelf (each one folded in different ways), tossing our blocks in a disorganized fashioned into a bin, and then racing out the door as we reach in front of others to grab our flip-flops.

I hate to admit that I’ve been guilty of this before. But I guess I’ll be Little Miss Confession today. After one of my yoga teachers suggested people should put their props away more mindfully, I really began to pay attention. Blankets should be folded and stacked the same way to prevent the pile from tumbling. Blocks should be stacked to maximize space. Straps should be hung without tangles.

And it’s really that simple.Š

All in a Day’s Work

The dishes needed washing. There were two huge stacks – one by the sink and another over by the stove. One downside to cooking from scratch.

“All we had was salmon and spinach,” my husband said.

“But the teriyaki marinade* was homemade, remember?” Plus, during lunch, I’d been experimenting with homemade pasta sauce.

The dishes sat overnight. Today, evaluating the mess, I realized the entire kitchen needed attention – countertops, floors, fridge – along with the dining room, family room, and bathrooms.

I’ve never been obsessed with cleaning, but even this mess was grating on me.

On the other hand, it was 60 degrees and sunny outside. And I’ve been waiting for this weather since November.

But then again my parents were coming to visit later in the week, so I knew I really should tidy up.

I wasted 20 minutes debating, which included a phone consultation with my husband:

Him: You should definitely rollerblade – the weather is great.
Me: But I was going to wash all those dishes.
Him: Well, on second thought . . .

And an internal argument over the merits of what it means to be a person who writes about mindful living:

Me: A Zen Master of Cleaning would emphasize the importance of living an “uncluttered” life.
Me: But fresh air and exercise will balance out your day.

In the end I decided to blade. The President’s Challenge is underway and I committed to participating on this very blog . . . so you know . . . rollerblading is part of my job.

~~~

*Teriyaki Sauce from The Maker’s Diet: 1 T fresh, grated ginger; 3 cloves garlic, mashed; 1 T toasted sesame oil; 1 T rice vinegar; 1 T raw honey; ½ cup of soy sauce. Whisk together.

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