I was in a bit of a funk yesterday. I have no reason why, as I had a very productive day with lots of practicing, a good recital rehearsal, productive lessons with my students…so many positive things. By the end of the day, it was time to go to the YMCA for Dan’s yoga class, and my inner voice was in whiner mode…

You don’t want to go to yoga- stay home! Your back is bothering you, it’s raining…you could just curl up on the couch with the pups- just think about how nice that would be…

Somehow, I beat my inner voice into submission, put on my workout clothes, and headed to the gym with Dan. I wasn’t happy about it, but I knew that I needed the exercise, and I had never once regretted going to yoga. It is like church to me- a time to center myself, calm my spinning mind, and make myself strong. I also love supporting Dan and seeing my yoga friends- all good things. After watching what happened to my mother when she quit moving, I have vowed that I will do my best to keep doing yoga and cardio exercise until I drop. I’ve seen the magic it can work on people…and what happens when you stop.

I got on the treadmill for a while and then headed down to the basement of the Y where Dan’s heated yoga studio is. The class was packed and hot, and my inner voice was still whining, telling me I still had time to back out. I had my iPad- I could go find a quiet corner upstairs and read. I found a spot in the crowded room and lay down on the floor, working to shift my attitude in a better direction. Class began, and Dan led us through ninety minutes of challenging Vinyasa Flow yoga. It was hard at first, but as the minutes and asanas (postures) passed, my mind and my body began to work together, and my spirit joined in, too. By the end of the final resting meditation I was asleep on my mat…it was blissful.

After a shower, I waited for Dan in the lobby. When I checked my phone I saw there was a severe weather alert- a severe thunderstorm was about to hit Birmingham at any minute. Time to get home! We headed toward Chez Gainey with the heavy drops beginning to batter the windshield, and I was able to get the dogs out and settled before it got bad. We all headed to the sunporch, our favorite place to watch storms. The lightning was awe inspiring, splashing across the sky with dramatic bursts followed by loud rumbling thunder that was to go on until about 5am intermittently. So beautiful.  Out of the blue, Dan said, “Honey, I think we should take the dogs up to the guest house and spend the night there- what do you think?” My first thought was, “What? In a storm? On a school night?” and then, “Heck yeah, let’s do this!”

Dan is so good for me in many ways, and one of those important ways is in helping me to embrace spontaneity. I so often am rigid about sticking to my schedule, my habits, but I know how important it is to break out of those molds and be open to doing things a different way. When we are rigid, we become old before our time-something I don’t plan to do. We scrambled to get what needed together, giggling like kids in our excitement, and headed up to the guesthouse to pile into the big king sized bed with the dogs, looking out over the city.

The storms came and went throughout the night, but we were cozy and safe. When I awoke in the early morning, the city was shrouded in fog and the birds were singing joyfully. Such a gift that I never would have had if I hadn’t let myself be open to stepping outside the box of ‘normal’.  I thought about how the birds sing even after going through bad storms- a good lesson for all of us.  I need to do this more often….won’t you come join me?


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