I’ve always been one to relish the flipping of the calendar page at the start of each new year. I like beginnings and clean edges and wide open spaces. I like the opportunity to begin again. This year has been no different.
Except that it has.
I’m coming off a year that, if I’m completely honest, aged me.
Parenting and homeschooling children in very different life stages has required a substantive creativity and an expansive grace that, too often, I did not have. Some days blazed bright, surely. But other days that bloomed with promise, ultimately found us collapsing in upon one another.
I am still deep in the process of deconstructing a faith that defined and shaped me for the last 25 years. Although all is not lost, I did spend a great deal of last year sitting with more questions than answers. I have never liked not having answers. Sitting with unknowns feels like a deep rattling that echoes in my bones.
I also walked a fiery path last summer that was both necessary and confusing. Perhaps it was my version of a midlife crisis, for I certainly found myself looking for new ways of being. I dyed my hair blue. I got a tattoo. And I kept reaching for things that were not mine to have. Most days, I kept looking for the exit because I just wanted to run. It strained relationships to the point of near breaking and I cried a new wrinkle into being, just below my left eye.
Last year aged me.
So, with this year’s arrival, I felt the need to move into spaces that allowed for deeper breathing and opportunities to quench my fervid heart.
I have found that in yoga.
I am showing up, every day, and I am doing the work.
I am sore and spent from the demands that holding a balance pose puts on my muscles and ligaments and the very soles of my feet. I have been frustrated at my lack of flexibility and the ways that my body seems hell bent on staying a course that is out of line and in need of correction.
But I am doing the work.
The practice of yoga is just that, a practice. So, I am slowly learning the poses and I am developing a flow and my body is slowly, slowly responding. I may not be able to stop the passing of years or their inevitable mark on my skin, but I am embracing the days with a new fierceness. I am pushing myself into a new strength.
Last year taught me that I am not yet done becoming. I’m not content to settle into fixed shapes or colors. I am moldable. There is ruby-fired blood coursing through my body. And I am strong.
So, I’m just going to keep showing up on my mat, be present and do the work. I’m going to practice new shapes and new postures and I am going to continue to find new strength. And perhaps that voice, the one that has felt shaky in the wake of a hard year, will finally be unleashed.
Perhaps it is actually a roar.