23 October 2016

“the rain comes and goes but the earth remains”

I attempted to surf again today. To say I “went surfing” would be rather misleading; I paddled out to the break and hung out there for a long time. I got on an off my board, swam around, and made ZERO attempts to catch a wave. And yes, there were a few out there. As usual, fellow surfers told me that I was too far out. Hey guys, so no, I don’t really know what I am doing out here, but I do know that I’m too far out to catch anything, and I did it on purpose.

I went out today to paddle around, get some sun, and just be in the water. That’s it. No, my intention was not to avoid all the waves, but that’s how I felt when I got out there, so I let it be. The water was stunning today, as usual. I could see straight down to the bottom and the light was hitting the coral in the most magical way. There were a few surfers out but it was quiet, it was calming.

At one point I looked around and thought “Its like I’m floating on top of a huge aquarium.” And then I remembered the aquarium that I was at earlier this week with Mike, and then images of the (several) creepy eels we saw came flooding into my mind. I let it go, though, and had a good laugh at myself.

I’ve started to re-read one of my favorite yogi books, Meditations from the Mat. You’re supposed to read a passage each day, but I usually read 2-3 every few days. I sit down with a cup of tea (or beer by the pool) and really read the passages – I have a pen nearby and jot down notes, taking the time to really think about what each one is saying. The first few times I read this book I just breezed through it, barely taking in the content, and definitely not soaking up all the messages it offers. Reading this book again reminds me of how my yoga practice changed my life, and me as a person. I am so grateful that I found yoga, especially when I did (law school!). Yoga has changed me in the most positive ways, while yes, the physical practice makes my body lean and strong, yoga in its entirety has made me much stronger, in my entirety.

This book consistently reminds me of the mental strength derived from a deep yoga practice. One of the “goals” is to be able to be in situations, to encounter thoughts, feelings, emotions, challenges, and to recognize them, deal with them, and let them go. So often it is so easy to get caught up in our heads, in our anxiety, and in what we think our reality is. It is so easy to let a challenge that pops up kill your day. Yoga has taught me to take things as they come, remind myself that they’re temporary, and let them go. This mentality, although it is a constant practice, eases anxiety and makes me a much happier and pleasant person. But it is a constant work in progress.

So I just got back from Korea. I hadn’t left Guam since July and needed a break from my life here, so I thought. I told myself over and over that I just needed to get off the island, get out of my apartment, get to a place that is completely different. The night before I left, Mike asked me if I felt rejuvenated after my trip, and I, defeated-ly told him no. But I was refreshed. I came home and was happy to be in my little apartment, despite how much I complain about it, I was happy to see my little terrorist of a cat, and I was happy to see my friends, and jump back into work. So, yes, the trip helped. But yesterday I drove down south and did my favorite run/hike here, and while I was up there I had to take a minute to just laugh at myself. The view up there is amazing – I looked out across the island and over the bay and reminded myself that this was only a 20 minute drive from my house. How lucky am I? My life is incredible and I am so lucky to live in such a fantastic place, surrounded by such fantastic people.

I’m currently sitting in a cabana at the Hilton (paid for by my health insurance) writing this. What? Tough life.

When I was in Korea, one of the first things my friend Kelly said to me was “your summer looked incredible!” and I immediately fired back saying how stressful it was. Ok, yea, work was a little rough but I DID have an amazing summer, it was tons fun, and I got a lot of quality time with friends I care very deeply for. I needed to remind myself that the issues I faced last summer and the stressors I dealt with really weren’t that bad, and when paired with the amazing things I got to do, seemed like nothing.

I’m glad I took the trip to Korea and despite being sick for most of it, it was a great getaway. I came back with a renewed appreciation for this island, and for this life.

The book: Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path to Yoga by Rolf Gates & Katrina Kenison