Ah, summer—I’m not ready to see you go. As we quickly approach what feels like the seasonal finish line, I’m in no rush to be busy. Nope, I’ll just stay right here and soak up the last of these slow, spacious days.
This summer, for me, has been all about space. Billy and I traveled to California (space away from New York) and spent time with friends (space to relax and have fun); we spent a week in Vermont with my whole family (space for my heart); I taught my annual retreat at Heathen Hill (space for practice and fresh air); and I pulled back on work (space away from what I do, which gave me some space to connect with who I am).
A Day In Napa
Billy and I took a drive out to Napa in a convertible. It was a beautiful day and we cruised under the hot sun with the top down. We visited three wineries and enjoyed some quality time just the two of us. It had all the makings of a perfect trip, and still, I struggled to shake my disappointment. Napa just wasn’t what I wanted it to be. There, I said it.
I’m writing this post on my vacation because I’ve been thinking a lot about work. I know—you’d probably rather read about my weekend in LA, or my wine tasting adventure in Napa, or my dinner at Chez Panisse. Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Here’s an idea, Chrissy: Why don’t you try not writing a blog post while you’re on vacation?” You would be making an excellent point. Why in God’s name would I want to talk about work?
Align With Your Why
When we think about what we really want, we don’t always consider what we’re willing to endure to make it happen. In fact, the seemingly insurmountable challenges that inevitably arise along the way force us to prove our commitment to the path. Life likes to test our resolve. If the why behind our efforts is not compelling enough, we might not find the strength to see it through.
The Space to Feel
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali defines asana, or posture, as both steady and easeful. The third step on the eightfold path towards Self-realization, sutra 2.46 originally described the seat for meditation; it should provide a structure to support the practice, but should also be comfortable so as not to contribute to the mind’s penchant for distraction. Within the context of modern yoga, sthira sukham asanam applies to the full spectrum of postures and invites the practitioner to find a balance between effort and ease.
Isn’t it funny (and sad) how certain rituals that once shaped who we were and how we saw the world can completely disappear from our lives? I used to paint. I worked mainly with oil, but I also loved watercolor, charcoal and pastels. I didn’t make a lot of original art; painting was really a form of meditation and relaxation for me more so than an outlet for self-expression. I liked to copy photographs (which I guess, through my eyes, was original art) or the works of other artists. Even if I was just doodling on a scrap piece of paper, art consumed my soul. My creativity has expanded in different ways over the years—cooking, arranging flowers, and creating my home have taken the place of my paintbrush, but I have to admit, I miss making art.