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on handstands.

A couple of months ago, I had a revelation, a true and beautiful moment when I connected my life (and its success or failure) to my ability to do a handstand. I scribbled some messy words in my journal while kneeling on a hardwood floor, smelling lavender and listening to my own discoveries. My life made complete sense and knowing that I could forever – at least metaphorically — execute perfect alignment with properly engaged muscles seemed possible, if not probable. At twenty-five, I had discovered the secret to LIVING (versus living).

I realized that everything I had ever thought about handstands was left over from being a competitive twelve-year-old in a swimming pool. So, I reprogrammed my definition of “handstand” as a dynamic woman.  I could intentionally and powerfully flip my view of the world, just for a moment. I had a plan to get my life on track and wrote a quick version of my future in my brain before putting the top on my pen.

At that moment, I was empowered and in control. Thirty-five minutes later, though, I had to have a conversation with another human. The human was in a terrible mood, but I stayed strong and did a handstand in my apartment later that night. Life, obviously, went on.

Yesterday morning, I stepped over an empty box of donuts, shared a silent moment with myself for everyone who cares about Twinkies, and tried to revisit my relationship with handstands. Through a window, I saw a man vacuuming a room filled with mismatched chairs and mailboxes, compared him to a Swiss dairy farmer (Part of me will always want to be a Swiss dairy farmer.), and laugh-cried at myself for seriously thinking, “I hate myself, and I love myself” (flashback to watching this video two years ago). I looked back at the man, wondering what he thought about handstands, if he had any children and whether or not he could find a hint of a reflection of himself in me, as I could in him (and in most everyone else on the planet). I daydreamed a scenario in which I, lost and empty-handed, knocked on the window to ask him for advice.

When I was a twelve-year-old in a swimming pool, I held my breath the entire time my feet flailed in the air, and it was always a competition. I usually laughed.  Sometimes, these days, I like to lie on the floor and breathe by myself.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I’m thankful for the moments that remind me that I’m not (despite my thoughts, actions, or others’ opinions) even close to being my entire world. I mean, how can I know if my handstand is perfect if other people aren’t walking around testing my focus, strength and balance? It doesn’t matter if they look; it just matters that they’re there.

(Now, flip it.)

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