2012 My Year of Miracles-part 1

Autumn 2011

Things were changing …
How could I have known that as I approached turning 49 that the year ahead of me would transform me so completely?  When I considered my life I saw so much lacking.  I felt more separated from others then I had ever felt in my entire life.  I longed for good friendships and also to not feel like I was in competition with everyone I cared about.  My marriage was the form of a parent and child relationship with me being the child.  Family gatherings had become about sharing war stories of “can you top this” to win the award for who had a tougher life.  I felt I had become a wall flower at all social gatherings.  I was over 10 pounds over weight.  My hips hurt, my neck was tight causing tingling in my fingers.  I had the guilt of not exercising.  Each evening on the TV Doctor Oz would recommend regular exercise; I sat on the couch watching recordings of his daily program and took no action.  I knew the days of trying any new exercise fad wasn’t going to work for me – been there, done that.  I needed to find something I loved.
Yoga came into my life through my job.  In October, what could have been an easily passed by email to “all employees” was an invitation to join a group that met every Wednesday in the Human Services building, just across the street from my building.  I surprised myself by saving the email and then I even took the effort to call on the day to confirm that they were meeting.  I received such enthusiasm from Nancy, the group coordinator, that I got up the nerve to go.  I was welcomed when I arrived by Nancy and Rose, the instructor, who Nancy had informed of my attending.  I think I was hooked on yoga from the first moment.  I had tried it before by using the Wii game system and from books.  I liked it when I tried it but I knew there was some importance to breathing and moving that I just wasn’t going to figure out from a book or game.  Rose spent time every class to get us focused on our breath; time at the beginning of class and then a return to breathing and relaxation at the end of the class.  This felt right to me.
I remember around this time hearing that doing something new for a month makes it a habit, doing it for three months makes it a lifestyle; perhaps Doctor Oz said it.  I counted those weeks wanting so much to have yoga stick with me as nothing had in the past.  I recognized that once a week was not enough to meet the recommended fitness programs, most saying at least three times a week.  I decided that I needed to add two times a week on my own at home (my introverted self was not going to go to a gym or studio, also I am cheap).  I tried recording classes on my Tivo from the TV but I found these to be very intensive, either very high speed, or overly complicated moves meant to impress others.  I ended up looking on Youtube and found a channel called Yoga Vidya from Germany that had the focus on the breath.  Like Rose’s class, the Indian instructor spent the time to explain the poses, their Sanskrit names, the parts of the body they focused on, and the way to move the breath through the pose.  A month or so of using these videos gave me enough poses and breathing methods to do the additional two days a week on my own at home.
Just as television played a part in my motivation to take control of my body through yoga, it also provided a spark for my mind to start asking the big questions of life.  Science programs such as Nova’s Elegant Universe and Discovery’s Through the Wormhole provided me with a lay person’s understanding of quantum physics and the strange properties of quantum particles that seem to need the ‘observer’ to drop the probability wave of particles and manifest matter (as theorized in the “double-slit” experiment).  Also, stories of afterlife experiences and reincarnation had me pondering life’s big questions and opening up to share what I saw on these programs with my sons and family.
During 2011, Sunday lunches with my sister Barbara and my Mom became a regular thing. One Sunday I mentioned having seen the show about the reincarnation story of a boy who from the time of infancy was expressing knowledge of a fire and a plane crash.  His parents researched the information he was giving them from his earliest attempts at speech and were able to link his stories to the life of a pilot who died during WWII near Iwo Jima.  Barbara smiled and said that I should read a book on reincarnation that Dad had given to her years ago, “it was time” she said.  For my birthday she gave me the book Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss.  As a Christmas present she gave me another book recommended by Dad, Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.  These books sat on the cabinet in my living room for several weeks – it seems they were waiting for 2012.