Through God’s plan or just my own random internet wanderings, I came across thoughts from this lovely man this morning, and spontaneously decided to follow his lead by doing yoga for Lent.
I’ve been contemplating what to do with Lent this year. Yes, I realize that Ash Wednesday was yesterday. This year I actually had it on my calendar and planned to plan ahead. But I just hadn’t found anything that resonated with me this year, mostly because I already know what will get at my heart issues and I didn’t want to do it. So for my Ash Wednesday observance, I ate an entire sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mints (among other things). And then last night and this morning, I spent some serious time reflecting.
First of all, I’m not mad at myself. And I’m giving myself permission to jump into Lenten practice when I’m ready, even though that feels wrong and messy and I’m tempted to not do anything at all because I can’t do it perfectly….
Anyway, I’ve been contemplating how I want to observe Lent this year, mostly with the help of my very favorite podcast of all, The Practice (which is a real live thing that happens in Chicago, but living hundreds of miles away, I participate via podcast, you should subscribe too, I love it.)
Last week, Mark Scandrette led them through a preparation time, but I am just now able to sit down and contemplate. (It’s really really good, you can find it here, and there’s a worksheet you can print to work through this exercise yourself.)
I knew that I wanted (well, want is a strong word…I feel compelled) to do something to get at the heart issues that make it impossible to eat less than a sleeve of Thin Mints (among other things.) But on this sheet I was working through, they recommend a mind and body practice for Lent, and also that in addition to practicing abstinence, you practice some sort of engagement – so moving in a positive direction, not just restricting or abstaining. I LOVE THAT. But I wasn’t sure what direction to move in.
Which leads me back to Micah’s post, I Accept. Go read it, I’ll wait.
I haven’t done Yoga in months, and I miss it. Plus, something he said about his very favorite yoga instructor made me wonder if this wasn’t the same yoga camp a good friend has been doing.
Usually I am a planner, especially with commitments – but I decided on the spot I was in, and this was my “engagement”. I’ve done yoga, but never using a “mantra” and I was a little skeptical, and entirely sure it wouldn’t be that meaningful to me.
I was wrong.
The first mantra is “I accept”. So as I went through the yoga practice, I prayed “I accept.”
I accept my body just how it is.
I accept that there are things in yoga that I just can not do.
I accept that there are things in life that I just can not do.
I accept that I have limits.
I accept that you (Father God) are OK with me exactly how I am today, limits and all.
And suddenly I was crying.
I’m not 100% sure yet why the idea of accepting my limits brought me so quickly to tears, but I have an idea. And I’m feeling courageous enough to explore it.