Off the Mat: Resolutions to Connect, Play & Practice

Resolve. Re Solve. To solve again.

Recently, a friend lent me CDs by poet David Whyte. I’ve been listening in the car as Whyte reads and reflects on poets from William Shakespeare to Mary Oliver. People who choose words so carefully make me look differently and think differently about how a word sounds and what those sounds mean.

This fall, my kiddo began bringing home Words of the Week from kindergarten. His teacher posts words like WITH and THE as passwords to enter the classroom, to help kids learn by looking. Participating in his early reading, I find myself taking apart words. Paying attention to how the words I use fit together for sounds. For meaning.

Like that blessed and cursed word: RESOLVE.

Resolve. Re Solve. To solve again.

Something you just solve once, just figure out like 2 + 2, doesn’t need to be re-solved. We re-solve those things that aren’t easily fixed. That we’ve tried a few different solutions for, yet haven’t yet found one that sticks.

So here, dear readers, in no particular order, are my daily re-solutions:

  • Connect daily. Working from home, alone, it’s easy to feel isolated. I notice this when I’m holding up the grocery line to converse with the clerk! Whether a new friend here in the Valley or old friends flung far and wide, I resolve to talk (yes talk. Not text or type) with a friend each day, a grown-up other than my spouse.
  • Get outside daily. I recently heard a speaker recommend starting each day outside, barefoot, to connect to earth and nature. A quick Google search confirmed she lives in Southern California, a climate where this practice won’t invite frostbite! But I do need to get outside more. Even a quick walk around the block clears my head and warms my heart. I commit to daily outside time, even on days requiring shoes, socks, long johns, scarf, hat, mittens, parka…
  • Play with my kid daily. When my son was a baby, I followed the advice to get down on the floor and play with him for at least 20 minutes each day. As his independence grew along with his body, I’ve fallen out of that habit. I find making finger people wait on wooden blocks for arriving trains…well…boring. We’ve settled into a pattern of parallel play: me in the kitchen or editing an article or paying bills (or let’s be honest, surfing Facebook,) while he plays school or LEGOs on his own. Together, but not engaged. So I re-solve to get down on the floor and play. Play cards. Or Battle Sheep, the new game from Santa, reminiscent of Catan for those who can still count their age on fingers. An art project. Or (deep breath) even trains. Instill the habit of daily time together while he still desires time with me.
  • Daily personal practice time. I know from a decade of experience that my day goes better when I start it on my mat. The practice of breath, meditation, and movement I call yoga connects me with myself in a way that benefits everyone around me. The more I do it daily, the easier it becomes to do it – and all the rest – daily.

What are your re-solutions, dear readers? What do you need to re- or dis- solve?

Happy New Year! Many happy re-turns.

[Photo credit: (cc) Jack O’Spades]

Originally published: January 5, 2015.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ginny Hamilton

Pain specialist, yoga instructor, and Reiki practitioner Ginny Hamilton teaches simple & proven techniques to release pain & restore energy in the workplace, group classes & private sessions. She has put down roots in South Amherst with her spouse and young son. Daily she’s amazed by the beauty the Pioneer Valley offers, though her allergies beg to differ. In Off the Mat, Ginny explores how yoga’s physical and mindfulness exercises help her parent and how parenting shapes her yoga practice. www.ginnyhamilton.com

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