Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On the ball

          As I write this the whirl and buzz of chainsaws are vibrating through my office window.  Hurray!  After fifteen years of waiting and wondering when the enormous weed trees that have been slowly choking the life out of my lovely cherry blossom have officially come to an end.   The new neighbors who live behind me have hired a pair of fellas to do the job and I couldn't be happier. 
          I tried to do it myself fifteen years ago, hauling a shovel and hand saw over there and asking the little old lady who lived there at the time if I could remove them.  Alas...I wasn't strong enough to do more than chop off a foot or two.  Lacking power tools and the means to hire out the job, I just let it go.  And of course, over the years, they grew willy-nilly and wild. 
          But in less than twenty-four hours, they will be no more.
          Last week-end I was trimming the cherry blossom and sent a silent request to the universe, "Please...please...can you have those old weed trees removed by the end of October at the latest?  I don't want my tree to last another season of slow rot and decay."  Now here I am listening to the most wonderful sound this gardener can hear.  
          It only took three days for this miracle to manifest.  
          Oddly enough, I hold my new office chair responsible. 

          It's not really a chair...thanks to one of my yoga students who suggested I try an exercise ball instead of investing in a new office high back.  My old one had seen better days and I've been contemplating what to do as I can spend up to eight hours a day sitting here and writing.  Lately I've found myself leaning right...leaning left, or curled up in the center, or sitting on one leg while the other foot is on tip-toe.  Terrible for my posture.  Torture for my yoga practice.
          That's when Becky stepped in and suggested a trip to Target.  I found a seventy-five inch exercise ball, blew it up and have been in writer's nirvana ever since.  Well, that might be a bit over the top, but I'm over the moon by the fact that my feet stay firmly planted on the ground while my back is supported, no matter how long I sit here.  (Plus, it's like working on an adult Hippity-Hop and that's always fun!)
          Getting my feet on the ground while being on the ball has improved a lot in the last two weeks.  I'm stronger in balancing poses.  My feet feel better.  I don't have neck or shoulder pain after writing for long stretches of time.  And when I head upstairs to the yoga studio, I'm more than ready to stretch more deeply into my hips, legs, and lower back.
          It's been the best $17.00 I've spent in a long, long time...and with benefits not advertised on the box.

          Years ago I was in a workshop in which the leader asked us to sit on the floor with our feet firmly planted on the ground.  We were going to do a grounding exercise and I struggled mightily with her request.
          "Can I sit cross-legged?" I asked.
          She shrugged.  "That's the problem with you yoga people.  You always want to sit like that.  But you don't walk through the world on your butt.  If you want to manifest anything, Katie, you need to learn to put your feet on the ground."
          My feet never flew out from beneath me so quickly. 
          Since then I've been keenly aware of my innate proclivity to pull my feet off of the ground.  To sit cross-legged or cross my legs.  To be on my tip-toes or pull a leg up to my chest while sitting on the couch.  And for the past year or so, I've been doing the same thing while writing and editing -- nearly every single day.
          The good news is that every single day since getting on the ball, my feet are more grounded and so am I.  This translates in to being more present, more aware and more able to create that which I most desire.  Think of it this way:  a plant can't grow without its roots.  Cut them off and you cut off the life force energy.  Nothing can bloom without the support and stability of that which is beneath it.  And that includes me, too.
          I've also learned that being grounded brings quiet, yet powerful unexpected blessings.

          In 2012, after receiving a handful of rejection letters from publishers, I got in my car and drove around town.  Needing to escape the office and clear my head, I headed toward Target, silently questioning why I had been given the desire to write if nothing was every going to move my work into the world.  I had already produced a plethora of books.  Had spent over a decade trying to find an agent.  Why oh why was I subjected to years of rejection?
          "Am I ever going to be published?" I asked the universe.
          Just then a red truck zoomed past, but was stopped at the next light, directly ahead of me.  It's license plate read, "NOT YET."
          "Well, at least it doesn't say, NO!" I smiled through my tears.
          But that's not the end of the story.
          A day after I purchased the exercise ball, I was driving to the grocery while listening to a piece of music which reminded me that it's okay to ask for momentum, for obstacles to be removed from my life so I can move forward and manifest that which I most want to create.
          "Okay...I'm ready now," I said to the universe.  "I've done the work.  I've gotten out of the way.  You can bring me a publishing house whenever You want."
          Wouldn't you know it...at that very moment a van drove toward me in the opposite lane.  It's license plate brightly beamed, "ANY DAY."

          Hurray!  The fifteen years of waiting and wondering when my work will finally be in print are coming to an end!  Stay tuned...I'm sure more magic is already on the way.