Despite existing – essentially – between two lives these days, I am feeling quite balanced, peaceful and present. Dare I say…Sattvic? Because that is what I am sensing right now, at this moment, having wrapped up my morning yoga practices, listening to Ravi Shankar’s “Sitar Soul,” sipping my Ayurvedic tea, waiting for the pot of steel cut oatmeal simmering on the stove.
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In 12 days, I will get in a U-Haul truck and move my life from DC to Nashville.
Washington, DC is my hometown. I was born in Washington Hospital Center; I grew up just over the city line in MD; my parents frequently brought my three sisters and me into the city to explore the ‘hoods where they met, fell in love and hung out; I spent much of my youth bicycling, hitch-hiking or driving my way into town for concerts and assorted adventures. And although in my adulthood, I moved around and lived in other areas of the U.S., I always returned here, to my roots. I love this region, this city, this community. This is where I saw my first Major League Baseball game in 1971, where I established a regular yoga practice in 1993, where I started studying/performing percussion in 1994 and where I got sober in 2002. Major milestones of passions, growth and life!
A bit more than 17 years ago, my parents moved out of my childhood home to retire in Nashville – my mom’s hometown. Mom was ill and died six years later. Dad still lives in their little house down there. And at 85, he’s starting to need more help than my very generous sister (who lives south of Nashville) can manage.
So, I’m moving to be close to and to be of service to my dear old dad, whom I love more than anyone on this earth.
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I just returned from an exploratory trip down south. What a productive week! I found a beautiful apartment, registered my car in TN, did some employment outreach, enjoyed quality time with family, re-connected with my circles of pals (cultivated over 17 years of visiting), and, spent time with a DC friend who just moved to Nashville for school. I also kept up with my daily morning practices – and, was lucky enough to enjoy them outdoors, in the beautiful countryside of my sister’s house.
The very grounding routines and activities during that trip certainly contribute to why I am feeling great today, here in DC.
In addition to the strong foundations established in Nashville last week, my returning hours at home have been very stabilizing.
I gave myself permission for a “re-entry” day – time to chill out and get my feet back on the ground in DC. After all, in the coming days until my move, I will: continue with my TN job outreach, teach and attend my last yoga classes, attend my final Washington Nationals baseball games, visit the recovery meetings that founded my sobriety, bid farewell to friends, sell and/or give away belongings, and pack, pack, pack! I could be slave to emotional ups and downs, fatigue and stress hunger for much of my remaining time here. Instead, to nourish equilibrium, presence and peace…I took a day off!
After coming home from the airport two nights ago, I got a good night’s sleep. Yesterday – my “day off” – I arose energetically for my own morning yoga, and taught my 6:30am class. Post-class, three dear friends – some of my 1st yoga students – joined me for breakfast. The meal was healthy and energizing. And we all caught up about our lives and activities, not simply focusing on my move away.
At home after breakfast, while catching up on To-Do Lists and such, I indeed started to feel a bit cranky and lonesome. So I sat for Pranayama and chanting, went for a walkabout in my ‘hood, enjoyed a very relaxing pedicure and went for a late lunch at my local Diner. All very grounding.
What topped off my serene re-entry day? An early evening “Beat the Heat” class with Jeanette Lee at Past Tense, one of the studios where I teach. This summer session features cooling lunar Vinyasa sequences, Pranayama, and Ayurvedic treats and tips! Jeanette’s dreamy playlist (including my fave Jai Uttal), lightheartedness and nurturing approach were exactly what I needed on this pivotal day in my current life transition. I went home and slept like a baby!
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After last night’s yoga “tuck in,” I made certain to arise for my normal routine this morning. And as mentioned above, I am feeling completely blissed out. (Thanks, Jeanette!)
Morning Sadhana – a series of daily yoga practices – is like insurance for a good, constructive, Sattvic (harmonious or balanced) day. My personal routine includes awakening at dawn for prayers, chanting, Pranayama, Asana, and a number of yoga-, recovery-, spiritually- and Ayurvedic-inspired practices. Yet, this routine could include any awakening practices that one is willing to commit to daily. In selecting the elements of an effective morning Sadhana, the inspiration to commit is key. Choose practices that you adore.
A yummy Ayurvedic tea is like a little reward after my physical practices. This “agni-stoking” tea awakens the digestive system with a fusion of flavors. In a two-serving tea pot, I pour hot water over five thin slices of organic ginger root, one cinnamon stick, one cardamom pod, one clove, three shakes of black pepper and one shake of turmeric powder. This mixture is ready to sip in just 10 minutes. (I’m sipping it now!)
I cook my signature oatmeal dish while the tea is brewing. The ingredients shift seasonally – and always support the agni-stoking tea elements. This morning, I’m briefly sautéing ¼ cup of uncooked steel cut oatmeal, a sprinkle of basil, two shakes of cardamom powder and a tablespoon of chopped ginger in a tablespoon of coconut oil before pouring in 1 cup of water for boiling. After simmering for about 10 minutes, I’ll add sliced, fresh, local peaches and pecans.
I can’t wait!
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After breakfast, it’s full steam ahead! No sitting around today – much less sitting in limbo! My focus is on the Nashville job hunt. I have some follow up from last week’s in-person outreach, some openings to apply for, plus, some broader outreach to my contact list. Thankfully, my connecting, nourishing and balancing activities over the past 24 hours have prepared me for this busy day.
Wish me luck! And I wish YOU a productive – or totally chilled out – day! Whatever you need to nurture ongoing balance, presence and sustainability in your life.
Thanks for reading. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.