I started a 30-day yoga challenge a few weeks ago and as I sank my forehead to the mat for the first time the instructor asked us to think about the reason we started this challenge and what we hoped to take away. One word popped into my mind, strolling across my consciousness like the fantasy I have where I’m
forty fifty years old with grey locs sweeping the floor, dressed in a mumu with my arms flung open like I’m hugging the world.
I’m not alone, right? Please tell me all have weird visions of our future selves.
Amidst work obligations, family life and a depressing sort of loneliness, balance looks like working less, writing more and being kind to my body. It looks like weekends that are open to possibilities; it looks like returning to the yoga mat over and over again; it looks like expanding my circle of intimacy – finding new friends and staying connected with old ones.
Balance looks like aligning my practices with my goals. Just after graduation I spread my sails wide, wanting to test as many waters as I could. Now I’m finding my current and I feel a tug in that special direction. Away from some things, necessarily, but towards other things that resonate more deeply.
I hope that by focusing on balance in the coming months I can end 2018 with a little more stability and sureness of purpose. I hope my anxiety lessens (and so far it has ) and I hope my life aligns itself in the direction I’ve always intuitively wanted to go.
Last night I did yoga for the first time.
I’ve been talking about it for years – of course the closest I’ve ever come was attempting a two hour instructional video and giving up after the first five minutes. But last night under the stars in the instructor’s backyard with a light summer breeze brushing against my straining muscles, crickets and muted traffic playing background music I pushed myself to keep up and finish what I’d started. It paid off. I woke up this morning feeling refreshed in a way I haven’t felt for a long, long time.
The only sad thing is that Montego Bay doesn’t have many opportunities like this. For a city that is jam-packed with tourists and expatriates our culture is ridiculously under-globalized. And once these opportunities spring up they’re usually available to only an elite group of people (uptowners). The Western end of the island is struggling to keep up with the East, even though Kingston is the only city on that end that’s spearheading development.
Still, I am grateful for the expansion of alternative hobbies and activities in my hometown. Dance classes are becoming more popular, cafes are patronized more often (and by people who aren’t tourists). Now there is yoga (there has probably been yoga for a while). And while these opportunities wax and wane in response to public support and financial solvency, I hope there will be a gradual evolution of fun (and healthy!) things to do in the second city.
We can be more than just our beaches (but we do have awesome beaches).