Some years ago I roomed with a devout Jewish woman from South Africa for a week and she shared a little bit about how she organized her life around the Sabbath. Traveling was tricky, especially hotels with key cards but she ate very well and her life had a quality of devotion that felt deep and beautiful to me. I remember standing outside in rural France with her on a summer evening waiting to see enough stars in the sky, I think it was three, so that she could break her Sabbath. We stood silently, barefoot in the grass as the summer sky grew darker and darker and she waited for that extra twinkling light so she could turn on her phone and call her family.
Today I woke up and decided I needed some entertainment so in my head I declared it yin day. I had no idea that homeschooling and just being home all of the time would be so tiring. I have been exhausted every evening. One thing that I have written in my notes to myself this year is that it’s important to slow down. Although I haven’t, no, not one bit. So today, in the interest of doing something different, I decided to be as yin as possible. The first thing I did was to get on the internet and look for a checklist so I could get all of the yin stuff done. I pondered all sorts of websites about eating vegetables and moon energy until I realized there’s not a damn yin thing about googling lists of things to do!
So then I thought about my more yin friends and I proceeded to think WWHD or WWVD. Instead of a second cup of coffee I had herbal tea. I spent an hour and a half cleaning the house, trying on clothes, listening to a lecture about something groovy, and trying not to tell my son what to do.
I decided not to go grocery shopping until Monday and then I took a bath. I’m still going to go on my mega mental health walk but I will try to stroll slowly. And today I’ll skip the capoeira workout and do some restorative yoga.
I dance tango too fast, I eat too fast, many think I walk too fast, I talked too fast for my grandmother and I love things that are quick and delightful. However, today, I am going to try to do things very slowly. There’s really nothing else to do and no time like the present to try this experiment.
I went on a long walk yesterday through this very empty city but I didn’t take any pictures. The air is so still, the streets so quiet, the entire atmosphere is vast and completely changed and no picture can capture that. The grass in the soccer fields and parks is growing, little daisies and dandelions taking over and I think it’s time to rewatch one of my favorite films, La Jetée by Chris Marker. And I will do a session or two of ceiling staring, my old hobby.
p.s. And I was reading a book and just found this fantastic meditation for days like this – lie on your left side, in a fetal position, eyes closed, imagine you are on a beach at night and the waves are moving with your breath. Stay as long as you’d like, maybe the sun will rise in your visualization. And, if you fall asleep like I did, that’s perfectly fine. thanks to André van Lysbeth…