I haven’t always been that good at practicing what I preach when it comes to self care. But now as I get older I really feel the value of self care.
Today, I went to Denver to take a Pilates class from my friend Cara at Pilates Aligned. I take the bus to Union Station and walk 30 minutes to her studio. I don’t listen to music or read while on the bus. I look out the window, see the changing of the leaves, see people in their cars beating their steering wheel in frustration or putting on mascara (while driving on hwy 36!). I thank myself for taking a relaxing trip downtown. The bus is usually quite in the morning. A few people have their computers open and their work has begun. Others are scrolling social media. I thank myself for not having this extra stimulation.
Once downtown, my exercise begins. I walk along the 16th Street Mall trying to walk as fast as the mall ride bus goes. I usually get to the cross street a few seconds behind but I still get to my turn off as fast as the bus would have gotten me there. I enjoy making eye contact with as many people as I can and I smile. Today a monk and I exchanged a smile and a nod. Even though people are racing to work (and I’m walking pretty fast), there are car horns, trucks beeping as they back up, and many phone conversations being had as I pass, it’s peaceful at the same time.
I make it to the studio with 20 minutes to spare. I roll out on the foam roller and stretch a little. But as I do, I’m taking in the two teachers who are teaching. What are they teaching? How are they cuing? I become a sponge. I learn so much from watching and listening to others teach Pilates. I plan to always be a student, constantly learning.
My class starts and I’m swept away in awe for the method of Pilates and how my body can do the little specific things I ask of it. I appreciate the guidance and instruction from Cara and try to store every bit of information I’m given. I’m guided to explore my body’s abilities and to experience the ever unfolding dynamics of the Pilates method. I’ve always said I love Pilates but I really LOVE Pilates! The hour goes by so fast. My body feels worked, aligned, lengthened and strengthened. I’m focused. I’m centered.
After class I met a friend for lunch. She and I only see each other every few months or so. I am so grateful that the friendships I have can have many months even years between visits but we always pick back up like we just saw each other yesterday. We had a wonderful visit then walked around the city for a several blocks before we parted ways. I notice she sees things I don’t see. A piece of plastic on the ground could be part of her next art project. Graffiti
on the side of a building would be a great backdrop for a selfie. I appreciated what she noticed and saw as beautiful. It encourages me to open my eyes to all the little things I know I pass by.
One the bus ride home, I sat thinking of all the chores I needed to get done when I got home but then said to myself…this day is for you, keep soaking in the time for yourself. I came home, made myself a chai and sat down to revel in my day.