So the other day I was driving my little girl home from school when she asked me a question. I just happened to be crying a little bit to myself when she asked so when I answered her my voice cracked. Of course she noticed because you can’t get away with anything in front of kids, and she asked if I was crying. I actually lied to her (which I couldn’t believe I did) and told her I must have burped while answering her (wth???).
Anyway, the next day I’m proud to say that I brought it back up to her and told her that yes I had been crying. To explain, I was crying because I happened to be thinking in that moment that if we moved (something my husband and I have contemplated just recently) I would really miss my neighbor Mr. Johnny. Mr. Johnny is retired and lives on the corner with his wife and little long-haired chihuahua.
Over the last 5 years that I have walked my brood of dogs down our street, Mr. Johnny and I have been in the habit of hanging out for a few minutes and catching up on the goings on in the neighborhood. We have walked with Mr. Harold until he passed just last year of cancer. We have seen and aided our neighbor’s pit bull through 2 litters of puppies. We have watched solemnly as Mr. Chad’s son came to clean out his dads house after Mr. Chad died unexpectedly from a seizure (another retiree who hung out with us with his black lab Charlie who also happened to be responsible for those 2 litters of puppies).
Mr. Johnny has watched me go from 2 dogs to 1 dog to 2 dogs to 3 dogs to 4 dogs to 3 dogs to 2 dogs and now lovingly acknowledges my old boxer Cayman who we both know is walking his last days with me on this Earth.
In that moment that my little girl asked me a question I was thinking about how if we moved I would go visit Mr. Johnny and his wife and keep up with them as best I could. And I thought that there would one day be a day that I would go to visit and he would be gone like Mr. Harold and Mr. Chad and my dogs Roxy, Sasha, and soon Cayman. I was crying because I knew I would miss him and our walks and our talks, but I was also crying for the constant state of change that is this life. I was crying for the complexity of being human and watching time slip through my fingers as I try desperately to appreciate and fully taste, touch, and smell each and every moment that I have with my kids, my husband, my parents, my siblings, my pets, my friends, and those people like Mr. Johnny who hold a special place in my heart even though he might not ever know it.
I was crying and yet I was fully grateful to have this moment to cry and to be fully present. I was grateful for the ability to be so aware of the fragility of life and yet at the same time the deeper knowledge that even in death the soul lives on. I was crying and yet my tears were not just the human tears of sadness but the souls tears of gratitude and reverence for this experience of life that I am beholden to none other than God Himself for having.
I really love the fact that I cry a lot because it honestly makes me feel really connected to life. I used to be scared to feel emotion, that it would mean something bad was happening or that I was slipping back into the depression I knew so well when I was younger. But now I realize it is part of a complex landscape of feeling my way through life and doesn’t necessarily mean I’m having a bad day or sinking back into depression.
I cry for many reasons. I cry in gratitude for my baby Mia. When I pick her up from changing her diaper I always kiss her on the cheek and I find myself choked up with tears at the gratitude that wells up inside of me. I am grateful for the lessons that I learn everyday from my 2 girls and I often find myself crying in gratitude simply to be in a position to be able to be grateful.
I also cry because life is stressful and hard at times and it helps to relieve the stress by letting out a few tears now and then.
I cry because I know that life is a free flow of change and that is exciting as well as scary. I cry because I know I am going to lose people close to me someday, even though I believe that I’ll see them again. I cry over commercials and baby books and for someone I may see on the street because I sense the connection between us even though I will never know their name or what this life is like for them.
I find myself crying for many reasons, but mostly for gratitude and for the ability to live life awake, aware and present enough to experience all of the emotion and enjoy it as it comes. And I know that it is because of my practice of yoga and the work that I do that I am able to remain in this state of gratitude and awareness more often than not.
So continue with Choose Spirit Now and allow these tools to help you get back to this state of gratitude, awareness and presence whenever life gets too boring, busy or seems to lose its luster. Get excited about this opportunity to deepen your relationship to life and all that it has to offer.
All my best,