Heart Open

 {from the archives.  last spring.}

Yesterday was yoga class.  There were no teary eyes, no felt release of something too big to be contained inside this time.  In fact, yesterday's yoga was on the cusp of grueling.  Still the beauty of the space and teacher and new friends.  Still the beauty of the work.  But the work was hard on my fleshy body, asking of me to push and pull muscle fibers, some I forgot I owned, and some so used to being curled inward on this here keyboard.  It felt like a searing burn turned tingle to rotate each humerus backwards, chest stretched,  heart open.  And then we breathed on our backs, fast and rhythmic breaths in between the inhale and exhale.  We did that for what felt like forever.  My chest cavity actually ached and I saw stars.  And I felt my heart open wider.  I felt like a redeemed goddess in Warrior pose.  I did feel gratitude again to have brought this practice back into my life.  For this lovely little studio.  I do believe these feelings will be brought along each time like my orange mat, and whatever else happens will simply be that day's yoga.  

We went to Ikea yesterday after my yoga class.  It was not a good time.  The boys were at their worst.  More than once I felt all that morning mediation and breathing balled up and tossed out like trash.  I'd been making a mental list in preparation for this trip and once there I could think of almost nothing except how pissed off I was, how disappointed I felt.  Eric was with us and I felt angry at him, too.  I ended up giving in and saying yes to things I didn't even like just to be done with this miserable trip that I had been looking forward to.  I do this, I think, way too much as I'm looking through plastic storage containers and grabbing cinnamon rolls.  Be the one who gives in because dealing with my own feelings seems like the easier choice.  Because I know, absolutely know, we'll all live and be okay.  So what if I think the new outdoor furniture is hideous - we don't have to talk about it again for at least five more years...  But this is me at my worst, too, holding on to negative thoughts and feelings like these.  At times my hubby the unfortunate recipient. 

At bedtime in our house, we read.  After books, Eric curls up with one kiddo and I with the other.  We switch kiddos every other night so that each one gets time with each of us, equally.  The boys have bunk beds in a shared room so we are all actually together.  After stories and lights out, we stay with the boys until they fall asleep and this is one of my favorites things.  This is when we talk, when we are very calm.  This is when last night I told the boys that I was sorry I was such a butt at Ikea.  I told them how at yoga class that morning we worked on opening our hearts and right now I can't help but think about that.

Theo said you can't open a heart.  

Open your heart, Sully laughed.  Ewwww.  

You can open your heart, I told them.  Put your hand on your heart.  Feel it beating.  Feeling your heart opens it.  That's where our best feelings and intentions come from.  When you make choices from your open heart they will almost always be your best choices.

I decided to stop right there with both of my boys feeling their hearts with their soft, warm hands.



  1. The ability to forgive ourselves and to say I'm sorry are two important lessons to share with our children. It sounds to me that you did both! Once again...beautiful.

  2. Oh Katie, the way you switched around their silliness at the end was really brilliant. I wish I had that ability. Too often the silliness has me completely...ikea'd?!?

  3. Fortunately, the beauty of the patio furniture isn't a life-breaker. =) If you feel you do that giving in part too often, maybe think through other solutions to today's situation so that next time, you take a different road?

  4. I'm sitting here listening to the boys trying to get ready for bed but they are too rambunctious (Joe is up there with them yelling at them to settle down) thinking I just need to find something to read to calm my nerves because even my glass of red wine isn't doing the trick. I decide to go to your blog, Katie, because you always have lovely and thought-provoking ideas and I was pleasantly surprised to see that you, too, get pissed off. This was helpful. I, too, lay with both my boys before bed and sing a special song and talk about the favorite part of their day and their "worst" (per Jack) part of the day. It is a very special time each night and I am now in the right mindset. Thank you. And as I listen now, they are calmer and chatting in their bunk beds ready for me to join them.

    1. This was such a beautiful comment, Gretchen. Thank you. xo