I'm doing it again. My shoulders are rounded toward my chest. My head juts forward.
"Open your heart."
It was an offhanded comment Jennifer made. She was instructing us in meditation. We were just getting started, shifting around on our butts to find a comfortable position.
She said we often hunch our shoulders as a way to protect our hearts. Symbolically, it made so much sense.
I've protected my heart so much that at 38 I fear I've the start of a Dowager's hump. Not noticeable to anyone but me and my aching right shoulder if I've not been to yoga in a while. No dancer's posture here. I catch myself slumping all the time.
Now, when I see old ladies all contracted forward, I'm filled with compassion. I want to ask them, "What needed all that protecting?" and "Was it worth it?"
Years ago, I heard Marianne Williamson, in a tape on eating disorders say, when you look at an overweight person, keep in mind "the weight is the size of their wound."
Strange how our bodies give us away. Then again, not strange at all.
Todd worked the evening shift last night, and got home late. He actually wasn't late, but we'd miscommunicated, and I thought he was very late. Sitting in my worried quiet, it occurred to me that I don't know what route he takes to work? I would have no idea where to look for him in this new city if the car broke down. He doesn't carry a cell. There was no one I could call.
I've gained six pounds since our move.
When I caught myself just now, I asked,
"Do you feel safe yet?"
"No. Not yet. Things are too up in the air. Nothing is settled. New schools for the kids. New doctors. Todd's new job isn't working out. New everything. It's all too much."
Throwing my shoulders back, I take a deep breath, and work on opening my heart anyway.