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Ellen DeGeneres, the Cowardly Lion and a Quiet Roar
Observations of a Fifty Something Housewife
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST MORA HECHT
As a “fifty something,” admittedly late bloomer, it has suddenly come to my attention that there are things I will most likely never do or be.
It seems increasingly unlikely that I will ever be taller than five feet, and at this very moment I may be shrinking to four feet eleven and three quarter inches. Playing in a grand slam tennis match or performing a triple axel on the ice during the Olympics is probably out.
There are many dreams fulfilled; love and marriage, children and our first grandchild on the way. Becoming a published author is an achievement I am more than grateful for. And in spite of my struggles with stage fright, I experienced performing in front of hundreds of people in an off, off, off Broadway show, (so off, it was in Washington, D.C.).
I am infinitely appreciative, and happier in fact, than I have ever been. But what I do seek more than anything else is to be braver, more courageous.
Following the Yellow Brick Road
Like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, I am hoping for courage. I long to plan for a trip without fear of a cruise ship colliding with a wayward iceberg, or planes mysteriously plucked from the skies, the very first thoughts popping into my head.
A close friend of mine has been listening to Deepak Chopra in the quest to calm her inner voice. She is a breast cancer survivor with a desire to improve her body and mind connection. She is also dealing with an empty nest and deciding what to do now that she has time to think for herself.
“I’m still at the bottom of the list.” While raising her three children she lost a bit of herself. “I wish someone told me how to tend to me; to feed myself.” Now she feels she is playing catch up; slowly working her way up the list, with only fear standing in her way.
A student of yoga since this past spring, I am hoping to improve my inner monologue as well. My “outer” monologue is no problem, proficient at dispensing positive encouragement for everyone else. I am a roving “peanut gallery” of positive affirmations; for myself, not so much. However, during class all negative thoughts happily vanish, walking out relaxed and restored.
When the teacher instructs us to open our eyes and smile at our reflections, because we are enough, I almost believe I am. Out in the real world it’s another story. I am certainly better, often listening to my internal om.
So the question begs to be asked, “Can we ever truly change the essence of who we are, our internal being?
I am a “gasp-er,” letting out a sharp, terse breath, startling everyone around me. This primitively annoying response occurs for various reasons, but mostly in the passenger seat of the car; convinced all oncoming traffic is heading for us like a heat seeking missile.
I have issues. I’m working on it.
Listening to Ann Curry interviewing Ellen DeGeneres recently, Ann asked about her “downward dogging yoga vegan eating feel the workout” life. Ellen responded,
It feels good. Kind of like when you have to…shut your computer down, just sometimes when it goes crazy, you just shut it down and (when) you turn it on its okay again. That’s what meditation is for me.
I long to be the person who fearlessly dives in, throwing all caution to the wind. There are times when my daily life teeters on the precipice, like a “cat on a hot tin roof.” Having begun the practice of yoga, with a fair amount of apprehension, I have grown in spite of my misgivings. As Ellen commented, I’ve rebooted, and skepticism has given way to a different way of thinking; looking at the world around me with more optimism and certainly gratitude and yes, even less fear. If I can summon my inner warrior for seventy five minutes on the mat, certainly those feelings can be translated to my everyday life.
With every breath I take, change is possible, even when I falter in my quest.
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says…I’ll try again tomorrow.
~Mary Anne Radmacher
And I’ll keep trying, until I get it right.
Read Mora all month long, blogging with her pearls on, at Is Anybody Else Hot?
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.