The hallway leading back to Michael’s childhood room we dubbed “The Hall of Shame,” because until a few years ago, every school picture of his brother and him lined the wall in two rows, preschool to college. In most of the pictures, Michael has the same (awful) hair cut and the same (horrid) glasses framing his chubby face. Mama liked to cook, and the boy liked to eat.
Which is why I am even more proud of his self-discipline and determination over the past year. After a lifetime of too much food and too little exercise, Michael has dropped twenty pounds. He eats healthier food, snacks less, and moves more. He started with P90X last year, then trained and ran several races. He ran a half-marathon last weekend. The man is a machine.
He asked for the P90X DVDs for his birthday last year, and he worked through them religiously. One night, I decided to join him for Yoga. We got the kids to bed, pushed back the coffee table, rolled out our mats, and began. The Yoga video is AN HOUR AND A HALF. Sweet baby Jesus. We were both grunting and moaning through the exercises when we heard Meghan on the stairs.
“Um, are y’all okay?”
She was terrified that something other than yoga was happening in the family room. Which it was not. And she was hugely relieved.
Let’s leave it at that.
I made it through forty-five minutes. When the dude told us to stand on our heads, I was out. Thank you, Mr. Buff P90 guy, I’ve had my fill. I’m headed to the showers now.
So I’m not a yoga expert. I appreciate yoga (especially the pants), and I wish I could do yoga without looking like a total idiot, but I’m not there. Yet.
Yoga culture offers us this word, which I love: Namaste. Loosely translated, the God/Goddess within me acknowledges the God/Goddess within you. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace.
Namaste affirms the infinite value in another soul. It says, I see you. You are gifted and blessed. You have purpose. You are good.
That’s what we all need to hear, isn’t it? That we are not invisible? That we aren’t useless? That all the things we do during each day have eternal significance, even if we think they are meaningless?
To you, my sweet friends, I say Namaste. Thank you.
Thank you for your comments, your emails, your texts, your prayers. Truly. I was in such a self-absorbed pit and so caught up in my own head that I couldn’t even find the door — and you led me out. You prayed when I couldn’t pray, you recognized God’s purpose in me, and you reminded me I’m not alone.
In affirming me, I affirm you. Your words, your kindness testified to God in you, working through you, giving you purpose as a light-bearer, courage-giver.
Write that on a name tag and slap it on your chest. Wear it proudly. Go to the grocery store, the bank, the playground, the office —knowing you are a valuable part of this crazy world. You matter, and you make a difference.