Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's All Clear

clar-i-ty [klar-i-tee]

                        1.  clearness or lucidity as to perception
                            or understanding; freedom from 
                            indistinctness or ambiguity.
                       2.  the state or quality of being clear or
                            transparent to the eye; pellucidity:
                            the clarity of pure water.

mid-14th century,  from Old French clarte',
from Latin claritatem, clearness, 
from clarare, make clear. 

Have you ever had a word
that keeps finding its way into
your conversations, almost like you
were meant to hear and ponder it?
For me, that particular word recently
has been

Today at yoga, 
there it was, 

Headstands will help bring you clarity,
declared our teacher.  It benefits many
 systems of the body, including
your skin.

I am afraid to do headstands.

To send my legs shooting over
my head, towards a wall that I
know is there, but seems miles
away, is {crazy I know}
scary to me.

On the drive home from the yoga
studio, I considered clarity.  How
can doing something that frightens
me bring freedom from indistinctness
or ambiguity, when, in fact, I am
more than a little ambiguous
about the pose itself?

Then it dawned on me.  Perhaps
turning my world upside down and
experimenting safely with something
that creates fear will not only be 
healthy for my body, but will help me 
to see other things in my life from
a different perspective; a new
and unfamiliar angle.

A fellow yogi and our teacher, holding her up!
Sometimes we get caught in
patterns or behaviors and stop
truly seeing where we are and
what is around us.  We sort of float
through our days on auto-pilot.

I don't want to be on auto-pilot.

Life is too precious a gift for that.

I try to combat the blinders by keeping  
a gratitude journal, by seeking out
nature as I walk my dog, by singing
exuberantly to the car radio, and
by trying to really notice little details 
as I go about my day....

the shift of autumn's light
the earrings on the lady at the post office
the smell of fresh laundry as I fold it
the music of my children laughing
the comfort of a hot cup of tea
the enthusiasm of colleagues in a meeting

But perhaps to be in the state or
quality of being clear, I have to
do more than just take note.

I have to shake things up.
Drive home a different way.
Try new tastes.
Take a class to keep learning,
stretching and growing.

Do a headstand?

It's a start.

What do you do to step out of
your comfort zone and gain 
mental clarity?  

Please, pull up some floor.

I'll be the one upside down, against
the wall, surrounded by pillows.

For me, the greatest beauty always
lies in the greatest clarity.
~ Gotthold Ephraim Lessing


PS:  The Fairy Hobmother,
representative for that generous 
British company who has been
busily spreading love around the 
blogosphere, recently sprinkled me
with magic dust!  After reading my
post on Operation Smile, she made a 
generous $50 donation in my name : )

If you have a wish that you'd
like granted, just leave me a
comment letting me know what
it would be, and she has promised
to consider making it come true!

my yoga class &
little details I love,
by me



I don't want to be stuck, for sure . . . but please don't make me stand on my head.

What would I wish right now . . . hm, maybe for a bicycle for my daughter in England doing charity work with students.

I am impressed, Suzanne, that you do yoga.



Felicity said...

You know I love this word and its associated friend lucidity.

Not sure if I'm up to handstands but love the notion of mixing it up for clarity.


A Vintage Chic said...

A perfect word, pretty much sums up to me the way you write, Suzanne...beautiful, crisp, clear...and wonderful.

I love this post--as I love all of your posts--it just makes me want to sit on that comfy sofa in your photo and chat away the day with you...

Wishing you joy & clarity in all your moments...I'll try and do the same. Life IS truly beautiful, isn't it?!

As always, dear friend, thank-you for your insight & inspiration...


Marie said...

Another beautiful post Suzanne. I loved every word, and all the photos too, of course. I love the music of Mindy Gledhill. I can't get enough of her. xxoo

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I do NOT know what I would do if what I am SUPPOSED to do in my job was not clear....CLAIR....we all need to know to feel successful, safe and a part of the TEAM! BE WELL MY SWEET AND BEAUTIFUL FRIEND!!! Anita

Grammy said...

What came to my mind as I read this post was the old question, "What's it all about?". After living over 70 years, that question has become more clear, just as the memory starts to fade. Sort of a dichotomy. Clarity for me has been a long, slow process that now seems to be fading. Enjoy it while you can.

Whosyergurl said...

Nice thoughts for today. I am pushing myself by trying to learn the mandoline. I love that instrument! Hope I can do it. For now, just learning a few notes along they way. I need to find a teacher.
xo, Cheryl

michele said...

i get it. there's such comfort that comes with ritual and autopilot that actually may not be serving us well. i struggle daily with fear so i do try to challenge myself and then celebrate the small victories (like standing on your head!). btw, i'm not patting myself on the back here. the truth is I TRY EVERYTHING!!! for me it's all tied up with trust, right? surrendering to the truth that i honestly don't have control and don't need it because i have a savior whose ways are mysterious and perfect and working to prosper me, not to harm me.

hope this finds you well. your post is a reminder i need to get signed up at the gym and MOVE.



Sylvia said...

Dear Suzanne,
I gain mental CLARITY and awareness through spending time in nature , away from the calamity of city living .In fact, each morning while I am walking our dog ,I immerse in the natural world, BUT only when I am FULLY PRESENT , with alert attention I can contemplate the beauty around me and some how I am finding myself in another realm , FORMLESS ... I am blending with everything , as ONE ... My mind is clear and it is like "enlightenment".I thing it was Eckhart Tolle, who described this moment very well in his book A New Earth...and then , , with a clear mind I am ready to "make a fool of myself ", not caring what other people think and enjoying the unknown :)
Sorry for the long comment ! I so like this post , and yes, I am doing yoga , too

paige said...

i am definitely in a season where i could use some clarity. ....
your post & images are beautiful as always

pretty pink tulips said...

You, of all people, seem to have more clarity than most. I know I often stop by seeking it here. :)

Now...those headstands. Use the wall until you're ready. I promise you, one day you will do it on your own and it will truly be a freeing moment. And, once you learn how, it's like riding a bike. Good ole muscle memory.

I haven't been able to do much yoga lately with my little guy's accident and recovery. However....the few classes I've made....gave me such a calm. I can't wait for next week, when I can get into my usual grove ( and poses).

And....I haven't kept a gratitiude journal before...but I think now is the perfect time to begin.

xoxo Elizabeth

Tricia said...

My sister and I talk about this sort of thing all the time. We refer to it as "sleepwalking through life." It seems like a lot of people do it...I don't want one of them to be me.

Claudia said...

I, too, am afraid to do headstands! And I don't think I'll attempt one at this point in my life. But, you're so right, we have to face our fears and see what comes out on the other side.

Let us know how you do!


Jo said...

I'm craving even a glimpse of clarity right now in my life ~ the rubber ball bouncing off walls isn't working for me and leaves me feeling confused and dizzy.

Have a wonderful weekend ~

Sylvia said...

You are such a kind soul, Suzanne. I've always knew it! Thank you! It means a lot to me .

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

Yes! Turning things upside down helps you see your life in a whole new way. I'm experiencing that right now. It's hard--a little like a tug-o-war right now--but it's good. I'd love to know more about what you're going to change.

Hi, I'm Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

It doesn't matter that you are surrounded by pillows, (I would do the same. :) but that you are kicking your heels up!

Celebrate wonder and newness!

Karena said...

Suzanne, every time I visit you I feel a sense of calm beauty!

I love yoga and need to just sign up for a class again. I have had some health issues that, as you have mentioned, make me a bit fearful of standing on my head!

That said I do like change, to shake things up a bit, to give back!

Art by Karena

Do come and enter my Giveaway from the Jose Esteves Collection at Interieurs!

Lili said...

You are one thought-provoking lady Suzanne. Every once in a while I step outside my comfort zone, but I always seem to find a comfort zone outside of my comfort zone without fully taking the plunge right away. That's how I warm up to it. I'm thinking that's what you may be doing too with the pillows! For me, I think my moments of clarity come when I turn my focus on a new goal though. Your yoga class sounds like so much fun. xoxo ~Lili

Acanthus and Acorn said...

This is so timely. I have felt so out of focus from the pull of too many things. This is familiar territory and I know what I must do to reign it in and get the clarity I need. My metaphoric headstand is more of a closing of doors.Fear comes from not taking action.

I simply make lists for work and home of what important and essential, then I close the door on everything else down. This includes the door to my office, the phone, cooking from scratch or whatever it is that's cluttering my brain to the point I am in fear one of the balls I am juggling is about to crash. Because I know that if I don't I suffer and so does eveyone else around me. The headstand will come...exactly when your ready.

Anonymous said...

This post was such a great reminder to slow down, break from the laptop, and appreciate the simple things in life. Thanks as always for the great post. Hope you and your family are doing well.
xo E + J

Stitchfork said...

No headstands in my future, but seeking clarity. Trying to step outside the box and try new things. Thanks for inspiration Suzanne!
xo Cathy

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Each year in September (our mutual birthday month), my husband and I declare it our year of ----. Last year we decided to shake things up a bit and change up our normal routines. It was great. Little changes can really brighten your life. Don't know what this year will be yet but clarity sounds good.

Susan T said...

You have just been awarded The Versatile Bloggers Award. YOU deserve it and I really enjoy your blog. You can find out more by going to my blog.xx

Lulu and Co. said...

I need to stretch and have more clarity too.... And yoga just happens to be one area that I keep saying I will finally do but keep making excuses to why I'm to busy....
It's time for me to stop making excuses and get going!!!!

Bring Pretty Back said...

Suzanne - This was so perfectly written.
I also do not want to live my life on autopilot any more either. Thank you.
Have a pretty day!

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Just a couple of days ago a friend and I were talking about clarity and taking chances.
Have you done your headstand yet? I don't think I would do that anymore but I remember doing them all the time when I was a kid...before I learned about fear!
However, I do new and different things all the time and I am so thankful that I make myself do that.
I have had to be away from blogging for a few weeks due to knee surgery and it certainly is good to be back now. I have missed you. XO

Cindy said...

This post was written just for me! I have been on this same wave length the last couple of days. I have been comfortable in my daily routine and needing a shake up! I won't be doing a head stand in my yoga practice, but I might try to take a different road home! Beautiful post as usual!

Jeanie said...

I think I'm going to print "I don't want to be on autopilot -- life is too special for that" and put it up in front of me just about everywhere. Another splendid and thoughtful post.

Elizabeth said...

Loved this post! I needed a wake up call, I am getting stuck in life by things that are not important in the long run.

I love to love yoga but headstand had always scared me, I do practice against the wall, etc but I do not think I will ever do it unassisted and that is ok.

Thank you for making me think.....


Hindsfeet said...

*thrilled* to have stumbled on your loveliness-itself-site here...what a breath!

Came by via Sharon Lovejoy's site, and *so* very glad I did, a timely, treasure of a find...

thanks for the oasis,