Friday, May 25, 2007
Last night John and I attended a basic breathing class for childbirth. Many of the techniques they showed us were things I know how to do from practicing yoga. When I take a deep cleansing breath and let it go, I can do so for a very long count. And it's so slow, you really aren't going to see me taking in the air. So John kept telling me I wasn't breathing right... because he couldn't tell what was going on. Haha.
Another relaxation technique was visualization. The instructor provided a couple examples of being on a beach or a mountain and talked the class through the visualization. Then she gave the partners a chance to do a visualization for us. Let's just say, two people can have VERY different ideas on what is relaxing. I'm saying, he has a very different idea of what I find relaxing.
His first visualization had me at my scrappin' table cutting, pasting, coloring. Lol. "A" for effort, dear husband. While I enjoy crafting, I wouldn't exactly call it relaxing to think about for a meditation. I mean, would you visualize riding a roller coaster to ease pain, calm your brain, and steady your breathing?! Yeah, scrappin' is too exciting for a visualization.
His next visualization had me on a beach. Ok, this is better. He's talking about the sand... the sun... although, it's "beating down" rather than "gently warming my skin". So I'm on the beach. I'm adding the bits that he doesn't necessarily know about... I'm in my aunt's comfy sand chair at the edge of the breaking just close enough that sometimes the water rolls up under my chair. Then he brings in the seagulls. I hear the scratch of the needle going across the record in my head... SEAGULLS?! Seagulls are somehow NOT in my own personal visualization. I just half-smile and laugh to myself thinking, "we're going to need to talk before labor starts."
The funny thing is, he's been there for the majority of my most "zen moments", the things I would recall for visualizations. Here are the moments I am most likely to remember for a sense of peace and relaxation.
Top 5 zen moments:
Sitting on the balcony of our room at Peace Lodge in Costa Rica, on our honeymoon. We had a fire going inside. We'd just gotten out of the hot tub and were cuddled up in the big fluffy bath robes. We were sitting in the over sized rocking chairs watching and listening to the rain. Our balcony overlooked a deep valley covered by the rainforest.
Napping on rocks in the creek somewhere between Cranberry Glades and Snowshoe Mountain in WV. Dad, John, and I had just hiked about 9 miles on rugged terrain. We finished an hour before Mom was to pick us up. So we headed down by the creek to rest. We ended up each finding a rock large enough to lay down on. It was a beautiful fall day with a light breeze, comfortable in a t-shirt on the rock basking in the afternoon sun. And the sounds of the creek were just perfect, a light chatty babble. I don't think I fell asleep completely, it was too peaceful to waste the moment by sleeping. But looking back, it was one of the most relaxing moments I've ever had.
Lounging on the beach at Huntington State Park, SC. My favorite stateside vacation spot. Last summer, our first afternoon on the beach comes to mind. All the good elements of being on the beach... sun, sound of the waves, light breeze... but then it started to sprinkle rain. The sun was still shining and there were light rain drops falling on my skin. Very cozy in an odd sort of way.
Sitting on the back porch at the cabin in WV. It's incredibly dark. Dark like people who live in the city never know. The peepers start up their chorus as the sun goes down. They get louder and louder as the night gets darker. Sometimes an owl hoots in the distance. The stars come out just above the hills. But you can't see the hills anymore unless the moon is out. You know they're there though, hugging you close instilling a feeling of security.
Hiking at Canaan Valley in the fall. The leaves on the trees were just starting to change colors. The shorter vegetation like the rhododendrons had already turned bright red. These and the evergreens would brush up against you as you made your way through the path. The sound of the rain, the colors of the forest, the smell of the wet ground... what a great experience for a "moving meditation".
In our class, as the "contraction" came to an end and I did my cleansing breath... John's visualization morphed into something more sinister. I can't remember exactly what he said, but I think the seagull started pecking at me and I was developing a painful sunburn.
What are your top 5 zen moments?