The Power of Intentional Living
by Stephanie Pletka
I’ve never thought of myself as a slow paced, Yoga type of girl, rather a triathlon racing, tennis ball whacking one. So when when I pulled a ligament in my leg and had to quit tennis for a while, what seemed like the worst season of life, turned out to be the best. I tried playing. I hopped and hobbled, prolonging the Closing of the Tennis Door. I should have let it naturally close, but the Southern in me, fought to my death, when I should have graciously let it go, waiting for what was behind door #2.
Do you ever have times in your life when a door closes, a sweet season of life is over and you wonder, what’s next? Your kids leave for college, as you envision chasing them behind the car as they pull out of the drive way, or better yet, enrolling in classes at their university, while renting an apartment across the street, just to enjoy the relationship you have, a bit longer. How can it be over? You are being promoted out of an amazing department at work. How can this be a good thing? You try to suck the last bit of air, the last ounce of goodness, by trying to pry the door open for a few more days, a few more weeks, throwing a wrench in the plans of whatever is trying to change what is good, (how dare they) only to find yourself in a compromised situation where there’s no winner. They say a true lady knows when to leave. A lesson I’m just now learning.
I loved tennis. It was free therapy. It kept me fit, social. It was my way into all my girl’s luncheons, weekend parties, girl’s night outs, Friday night double dates. Throw the rage on the court, smell the roses, off. It was good for the soul.
My favorite exercise, chasing a yellow ball, has ceased to exist. Now what?
So I joined a gym, found an exercise class in the time frame that worked best for me, and it happened to be YOGA. If you know me, I’m probably the least coordinated, Zen loving, slow pace hating, leg contorting, dirty dog posing, girl you’ll ever meet. What could I possibly get out of Yoga class?
So, upon my husband’s slight push, I signed up for an adventure, outside my comfort zone. I didn’t have a mat, I’m not flexible and dark spaces make me feel claustrophobic.
I walk into the class, and a perky, pig tailed instructor (my kind of girl) skipped up to me and said: We’re so glad you came today.
“Wherever you Are, is where you are suppose to be.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks. Wherever I am, is Where I’m suppose to be? Had she been watching the story of my life through a hidden cam? Perhaps the tennis door closed, just so I could hear those words.
Wherever you Are, is where you are suppose to be.
It knocked me to the core. The mama in me comes from the school of: Wherever I am, I should BE somewhere else. Whatever I am, I should be SOMEONE else. WHOever I am, is NOT enough.
I’ve never heard this before. Maybe Tennis wasn’t the end all be all. Maybe a door actually had to close, for another to open. This, perhaps, wasn’t an accident. I sure would not have taken this class on purpose, if the door had not been closed, locked and boarded up.
As I began to hold stances that would make a grown man cry, sweating, screaming inside, trying to figure out how to escape through the side door without being caught, I found a peace I hadn’t felt.
Where I am is where I need to be. My torn-up body says I need to be hitting a yellow ball with my friends. My new season of life is telling me to relax, enjoy the moment I’m living, quit trying to pry open a door that should be closed.
I had a tool belt, full of ideas, on how to keep that door open. And God wanted it closed. Imagine, if wherever you are, is where you’re suppose to be, could be true. It felt good, not to run from this place to that, high five-ing one sports event to get to another, comparing my lot in life to another; never truly enjoying the journey, all the while carrying self imposed luggage not meant for us to bear.
What a concept. Those words were like a beacon in the night, a bull horn on a football field. All the sudden, this ADHD girl conceived the idea that I no longer had to struggle, juggle, spin plates, push, prod, beg or plead to be where I was suppose to be.
It was like a toddler who learned how to walk for the first time, a child who tried and failed to ride a bike, and then while I was peddling, I just rode. It was such a simple concept; my shoulders, my neck, my head . . . my mind finally relaxed.
You know! The kind of relax when someone says to relax and you think you are, but it takes you 3 more times to realize your shoulders are still up in the air, perched like an eagle on a limb?
You realize that something so simple as relaxing, as being, is a mode that we, as moms don’t acclimate to, so easily. We’re a work in progress. But oh, when we begin to ride that bike, relax those shoulders and learn to BE in the moment, not groaning over the past or churning over the future, but learning the lesson in the moment; it’s an amazing gift.
Enjoy the journey, not always seeking the final destination, or choosing to pry open a door that for whatever reason is trying to close.
The blessings come, when you let go of all the twirl and swirl around you, taking the stance, knowing: Wherever you are, IS where you are suppose to be.