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I went to a yoga class very early yesterday morning where the teacher told us that the theme for that class would be hope. She encouraged us to picture someone or something that makes us feel hopeful and reach toward this image throughout the class. She encouraged us to think of our hope when the class got challenging, of course to take breaks when needed, but to continue to reach, reach toward hope and see where this would take us.

I thought about recent emails and the kind and encouraging words people have sent or said to me, as pertains to the writing I posted here last week about beginning to sing again. For this and many other reasons, I have no lack of hope. In fact, I feel brimming with it despite that getting back on the path toward music has, mostly, been incredibly challenging.

Yoga class started and, half awake and not completely warmed up, I took things slowly. I thought of hope but, unlike usual, I didn’t challenge myself too much, opting for easier versions of poses over more demanding ones. However, as I warmed up and began to feel the world waking up and lighting up the space around all of us hopeful yoga students, I began to have fun, trying more challenging poses and pushing my limits. Toward the very end of class, we found ourselves in dolphin pose (http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/dolphin-pose/). Our teacher encouraged us and said, “if you’d like to go from dolphin into a forearm balance, go for it!”

Now, I have recently begun to be able to do forearm balances, in other words balancing on my forearms in dolphin pose with feet stretched up to the sky, and I am very very excited about this. Other than singing, it is the closest thing I can think of to flying while feeling completely grounded. Cool, right? So, although it was the end of class, and I surely felt the physical challenge of this, the hope in me, said: Go for it! YES!

And I did, of course! I lifted into the forearm balance, excited to fly, and instead completely lost my balance. I didn’t lose my balance gracefully and I didn’t lose it a little bit. I lost it so much that I couldn’t regain enough balance to simply step back out of the pose onto the ground. Instead, I stayed stuck upside down, shifting and swaying all around, like an upturned tree in a storm, trying desperately to steady my core, to push my forearms into my sweaty and ever more slippery mat, and then my torso twisted, my arms slipped, and I fell to the floor with a crash.

Thankfully, I didn’t get hurt, so I got up, brushed myself off and moved into the next pose, feeling a little foolish but also smiling because really when you fall from flying and don’t get hurt, what else can you do?

I can’t help thinking that my journey back to music has been exactly like this. Hoping, falling, getting up. Hoping, falling, getting up. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I can’t begin to describe how much more failure than success there has been or how grateful I am for the support I’ve received to hope, fall, and get up again. So thank you, again, to those who shared such kind, encouraging and so very appreciated words and helpful advice or ideas recently or in the more distant past. I am holding every single one of them in my heart.

This week, I began rehearsals for my lullaby project. The plan is to record a full cd of the lullabies this summer and begin performing them for children living in difficult circumstances and in community centers. I am still laying out the groundwork for how to make this happen and although a foundation is taking shape, right now I sure don’t have everything in place and some necessary items on the list of how to make this happen are still very much in the ‘hopeful category’ verses the ‘possible and likely category’. I wrote a new lullaby recently though that will be included in the collection and, so, I am feeling hopeful!

Somebody said something really nice to me after yesterday’s yoga class, too. I don’t know who she is but I thank her as well. As I was leaving, she approached me and said, “ It’s so great that you fell. It means you went for the challenge!”

I hope everyone is having a happy Memorial day weekend. May we all be hopeful together and, as necessary, may we hope, fall, get up, and repeat, repeat, repeat!

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