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In the Moments PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gayle Nobel   
Thursday, 21 February 2013 15:09

 

My baby is 24 today. Happy Birthday sweet girl!

I wonder how 24 years can go by so quickly. Oh my. Maybe I shouldn't have blinked so many times.

Life was very challenging around the time Leah was born. She was born into busy-ness.... to the extreme. We had recently started an intense homeschool program  with Kyle when I became pregnant. Rachel was 2. I was juggling being a mom to both kids and running a home program with volunteers coming in and out of the house to work with Kyle. My job was to train  and supervise them.  It was a challenging balance to do all that and be there for my daughter and husband.

And then came Leah, easy going and sweet. We made room in our family for our blond haired, blue eyed bundle. We created time and space where previously,  there wasn't any extra.

Having a child with autism and other children as well, it's easy for parenting to become way off balance. The child with autism will always need more. No matter how much you do or give, it will never feel like enough. There will always be the feeling that you "should" do/give more.

But the other children are waiting. They may be more self sufficient but they have needs too. Moments will be missed that can never be recreated if the scale is weighted too heavily on the side of the child with autism.

Sometimes all a child needs is a non-multitasking listening ear. Really listening, not just pretend listening. I hope I was that for Leah. Or genuine appreciation of something they have done. Leah was a really "good" child and "good" student and I think I could have acknowledged her and appreciated her more for that. When all is well, it's easy to let things slip to the side, take things for granted.

Spending time. Leah was the only kid in Kindergarten who did not stay for the full day. Back then, it was optional but all the kids stayed all afternoon for  extra "enrichment". Leah wanted to come home. We had lunch together and she had the afternoon to "play". I remember thinking that those afternoons were precious and I knew it was the last year I would have her at home with me like that. I tried to have someone working with Kyle during those times though I'm sure I wasn't always able to work that out. Though it might have been easier and more convenient for Leah to stay at school and I could have insisted on it, I'm so grateful we had that time together. She may not even remember it and I don't remember all the details but I do remember enjoying the ordinary, yet special times with her.

I know that there were many times Kyle needed so much of my attention I was not there as I would have liked to have been for Leah (and Rachel too). Or, she (they) had to wait for me. Sometimes for too long. I'm sure her patience muscles grew strong from these times but maybe she felt slighted too. I would have given anything to split myself in pieces so I could be there for everyone in the way I really wanted to be.

I look through the photos of Leah as a baby, toddler, child, teen. Just yesterday, but  such a long time ago. When did she blossom into the amazing young lady she is today?

It happened in the moments. The moments can't be replaced. I know I missed some. I hope I didn't miss too many.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 22:50
 
February Challenge: 28 in 28 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gayle Nobel   
Friday, 01 February 2013 17:56

It's February and it's time for a new challenge.

February. Valentines Day and also my birthday. Mushy greeting cards, chocolate, flowers, love and extra revenue for Hallmark. It has only been in the last few years that I realized there are people who despise Valentine's Day. Being in the stores in the month of February might be a painful or irritating reminder of sans sweetheart.

On a brighter note, my February challenge DOES relate to love but in a different form. In thinking about a way to give and extend love in a broader context, my challenge for February is........

28 Random Acts of Kindness/Giving in 28 days. Not necessarily anonymous, but maybe sometimes. Not necessarily to strangers, but maybe sometimes. My rules are the same as last month's yoga challenge. Make-ups are allowed if for some reason, I miss a day.

Someone suggested I check out http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/. This website is loaded with ideas and inspiration. Serendipitously, I discovered that Random Acts of Kindness Week is Feb. 11-17. So I guess I am not alone or even original in this challenge. And by the way, this idea was inspired by a good friend who is doing this as her February challenge.

In the haze between sleep and wakefulness this morning, I began to think about the first day of the challenge. Neil was doing his usual getting ready for work by the light of a flashlight routine. After that I knew he would head into the kitchen to prepare his breakfast. In 32 years of marriage, I have never prepared his breakfast because he leaves for work so early (by 6) and I am either asleep or taking care of Kyle. He has never complained.

This morning I decided that a good place to start random kindness was with the person I live with and love... my husband. My initial thought was that I would like to get out of bed and surprise him by making his breakfast. On the other hand, I really wanted to roll over and get a little more sleep before Kyle woke up.

Here is where my first moment of mindfulness for the month came in. I knew I would regret it later if I let this opportunity pass. Soooo, mindfully yet reluctantly, I tiptoed out of bed and into the kitchen. Toast in the toaster, spinach sautéing, egg whites added to spinach and orange juice in a glass. I even got out a placemat and a plate from our fine (and rarely used) china.

This took all of maybe seven minutes. By then, I was wide awake and eager for Neil to come into the kitchen. He was pleasantly surprised to say the least. Shocked might be another way to describe it. What a way to start my day! And to think I almost passed it up for another fifteen minutes of sleep.

My February challenge is officially off and running. Later I randomly gave away a signed copy of Breathe.

Giving.

Mindful Kindness.

Makes the soul feel happy,

Which might sound a little sappy,

But it's so true.

Wanna play? Join me in the month of February and send me your kindness/giving stories. OR, what speaks to you this month? Make up your own challenge and share the inspiration.

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."

~~Scott Adams (1957)
 Creator Of Dilbert Comic Strip

"How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment. We can start now, start slowly, changing the world. How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make a contribution toward introducing justice straightaway. And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!"

~~Anne Frank (1929-1945) 

 
Is This Still Yoga??? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gayle Nobel   
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 07:52

It is Day 28 of the 31 day yoga challenge. I am beginning to gear up for February. Finalizing my idea for the next challenge and thinking about how I can get more people to join me. Go Facebook. Perhaps.

In the meantime, there are only 4 days left of January and I have two missed yogas to "make up". I am determined to wrap up this challenge in the month of January. Neil says I have become a little autistic about it. So true. But in a good way. (I hope.)

Today has been a day of fatigue for me but somehow at about 8 PM, I got a second wind and decide to squeeze in a 30 minute home practice from yoga download.com. My IPhone and yoga mat are all I will need. I search the podcasts and see Gentle. Yes, that will do the trick since it's my second practice today.

I ignore my behind closed door policy. Neil seems very busy and I do not want to ask him to keep an eye on Kyle. That will be my job while I am practicing yoga. An oxymoron, but I am determined to give it a go. My inner critic is frowning and saying this is not "true" yoga because my attention will not be 100% focused. I tell her to hush as tonight I am going for "good enough". Many times in life "good enough" has to be "good enough". And so it will be tonight.

For the first ten minutes, Kyle is in his room, relaxing and listening to his own music. So far, so good. Yoga and Kyle. Piece of cake. After that, Kyle is up and about engaging in his favorite pastime. And that is??? Moving the dining room chairs around the house. Or should I say racing them around the house, sometimes avoiding walls, sometimes not, sometimes taking out a few corners, sometimes not. I put the podcast on pause, redirect Kyle and turn over some of the chairs, hoping this will render them off limits.

Ok, just breathe. Isn't that what yoga is about? Kyle decides to relocate to the living room and therefore so must I. Practicing yoga, will travel. Forget the yoga mat. It's just me and the carpet. I think he is subtly amused by my postures and breathing performance and another ten minutes goes by and all is well.

Next stop, the kitchen table. Water and some fruit for Kyle and I am on to the last third of my yoga. Now Neil has the TV on but my pleading eyes urge him to turn it off. I can't call it yoga if the backdrop is nighttime news. I really can't. Well, maybe with headphones on I can, but I am just not that zen.

Alas, I have completed the practice. Minus savasana. I hope it is still yoga if you skip savasana. I'm thinking just barely. But right now, I am making up the rules. Savasana, corpse pose, final relaxation is said to be the most important part even if it's just brief. But it just wasn't happening tonight. One deep breath, a thank you and my yoga was finished for the evening.

After all that focus, distraction, unfocus, refocus, I still felt the shift. Body and mind, just a little looser and more relaxed. And THAT's what yoga's all about.

THE INVITATION

Please join me for a February challenge. It's going to be a good one. (Announcing soon!) OR, you can make up your own. Challenges are good for your mental and physical health. They make life interesting, are fun and often... well, challenging to maintain. At the end of the month, you will have learned at least one new thing. I promise.

 
Sunday Ramblings PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gayle Nobel   
Sunday, 27 January 2013 15:15

It is pouring rain outside. This is not a boo hoo in Phoenix, Arizona. It's more of a whoo hoo. Fortunately Neil and I got our hike in while it was only drizzling  earlier this morning. The cactus were partying out on the hill behind our house and have been growing spines like crazy. I did not know the spines bloom in red when they first come out. Or is it a side effect of all the water? They were gorgeous... in a cactus-y kind of way.

I sit on my chaise, under my blanket. The house is quiet. For now. Kyle is with Mocha, one of his respite girls and she does a good job of keeping him engaged. I am grateful for this time. Everyone should have a Mocha on a rainy Sunday. Even if just for a short time.

It is Day 27 of my 31 in 31 January yoga/sugar  challenge. All is well. In fact, all is amazing!

I have practiced yoga for 24 of the last 27 days. Practice means attend a class or do it at home. I prefer attending classes and that's what I have done for 20 of the last 27 days. The home days, I practiced using podcasts from yogadownload.com. They are first rate and a good home substitute for a class. I am usually able to drop into the yoga zone if I can escape behind a closed door. It doesn't feel as good as going to a class, but a definite shift takes place each time I practice, even at home. Yummy yoga.

I plan to double up on yoga before the end of January (COMING SOON!) for the three days I missed this month. Or I can let it spill over into February. I confess to being a little obsessive about this challenge. But in a good way.

In the sugar department, I have not eaten sweets for 27 days and it feels dang good. Just the processed stuff, fruit is ok. This was only difficult for the first 3 days. Now it is a piece of cake. Ha ha. I feel much more in control than my out of controlness of December. Hopefully, the after effect will be more mindfulness about the desserts I choose to eat. Maybe I'll wait until my birthday in mid February to indulge.

January Side Effects

A new strength. Each day I come to the yoga mat, I am stronger both mentally and physically. My resolve grows stronger. I practice no matter what. Almost. And almost is ok, good enough. Feeling good. Actually, great! Determined. It is easy to live mindlessly. Live overwhelmed. Through yoga and my resolve, my mindfulness muscles and my physical muscles have grown much stronger.

My yoga practice has expanded. More flow classes. Hot yoga: my new love. Who would have thought?! Home practice... not so bad. It is doable.

My WORD for 2013 is CHALLENGE. I've become fascinated by the idea of a monthly challenge and its power to transform. At the very least, to make life a little jucier. One day at a time. A journey. A resolve. Mindfulness. Overcoming obstacles. Staying true to intention. Creatively working through setbacks. Learning and discovery. Discipline. Strength. Challenge.

I'm a little sorry to see January come to an end. However, I have already picked a challenge for next month. Actually two. Physical and mental. Although a physical challenge is always a mental one too. It was fun to have my daughter Leah along on the yoga/sugar  challenge and my friends Kim and Laura along on the 31 in 31 yoga challenge. Camaraderie is supportive and fun.

Anyone want to play in February? I have a great idea for a challenge.  Coming soon......

Happy Sunday

"With 40 years of teaching under her belt, the Australian wonder is living proof that a lifetime’s dedication to yoga will keep you flexible as a rubber band."

She is 83 and for real. Could be me someday, ya think?

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 January 2013 23:48
 
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