One jump at Christmas

So I can do it in one jump, now. The headstand, I mean. And it is fantastic. Totally exhilarating, though like so many victories, it’s been eclipsed by two things that have happened since.

First, I showed my headstand to a co-worker. She is a massage therapist who works in my clinic. She was full of praise, and wonder.

Then, with four seconds of instruction, she flew up in one jump. On her first try.

You’ve got to be grounded not to be a bit deflated by that. I was deflated for about 15 seconds and then just completely inspired by her effortless agility. Through some kind of channeling, I’ve been smoother going up ever since.

Then the second thing happened.

I have a friend who is going half way ’round the world for Christmas, to visit family. She’d rather not go. She’d rather cook herself a simple dinner and read a good book in front of her fireplace, but her kids bought her the ticket, and she feels too guilty to say no.

We started talking about what she’d do if she didn’t feel guilty, afraid, worried, and all the other blah, blah, blahs.

And how weird is this? She said she’d like to try standing on her head again. She did headstands all her life as a form of entertainment. (She can’t sing, she says, so she learned to stand on her head for “indefinite periods of time”.) She didn’t stop until ten years ago. She was 74 ten years ago.

She asked me if I thought it was too ridiculous to dream of doing headstands again. I said it would be ridiculous not to try her absolute best. I do think a spotter might be a good idea after a ten year hiatus, so we’re going to practice it together after she gets back from her reluctant holiday.

I have a dream. In this dream, my friend is in the airport, standing on her head by the gate, the airline staff saying, last call for your flight, her saying, I won’t go, I’m happier here. This is unlikely to happen, but it makes me happy to picture it.

Here’s my Christmas wish. It’s that we all do exactly what we want for the holiday. Forget guilt, forget obligation, forget they-already-bought-me-the-ticket. (Why didn’t they ask her first? Who knows? Why can’t she say no thanks anyway? Who knows?)

Why don’t we trust that what we’d most like to do is good for everyone? Isn’t it’s bizarre to let guilt run the show?

I’m going to eat well, read good books, and practice my headstand. While singing carols.

What about you?

Thanks for the conversation,


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2 Responses to One jump at Christmas

  1. Canadian Mujer says:

    After reading this 2nd post re: headstand I found myself thinking….here is one motivated individual, practicing numerous times to get to be the one kick wonder. Why was I just reading about it? I too have had the same assignment in said yoga class. Okay…that’s it I decide tonight’s the night. Hmm….dress pants won’t do so into the PJ pants. Note, I am still sporting my floppy turtle neck and when I ASSUME THE POSITION. I find myself not only with my feet in mid air, but temporarily blinded from my sweater. Take 2, rethink strategy: socks-off, Yoga mat -in place, bracelet-removed. Now I mean business. I’m up! I’m up! Now was that one kick or two? All those tries before and I forget. I question myself….if it took me three kicks the first try and one kick on the second try….does it really count? Is that more 4 kicks in total? Should there be a rest period in between? Am I that neurotic? I look around, my husband who is sitting on the floor removing the snow “chunckies” stuck between our dogs toe pads, is looking at me with an inquisitive look on his face…I wonder if he thinks his wife has been possessed by an alien. The dog, on the other hand, who is doing his part by licking off some of the snow “chunckies”, is totally in the moment; as though it’s some kind of meditative practice: his very own innate yoga.

  2. Kristin Shepherd says:

    Ha! That’s gorgeous. There’s such a thrill in “I’m up! I’m up!” Thanks for the story.

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