1. Tough music
Early last year I was given the opportunity to learn and perform what I soon discovered was the most complicated piece I'd ever taken on. It also turned out to be one of the most rewarding. Talk about facing your fears! I was scared every single time I opened my mouth to sing it. While incredibly beautiful and effective, it never became "comfortable," keeping me absolutely on my toes throughout the whole experience from the first rehearsal to the closing performance...then:
Somewhere during the last weeks of rehearsal of this very challenging piece, Joe developed quite a health situation that put him completely out of commission. I quickly realized that I'd been taking my husband's contributions to the household for granted. Oh my lord. Suddenly I was taking care of him, the house, working, and rehearsing the aforementioned really hard piece. I brought him home from the second surgery out of three just two hours before my dress rehearsal, only to discover our house had been broken into! This was one of those times when I was kind of forced to dig pretty deep to not suck that night. The whole experience: what seemed like the perfect storm of stress, made me appreciate Joe and everything he does for me and the amazing fortune of good health more than ever before.
3. Then came yoga
So, it's no secret to anyone who knows me that I love food and hate exercising. This is the recipe for certain disaster of self esteem. You want to at least feel like you're doing something for your body, you know? I've made peace with the idea that being skinny is not enough of a priority to me to starve myself, but I do want to be healthy and not out of shape. When I cancelled my gym membership because I loathe the gym and everything about it made me feel like I was wasting an hour and a half of my life, I promised myself I would replace it with something. Little did I know when I walked into my first yoga class that it wasn't just going to make me more sore than I'd ever been in my life, but it would begin something very transformative for my mind and heart as well. Some of the most memorable moments of this years have happened in a yoga class...whether it came as a major lightbulb going on or as a word or sentence spoken or an emotional response to a physical pose that forced me to really take stock of something in my life. I am proud of myself for having the courage to walk into that first class.
The article "Two Ways to Deal with Negative People" was the impetus to change some things about the way I dealt with a couple of people in my life. It's crazy how changing my outlook has transformed each of those situations.
5. Practicing Peace in Times of War
This book is unbelievable. Reading it through once a month will be a goal for 2012.
There must have been a lot of other lessons along the way, but these are the ones that stand out in my mind.