Marilyn Monroe in sukhasana
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. – Marianne Williamson
Welcome to August at Tranquil Space. Sultry, sweaty, and perfect for deepening our yoga practice. Bodies are supple, warm, and ready for tranquil transformation. You may notice that you’re able to go deeper into many poses. The beauty of the heat is that it makes us all a bit more malleable on the mat, and ideally, in life.
While on the west coast in July I observed a sense of joy that seems to be lacking from our fast-paced DC lifestyle. In Portland, cars stop to let pedestrians pass and drivers apologize if they’ve come too far into the cross walk. Most people I met were artists with gardens they nurtured, yoga practices they cultivated, and a warm smile they shared with strangers. Recycling, supporting local business, and growing own veggies seemed the norm. There was a sense of joy that felt contagious.
When I returned to DC I witnessed a driver chasing down another for going first at a 4-way stop, honking and yelling. It’s probably fine that the car went first at the 4-way stop even if it wasn’t their turn. Maybe they just received sad news and are rushing to the hospital. We never know what another person is dealing with and, thus, compassion is the best choice. Not horn honking. I took a deep breath and wondered what life would be like if we humans could slow down a bit, cultivate a garden (or a more compassionate lifestyle), and savor the simple moments. I’ve been playing with saying hello and smiling more at strangers (not easy for this introvert) and it feels good!
There is a great article that recently came out by The New York Times called The Busy Trap. The author writes, “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.” Hmmmm.
The photo above depicts a carefree, joyful nature. Idleness at its finest. August is the month where this sense of slowing down seems to be the norm. Families head to the beach, friends hit the trails, and couples escape the city in search of a dose of tranquility. When was the last time you had a true belly laugh or indulged in idleness on a sandy beach or state park? Let’s make it a priority.
Marianne Williamson says, “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” Despite the pending to-dos and projects, taking a step back to relish in what *is* working in your life can be a helpful exercise to facilitate a healthier outlook on life.
This month allow yourself a moment of idleness and the space to list what is working for you. Is it the bird that greets you with a song each morning? The air conditioned office that welcomes you each workday? The 4-legged friend who greets you at the door? The yoga class that ignites your spirit each and every time? Simple pleasures work as soul balm and this month is the perfect time to plan a few into your routine. Let’s stay malleable and tranquil this month as the temperatures soar and the sun shines brightly. Namaste.
Founder + Creative Director