60 Days On the Mat — Day 58: Make No Assumptions


What are you doing?

I am getting organized for work.  

I thought you weren’t supposed to get organized.

I can get organized organically.  I just can’t make a list about getting organized.  

No, we don’t want you making any lists, my Mom replied.

Only my mother and my husband truly understand my list-making disease.  You have to live with me long enough to really see it unfold.  It’s miraculous.

I had this conversation with my Mom in the afternoon before yoga.  Most days, I forget my desire to get UN-organized and stop making lists was the catalyst for 60 Days On the Mat. It’s been easy not to break that rule since I barely have time to do anything.  Deep down, I know it was much more than that now, but that is what I thought it was when I got home from yoga on November 26, 2012 — 58 days ago.

The mat was tough today because I had a huge lunch, which I rarely do.  I have no desire to do it again any time soon because it makes the mat somewhat unpleasant.  My left deltoid is still giving me some trouble.  I’m admittedly not in the best form, but I show up.

Ellen starts us in child’s pose, which given my condition, pleases me if only for a moment. My mind is empty because of the pain and agony I am experiencing in my body.  I simply focus my energy on the breath and start to move through the poses.  I focus on precision.  I focus on placement.  I push nothing.

While moving through cat cows I think about what a whirlwind this has all been.  All this writing.  All this yoga.  I do love writing; I always have — but I never for a moment considered it to be something I could actually do.  Something anyone would actually read.  A blog of me rambling?  I thought I needed a really cool design with recipes and craft projects — neither of which I am all that great at doing.

And yet, all I have done is write and write and write.

Methinks perhaps I should pay more attention to where my mind is wandering.

Hello, Heart.

Me, 1971

Me, 1971

When I was a kid (older than in the picture above) — and I would get really mad at my Mom — I would always express myself to her by writing these long letters and sticking them under her door.  It was as if writing her a letter was the only way I could get it out of me.  I didn’t know how to say it out loud, or didn’t want to — I’m  not sure which one.  That is sort of how this whole process feels.  Like there is no other way to say it all.  The only way it was all coming out was through the ends of my fingers on a keyboard.

I’m still not sure how to take it all in when someone tells me they have been inspired or moved or helped in some way.  I feel silly saying, thank you, but honestly I had no choice but to do this.  It was more of a calling; a calling from my own heart to help it mend from the ravages of infertility.  My first reaction at a compliment is to retreat from it in embarrassment — but I am working on learning to receive with gratitude — even if it feels slightly uncomfortable in the moment.

Somehow just being myself does not seem as though it deserves any praise, but I am grateful and thankful.  And yet, instinctively I know that being ourselves — leading with our truth —  is what deserves praise above all else.

I continue to give my shoulder a rest as I flow through the poses.  We work on more inner thigh and foot connections.  It is amazing to me how much everything is connected in the body.  The more I notice and feel those connections, the more I want them to get stronger. Today I felt my upper back muscles lengthen while pulling in my abdominals.  Perhaps all of this physical awareness will help with pregnancy?  I hope so.

Ellen brings us down to the mat and says, Don’t assume anything.  

She is referencing our bodies in yoga poses, but my mind immediately points towards the future to the upcoming egg retrieval from the Girl Who Likes Chicken n’ Dumplings.  I briefly flash back to our final ivf cycle with my eggs last October.  I woke up from anesthesia and the doctor told me we only got one egg.  I had been hoping for 3 or 4.  I burst into tears through my drug-induced haze; I was inconsolable for the rest of the day.  I fear that feeling.  I fear that pain.  I want to assume it’s not going to happen like that again.

But she’s right.  Don’t make assumptions.

Tears fall from my eyes in child’s pose.  Fear tears.

fouragreementsfcvrThat is one of the four agreements from the book — The Four Agreements.  If you haven’t read that book, it is great.  An easy read.

Upon hearing Ellen say this a lightbulb goes off in my head.  Yes, The Four Agreements.  They rattle off in my brain:  1.) Be impeccable with your word.  2.) Don’t take anything personally.  3.) Don’t make assumptions.  4.) Always do our best.  I worked on these for awhile.  I think I still do, but not consciously.

Unfortunately, that book is in a Goodwill bookstore somewhere now — or hopefully living with someone else — but I did learn something.  It’s all in that thick skull of mine.  There was a 5th Agreement added on, but I never bought that book.  I always thought it was a gimmick to sell more books.  But who knows?  I never gave it a chance.

While moving through the final stretches I think about the Four Agreements and how they pertain to my life now.

I am impeccable with my word — in that I do not lie — but I still feel as though I let people down because I agree to more than I can actually do.  This will always be a struggle with a people-pleaser like me.

I don’t take as much personally as I once did.  I do realize how we each react to situations has more to do with what is going on on the inside of us than the outside catalyst.  I try not to get caught up in other people’s stuff, but being sensitive, I will always be fighting this on some level.

Don’t make assumptions.  I’m trying not to, and that is the best I can do today.

Always do your best.  I can say that this is one I have almost mastered.  But sometimes doing my best means getting bogged down in perfection, and there are days, when simply my best needs to be good enough.  It does not have to be perfect.  Life is not perfect.

The Four Agreements are harder than they sound to do, but easy to remember once you know them.


I made vegetables, lentils and rice for dinner; we watched Justified.  Jonathan asks me if I needed him to buy a cowboy hat like Raylan’s to increase his sexy quotient?  Somehow, I just don’t see my sweet Frank Sinatra-loving husband in a white Stetson, but I confess openly — I love Timothy Olyphant in one.  You need the accent to pull off a hat.  You can’t just wear a cowboy hat.  It’s easy to come off looking like a clown even with the accent. Raylan in his Stetson is not the only reason I watch the show — which I think has some of the best written dialogue on television — but it does help.

Tomorrow we get another update on the eggs.  As I drift off to sleep, I pray they’re still growing slow and steady; but try to make no assumptions.

One Comment

  1. katherine says:

    I am getting anxious about you ending this. If you never realized you are a writer I do hope this has enlightened you. You have in a sense already had a baby. The baby is your writing gift. Now it is undeniably born, and we all love it. Now
    it needs to develop and grow. Just as your pregnancy and then your child will. Don’t stop writing. A gift unused is wasted.

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