My craft room is the wrong color. When it got the house, it was teal. I quickly painted it fern green. I find green soothing. It is something of a neutral color for me, a default. But then I realized that I wasn’t using the room. It has great light. It has a lot of space. But I wasn’t spending any time in there. I was storing my beads and fabric and paint in there, but not using them there. I’d take them to other parts of the house, usually the living room, and work there.
It has taken me ten years to get back into that room. It was yoga that did it, and it is yoga that teaches me about it. I feel that I’ve wasted a lot of time not using it all this time, but I often feel that. I suspect a lot of that comes from the fact that my parents died young. I don’t want to be wasteful of time, or to assume that I have a lot of time. I think that wanting to have lived a meaningful life is common to most people, and it is hard to have lived a meaningful one if you’ve frittered it away. I’m trying to be mindful. It doesn’t always work. Sometimes it seems there are a lot of unnoticed things that thwart me.
I needed space to do yoga every morning. I needed a space that was big enough for a yoga mat and for me to be able to do some side twists. I have a tiny house. It was what I could afford at the time. Plus, a small house (hopefully) means not accumulating a bunch of stuff. So, this means that the living room is not really big enough. There is room for the mat, but not the side twists. The same is true in the bedroom. I’ve got plenty of room on the porch, but it is outside and I don’t want to be stared at while I’m doing yoga. Actually, I’m very self-conscious about being outside at all, but that is another story.
So I put the mat in the craft room, and I made myself do yoga every morning. I realized that I didn’t want to go in there. Yoga is teaching me to look adversity head on – to not run away from it. Study it. Dig down to the roots. Why am I feeling this way – like I want to run away? Why don’t I want to be in this room? The first and deepest impression was that it was the color. Too dark. Not energizing. It is calming, but a little too much. Now, there is a lot of light from the north – the light is great for painting in the morning. But it just didn’t strike my eyes right, and the color wasn’t inspiring.
I got a book called “Sacred Spaces”, about how to make sanctuaries wherever you are. One of the sections was on feng shui. I determined that something more like a sea-blue, or slate-grey-blue would be better. It would be a pain to drag out everything in that room and repaint it. So I made some suggested amendments to the room. More blue pictures. Seashells. I made a point of closing the closet so the mirror showed. Either it helped, or I thought it did, because I was more likely to want to be in there.
But I’m leaving the walls. Part of it is that I feel that removing all difficulties actually can be a problem. Having an obstacle, having something that annoys me, actually wakes me up. It strengthens me. It keeps me conscious.
I’ve noticed that if everything is fine, I don’t push myself. I don’t stretch or grow. And I don’t pray. When everything is going fine, I don’t seek God nearly as often.
Turns out I’m in really good company. Plenty of people throughout the Bible did that. When things were going bad, they called on God. When things were going great, they forgot about God. Have a pain in your back that you are worried about? Pray. When it stops hurting, you stop praying. Normal.
God likes to hear from us. God wants to be connected to us. It is sad that we often only remember to pray, to connect with God, when things aren’t going well. What would happen if we treated our friends like this? If we only call them when we have something to complain about, the relationship isn’t going to last. God wants to have a relationship with us.
So maybe we should be thankful for the obstacles, and the pains, and the things that annoy us. Maybe they are our rescue. Maybe instead of being stumbling blocks, they are stepping stones.
I’ve decided not to repaint that room. I’ve decided it keeps me mindful of how to be calm and present amidst adversity.