It started earnestly enough. Some innocent complaints on our community’s Facebook Group, about unattended dog feces and loud music on the quiet, tree-lined streets of our neighbourhood. Soon enough, people were posting observations about unsavoury characters in the neighbourhood, unsafe areas in nearby parks, and stolen (unlocked) bikes. There were comments about the nearest McDonald’s being “low rent” and about our neighbourhood “changing for the worse”, even though there’s “already a halfway house” nearby.
In the meantime, the members of our community organization raised $2000 for fireworks and have bake sales to support peoples’ individual participation in events like the Friends for Life Bike Rally (a worthy cause, I know, but…). We live literally on the other side of the road from community housing, but we collect money for trees on our already tree-lined streets and flowers for our park.
Earnestly, I asked on our Facebook group is any excess funds from future events could go to a local youth outreach service. I was instantly told that residents don’t want their money going to organizations they knew nothing about.
So it seems I’ll have to start my own initiatives to get members of my community really engaged in supporting their neighbours. Either way, I’m not going to let the NIMBYs win.
I realized today that it’s been a while since I’ve made it to a yoga class. It costs extra on top of my gym membership to do yoga at the studio I like, and I’ve been putting that money toward physio for my purple foot. The class I most enjoy is on Sunday afternoons, and there have been too many bridal showers and family outings and weekend commitments and piles of laundry and gardens to plant for me to give up those 2 hours (3, if you count getting there and freshening up afterwards). I’ve chosen to use my time differently these last few weeks, and yoga just hasn’t fit into the picture.
Weirdly, I don’t miss yoga. I am sure I will miss it when I return, will enjoy going back to those deep stretches and that solitary contemplation of the strength of self. But yoga has always been too stationary of a practice for me. I’m spending those hours on my bike most weekends, and I much prefer that feeling of being in motion, propelled by my own muscles, than standing still and feeling them work.
What I really miss aout yoga is breathing deeply. I breathed deeply just now, working away at my computer, and I thought, “wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done that.” As a singer I used to breathe deeply all the time. Now I only do it if someone reminds me (like a yoga teacher, or a cheesy post on Instagram). So I guess even if I’m not practicing yoga, I should strive to bring that deep breath, that feeling of fullness of the lungs, back to my every day way of being in my body. I guess it would help me get through moments of stress, right? Sometimes I feel like I’m not that busy, I’m just distracted. So I’m going to try breathing more, as horribly trite as it sounds, to bring me back to my here-and-nows.