Thursday, April 7, 2011

stop and smell the tomato's

from here.

I last minute rushed to a yoga class yesterday before teaching my 3-D Embroidery Class at the Textile Arts Center. This is a luxury that I do not give myself often enough. But there always seems to be something "more important" to do. However- during a crisis of emotional wreckness yesterday afternoon. I left a very fussy baby with C, rushed out of the house, decided I could go to yoga, rushed back, got my clothes, and rushed to class.
I arrived and one of my students was signing people in and she asked me about a sutra that I had used as the intention for my classes last week. So we were talking about it that moment I was reminded of the very own lesson I had been teaching all week:


The connection to the earth should be steady and joyful.


And I realized that there has been nothing steady or joyful about me in the last few days.

Then I sit on my mat get settled in and the instructor hands on chant sheets. I think, yes this is good. Chanting is a form of pranayama and that is exactly what I needed to do BREATHE. So we get to singing and we break into one of my all time favorite Krishna Das Chants. Joy rushes in I read the words in English as I chant in Sanskrit and they scream out to me:

I don't know who I am, so I bow to own true Self...
I have nothing. I have everything.

Wow, that is so me in this moment. I don't know who I am. But then when I look deep enough I do and I can bow to that self and be humble at her feet.

Ok, you think I am winding up to my point but not yet. And yes eventually this does get back to my art but...

Then the teacher goes on to tell a little story. Before class she was at the grocery co-op and had purchased some tomoatos, which were beautiful, fresh, earthy, juicy ones and then she runs into some friends gets chatting and realizes she will be late to class if she does not leave. So she leaves, rushes home, unpacks her groceries, puts the tomatoes in a bowl, and thinks "I wish I could just take a minute to stop and smell the tomatoes." And then it hits her. She CAN. Taking that brief moment to stop and savor something she loves - that reminds her of the coming spring, her childhood on a farm, and all the goodness in the world this will only serve her not make her late.
So she does.

And in that moment I feel like I have been every so lovingly hit in the head with a tomato.

I sit there and realize I am SO stressed out, angry, sad, exhausted, etc. and really all I needed to do was stop and smell the tomato's. Maybe not literally but I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect, not that I would every have used that word before as my version of perfect is different then most- but living up to all the expectations others have of me, responding to all my emails in one day, never being late, tardy, unprofessional in any way, making better and better work, being the best at everything I can be. This is a wonderful aspect and a torturous aspect of my hardworking Midwest childhood. But....

I realize
the world will not fall apart if I do not respond to the 15 artist's that are emailing me about the show. And they will still respect me as an artist and curator if I email them Friday instead.

the world will not fall apart if the images I should have emailed Sunday get emailed tomorrow instead of today.

the world will not fall apart if my works takes longer to make then I planned.

the world, and for that matter neither will I, fall apart if I admit that I am not perfect and sometimes I just need to stop and let it all go.

That is a long, rambling story, but I feel good about telling it. So amongst all of your busy, hectic, overfilled day try to stop and smell the tomatoes.


jamie said...

totally appreciate this insight, Joetta!!! so appropriate for the busy busy-ness of the day to day.
such a refreshing reminder!

Liz Noonan said...

yes! this took me much longer to learn than it did you! it is okay, also to say "no, i simply can't do it" without providing that person or thing with a reason.

Thank you for sharing - I really, really, need to get to a yoga class now....

Joetta M. said...

glad I could help to remind you all of this simple truth. One that I have already forgotten like 1,000 times since this post. But the intention of remembering is there. So that is the first step!