Monday, August 2, 2010

A Sigh of Relief

During my last yoga class, the instructer asked everyone to do a loud exhale.
"Exaggerate it if you need to," he said as he fiddled with the iPod dock. "But make sure it's loud."

As over twenty pairs of lungs filled up with air and released, the entire room vibrated, as though it was taking one big sigh of relief.

I realized then, in the sea of mats and twisted bodies, that this entire year has been a sigh of relief. I have been able to pursue what I love, day in and day out, and allowed it to change me. Instead of constantly looking forward, worrying about time and goals and accomplishments, I basked in each moment.

In fact, I can confidently say that I never went to bed dissatisfied. I sang, danced, wrote, learned for the sake of learning (instead of for grades or a job), and felt forgotten parts of myself springing back to life. Last year, I was disillusioned about my career and direction in life.

So many times, we hate not knowing where we are heading. But as it turned out, that gray area of uncertainty was the best thing that could have happened to me.

Because sometimes we just need to recharge, rediscover, and relive.

Have you ever had a figurative sigh of relief? When did something come as a disguised blessing?

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain

*pictures from


  1. I LOVE that quote. I am amazed and thrilled that you have done this--took a year and did what your soul cried to do!

  2. That big sigh of relief came for me after I discovered I could go to college even though I was a single mom, and I could pursue things I enjoyed doing and take care of my children without a man in my life. :)

  3. This year I also accomplished many things, they made me happy for I had not planned them, they just happened. I think sometimes when we are obsessed to get somethings done, we never get them done, for we ourselves put hurdles in our path without intending to.
    I just got inspired to start doing 100 surya namaskars a day. I started out feeling how would I ever be able to do it, but once I started I did and it felt great.
    I thought I could do 50 in the morning and 50 in the evening, that way I would also not feel bored and give up. It worked perfectly.
    I started blogging here after a long break, and I have made so many friends.
    I somehow feel I have a come to a stage where I don't have to keep worrying where life is taking me, for I am ready for the unpredictable, yet interesting life.
    I am glad you too feel fulfilled in your life, and this is such a good topic too. Thank you.

  4. What an awesome post. It's so amazing that you've been able to truly do what you love. What a treasure!

  5. Love this - so nicely expressed. Taking the time to renew & refresh is so important. :)

  6. I'm so happy that you've had a great year and refreshed yourself and renewed your life.

  7. What a great metaphor for enjoying life - a big sigh of relief. I love it. I'm happy you had a great year. Does that mean you're back to your studies soon?

    My big sigh of relief came when I quit a horrible job to focus on writing. SIGH.

  8. I love this: "that gray area of uncertainty was the best thing that could have happened to me." What you wrote about all the wonderful things you did, the writing, singing, dancing, learning for the sake of learning - I like to think that's really the way life is meant to be lived.

  9. Aw, thanks so much!! Yes, I am starting school on Monday but cannot wait to keep blogging!!

  10. Wonderful post, and love the quote at the bottom! I am in a bit of a gray area myself and am still looking for the sort of clarity it sounds like you've found.

    Good luck at school on Monday!

  11. I'm presently at the stage of reminding myself to sigh in relief on a daily basis.

  12. I really need to follow your example. I always seem to be deferring what I want for drudge work. Thanks for the inspiration!

    I gave you an award over at my blog. Don't worry about passing it on if you don't have the time. Just consider it a shout-out for your blog.

  13. I think it's great you can look back at this year and feel such a sense of satisfaction.

    I got the same feeling my first autumn when I didn't take a class. Not in k-12. Not college. Not graduate school. I was able to enjoy the fall leaves, weather, and scent in the air without part of my mind distracted with what I needed to DO.

  14. Aw that's amazing, I'm so glad you feel like things are better and clearer now! I love moments like those!

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  16. What a lovely, honest post. (I breathed a sigh of relief reading it)

    And I couldn't agree more with that Twain quote.

    Have a fantastic weekend!

  17. Blessings in disguise - that's a great way to look at uncertain situations. Thanks for the post.
    Have a great weekend. :)