Babies have perfect posture when they learn to sit. Shoulders back, each vertebra sits directly above the other. I watch my baby, alert and nimble, and then I notice myself: legs crossed, shoulders curved forward over my cup of coffee like I'm in a starving colony and it's the last piece of food. When did I decide sitting like this was easier? It makes my back feel horrible by the end of the night. Why don't I see any adults sitting as well as my baby--when does life hunch us over, curl our shoulders forward as though we can posturally protect our hearts?
I've been trying to notice all the places where my soul has hunched over, and to create an environment where it feels safe to unfold again. This means rushing around is kept to a minimum, with time each day to stare out the window and take in the view. It means having a smaller cast of friends and keeping social obligations to an absolute minimum.
My body feels better when I'm practicing yoga than any other time. I always wonder after a yoga practice, How did I ever live without this and think my body was okay? Like the yoga poses, I've been weaving back in practices for my soul, like Rest Day, morning pages, the Artist's Date, nights out at the coffee shop and staring out the window. And like my body's posture, it doesn't correct itself over night, but at least I'm on the way to having a friendlier habitat for my soul to dwell in.