You’re Not the Boss of ME

Kelly Salasin at the height of her autonomy, ALL rights reserved

On Saturday mornings, my husband and I tip toe out of the house while the kids sleep and head into town for some Hits the Spot Yoga.  On the way home, we stop at the farmers market for a chair massage with Ra, a hot cup of Neil’s chai and a brunch of Thai or West African cuisine (or wood-fired pizza.)

This morning the yoga room at Solar Hill is packed, forcing Casey to set up his mat right beside mine at my favorite spot beside the window at the back of the room. I don’t mind. We hold hands, make jokes and whisper. Actually, that’s all me, but Casey indulges it, which makes me feel naughty, and gives me flashbacks to high school when Sister Patricia gave me a detention: “Kelly is a constant source of disruption.”

Despite my disruption, Casey returns his focus to whatever posture is being led, reminding me that he is a yogini himself, even if I was the one who originally dragged him to yoga.

Two summers ago, he spent an entire month at a retreat center and returned with his teaching certification. This is so incongruent with the guy that I fell for 25 years ago–under a tree with a spiked watermelon in his lap–that it still makes me blink.

Occasionally, I turn to Casey during a particularly challenging posture to whisper, “Is this right?” and I smile when he says “yes;” but then roll my eyes if he offers a suggestion.

As we bend forward in wide-angle pose, I consider poking Casey in the butt, but restrain myself out of respect for the woman whose mat is behind mine.

Given how crowded we are, Casey turns to say, “Move your blocks to the left and I’ll move mine to the right so that we can flank each other.”

“You’re not the boss of me,” I say, feeling smugly satisfied.

Casey flirtatiously shoots back, “Yes, I am.”

I leave my blocks right where they are.

As we shift our hips to the right and deepen into the pose, I realize that ‘You’re not the boss of me’ has been the unconscious mantra of my recent “writing week” (and probably my entire life.)

On my first night off from work, I watch unlimited television on Netflix so that the week I’ve reserved for writing is clear that it’s not the boss of me.

I do the same with email, ignoring every message from work and private clients and relatives and friends; “I’ll get back to you in a week,” my automated reply says… You’re not the boss of me.

Despite having ample time in the house this week like I did back in the days when I was an at home mom, I disregard the messes I could easily address. I tell the laundry, and the dishes and the clutter, You’re not the boss of me.  And then I spend an entire afternoon in the kitchen, cooking up a storm like I used to, in equal rebellion against the life I’ve created outside the home.

What is it that makes me want to rebel against the very things I’ve created, I wonder.  Like when I resent the pitter-patter of my eleven-year old’s feet outside my bedroom door this morning  before I’ve finished this post. Wasn’t he the very thing I longed for a dozen years ago?

Perhaps I’m like the mythological snake, the Ouroboros, who eats his own tail in an effort to renew himself? Or maybe I’m just immature.

This time last year, I experienced a revolution inside. I overthrew an exacting dictator in favor of a more representational body. Perhaps this is part two of that transition; and the new government is still evolving.

Like the people of this Nation, something inside me isn’t getting enough representation, causing it to rebel against the very thing it helped create.

If I listened to this disgruntled constituent, what would she have to say?

Kelly Salasin, October 2011

For more on the Chicken Wing Series of My Life Purpose Path, click here.

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