A clean slate


Slowly I open the door of the studio. Ajar. I stick my head around the corner. Yes it’s warm. Every time that is an exciting moment. I program the air conditioning the day before and it is no guarantee that the device does what I want. Sometimes the power went down, sometimes I didn’t press the programming button properly or suddenly the snowflake sign is on instead of the sun sign (also my own fault). I find that confusing, by the way. The sun belongs to the summer so it should cool down and a snowflake to the winter and it should blow warm air. And you know, it’s the other way around. My logic is not that of the air conditioning remote control designers.

Opening that door remains an important moment, because the start of the yoga class depends on the temperature in the room. The students behave differently – although the Portuguese have no problem with ice-cold buildings. It is normal for them that buildings and houses are freezing cold in winter. This incubator centre where my studio is housed has no insulation and that makes the outside temperature tangible inside. Although it was pleasant this morning I started slowly. After three weeks off, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Three Kings (still a big party here) it seemed wise for our bodies.

The influx – always a surprise – was good. Although many are registered, that is no guarantee that they will be there. This morning it was full in the small studio. It fitted precisely. Beginning of the year, right. Good intentions. I am always surprised how such a New Year evokes people to change. So there was something they were not satisfied with; something that they didn’t deal with. They may feel guilty or want to meet other people’s expectations. I do not know.

A new year offers a new outlook on life; an open future. A wiped slate. And that transition from December 31 to January 1 makes taking the first step or cleaning the slate easy. I have to think about that again and again. How is that possible? Why is it easier to make a change on January 1 than on July 6, for example? Isn’t every day new? As soon as the sun rises, the day is new and there is a new view. You don’t need January 1 for that.My daily view is on the photo. A slate with an endless blue sky that I see when standing under the pine tree in front of my house. I look up and know that I can give colour to the day myself, or wait for what is coming. I can do nothing or a lot and meanwhile stay in touch with the clean blue sky; all day long, during all activities. That puts every action, every word that I speak into perspective, and that’s how I keep my slate clean. Every day.

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