Anyway that’s still a couple of weeks away but still I’m psyched. It started when I was 10 and heard my first Jam song – A Town Called Malice. Then the beautiful Bitterest Pill when I was 12 – still perhaps my favourite song of all time more than two decades later. And he evolved just as I did. He was The Style Council when that’s what I wanted to hear…and finally when I’d grown up he was plain Paul Weller carving out albums of pure genius like Wild Wood.
For whatever reason, I’ve never managed to see him live until now. I just kept missing him – I came close 15 years ago when he was in Japan (he’s big there as all the really cool cats are) and I was living there. For the past couple of years I’d check his website regularly to see if he was coming anywhere close to Toronto; I was surprised when I checked late in July and saw that he was going to actually be in Toronto this month.
The only problem is the baby’s due on 30th September. So I’m going alone…and maybe not even that if she’s early. I’ll probably even keep my phone on vibrate through the show and keep checking for messages!
So back to the present. The labour day weekend was fantastic. We had beautiful weather up here in Southern Ontario. My lethargy has waned slightly as the new moon begins to wax. Yesterday we took packed sandwiches, fruit and drinks and enjoyed a picnic at the Rockwood Conservation Area – here are some pictures some guy I don’t know has put up. I took my daughter into the lake for a swim, we warmed up on the hot beach for a while, and then we hiked the trails. When we were done, we took the 10 minute drive home and we all napped (lots of that this weekend), and later we had grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches for supper…not to brag but while the wholewheat bread in our house is always homemade so are the tomatoes right now.
And how’s the practice you ask? I practiced everyday except moonday. Since I started my daily practice in April I have never yet skipped a practice merely because I didn’t feel like practicing. I’ve skipped when I’ve been sick, slept through my alarm, or when it was highly impractical. Even then I’ve probably only skipped maybe 10 time since April. But the last couple of days has been really hard. I’ve really had to push myself. I find it harder to motivate myself on weekends and holidays – we tend to sleep in a bit and then everyone gets up at the same time – around 8; and if I’m honest, I’d rather be having a leisurely breakfast with my family than be practicing.
These days I can’t help but check myself out in the full length mirror that’s leaning against one wall in the room I practice in; I’ve haven’t looked this good in some time. I’m not kidding anybody – a big part of my motivation for practicing is for the way it makes me look and feel.
Still in a way, the practice is weaker than it was a year ago when I practiced only 3 or 4 times a week; it’s not as spiritual because I’m hardly getting into the Gita or the Sutras. I’ve said it before – I need it and have to try to find the time for it. We all do if our practices are to flourish; one of the 8 limbs is Niyama. There are five Niyamas of which one is svadhyaya (study of the sacred scriptures), another is tapas (religious fervour) and a third is isvara pranidhana (surrender of the self to God). There it is in every edition of Patanjali you ever read. He tells you in black and white – read the scriptures and apply them through worship. Guruji will tell you a 1000 times. Study the scriptures; but instead we get caught up in our asanas – what we’re binding and what we’re not (and even worse what other people are binding and are not). Our practice if we are not careful is reduced to 90 minutes on a mat. That needs to change – at least for me. If I have a goal for my practice for the rest of this year then this is it; to bring God back into it big style.