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Going Up?

By Natasha Netschay

I arrive for my Sunday morning yoga class ahead of time to snag my favourite space in the heated room. Parking is scarce as the farmer’s market happens outside of the studio. I back into a space and notice a family of four standing by their car, smoothing their clothes as though they’re about to pose for a photograph.

Walking quickly to the elevator, I prepare mentally for the gruelling hour that awaits me. The doors open. I see the family walking towards me and press the hold button.

Thank you, the father says. He’s dressed in traditional Nigerian attire, as is his wife. Their two daughters, maybe 6 and 8, wear chiffon dresses with sequins and ruffles. Lacey ankle socks and shiny Mary Janes complete the fit. Both girls wear high ponytails with dozens of tight braids reaching their lower backs.

They’re so excited, giggling as they look at their reflections in the elevator mirror. My eyes meet the younger of the two, and we smile at each other. She turns and steps towards me, stands closely and looks up, beaming. Suddenly her arms are around my waist, and she squeezes me tight. Her sister joins her, now four little arms hold me; lift me. Their smiles and energy are contagious. Despite a growing lump in my throat, I manage to whisper to them how sweet and special they are.

The elevator door opens, and the embrace loosens; the girls skip out. I look to the mom. Getting them a treat at the market, I ask.

We’re on our way to church, she tells me, have a good day. She’s very polite.

I float into the studio, sit in a lotus position, and meditate. I want to see and feel the internal brightness one experiences when one reaches transcendence. I’ve barely closed my eyes and the light’s already waiting for me, blinding me with energy and peace.

I realize I’ve been touched by angels.

A Moment of Lightness

Go, go, go. That’s my day, from start to finish. Sometimes, I’m go-go-going in my sleep. Slipping mindfulness breaks into my busy day is non-negotiable. Short walks around my neighbourhood, no mobile phones, no earbuds. Eating meals slowly, away from the desk. And daily yoga, at home or in the studio. As I get better at mindfulness, more lightness happens. The trick? Being present to notice it.

Natasha Netschay runs a next-gen comms agency in Vancouver. Her side hustle is writing essays and screenplays.