Excerpt from Heartsong: Living with a Dying Heart

Below is an excerpt from Heartsong: Living with a Dying Heart: A Memoir, by Anita Speake

Whenever I attempt something new, it is my firm belief that I should always try to look good even if I don’t know what I’m doing.

If you had seen my first attempt at skiing, you would’ve thought I’d been hired to do a print layout for the Squaw Valley Ski Resort magazine.

None of my friends on the trip knew that all of my ski clothes had been borrowed—and sadly, it gave the wrong impression to the people who mattered most. The ski instructor took one look at me and placed me in an intermediate/advanced class, and even though I managed to make it through that ski trip without injury, the following
winter I returned home with a fractured left leg and a long leg cast. For months, I remained on the disabled list.

Given my unfortunate history, you would think I would have abandoned my try-to-look-good-even-if-you-don’t-know-what-you’re-doing approach by this point. But this was Mindfulness, I reasoned. How dangerous could it be?

So, when I returned home from my first appointment with JoAnn, I immediately jumped onto the internet. I wanted to find out what the people who studied Mindfulness wore and perhaps find something for myself that would boost my confidence. And that’s when I made a happy discovery: Mindfulness teachers, and even some students, wear
very pretty clothes. And there are companies who make charming pillows for you to sit on while you practice deep breathing.

This was all going to be so easy! All it took for me to look as if I knew what I was doing was just of a couple of clicks on the computer.

There was also an added bonus, and it was this: everything fit perfectly in the area of the bedroom I had now designated as my Mindfulness corner.

With this commitment to my (as yet untried) new coping adventure, I was certain I would succeed. Unfortunately, there was one small problem: the internet said I had to wait seven to ten business days before the UPS truck delivered my new look.

That meant I wasn’t going to be able to honor my commitment I’d made to JoAnn about starting my new Mindfulness exercises at home. What, I wondered, would she say to that?

Maybe, with any luck, it wouldn’t even come up.