It’s July 15th. Over half-way through 2015, and I can’t help but reflect on words I came across today in a slim navy notebook wedged between books next to my bed:
“2015 feels good, like slipping into new shoes that feel broken in somehow. like crisp morning air when you’re dressed appropriately and can appreciate it. this is going to be my year. this is my year.”
don’t forget it.
Savasana, or corpse pose, is the final resting pose in just about any yoga class. The yogis will tell you that it’s a time for your body to integrate and absorb everything you’ve just practiced. You let go of the breath you’ve tried to control during the class, and focus instead on mind control.
During savasana, you practice mindfulness. Being mindful of everything you’re experiencing through your five senses. Being fully present and focused on the moment as its happening. When you’re being mindful it’s harder to think ahead to what you will be dashing off to in the next five minutes. The dinner that needs to be cooked. The fight with your mom. The work to be done.
Mindfulness is hard.
I once read that the fastest way to get someone to imagine a red polar bear riding a bicycle is to tell them not to imagine a red polar bear riding a bicycle. I think the same thing happens when the willowy yoga instructor (they’re all willowy, though, aren’t they?) tells the class to clear our minds.
I take a deep inhale in and every good and bad thought rushes in. Some days I find God lying there on my mat and other days I have only unanswered questions. Most days, my mind wanders and tumbles down ten different rabbit holes.
A few days ago I had a new instructor. She told us to focus on the rise and fall of our bellies as we lied there in dead man’s pose. I felt the skin and muscles stretch and relax to accommodate my breaths, and I melted into this quiet place inside of me I hadn’t revisited in a long time.
Sometimes our anxious minds need a break from ourselves.
Namaste and happy Friyay.
(Photo: via the great gemma carroll)
Lately, I’ve been kicking around the idea of running a marathon.
I’ve been following zenhabits for a while, and he writes frequently about self-improvement and making changes stick. The importance of creating reminders, setting goals, and holding yourself accountable.
I know this one thing – running a marathon – won’t magically transform me into some hyper-productive person who enjoys waking up with the sun.
But for someone who’s always felt like a quitter, I want to follow-through on something that requires commitment, even when the thrill of a new hobby fades away. I guess I want to prove to myself that I can keep putting one foot in front of the other when my legs feel like jello and the sweat has plastered my hair to my neck and I want to quit. Part of me knows that I can do this; the other part of me excuses herself by asking, “What is the point?”
Well, the point is pushing yourself to show how far you can go. The point is seeing your shadow running in front of you, and knowing that “running like a girl” is meant to be a compliment. The point is proving yourself right.
I haven’t made up my mind about the marathon, but I started running again and it feels good.
(Photo: Wilacre Park from the first three-miler)
Yesterday marked 21 posts.
As a profoundly undisciplined individual, this is a big freaking deal for me. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. Well, I took more than 21 days, and some posts were less than substantial, but I’m here. On the other side of 21.
And yet, it only takes a look at a list of winners to make me feel thissmall.
Up until five minutes ago, I was feeling pretty great. I had woken up early and finished two online courses, sent out a long over-due email, gave and received love. And yet. In comparison to these amazing strangers, I felt like none of it mattered.
I realize we are all running our own race. The only person I should be trying to beat is myself. Yet, this is so hard for me remember when another accomplished person is a mirror, reflecting all the things I am not.
So, this is what I propose:
To surround myself with people I love. To live a life that makes sense to me. To continue to grow in ways that stretch me and scare me. To be better today than I was yesterday. To be happy for another’s success without making it about me. To know that a lot of things are not about me. To know success comes in many different forms, and resentment cannot coexist with joy.
Small accomplishments are still accomplishments.
And Happy Hump Day.
(Photo by Matt Blease, illustrator-extraordinaire)
The only person you have to prove yourself to