I had plans, you guys. So many plans! This weekend, I am home for one whole night… alone! My husband has my kiddos out of town and here I sit in a quiet house. I was going to sleep for a long and luxurious night, write a couple of blog posts, draft an upcoming class, get a ridiculous amount of winter clothes put up in the attic, even perhaps indulge with a pedicure. Oh, and make a yummy homemade dinner tonight for everyone once we’re back together.
All in 18 hours. And this 18 hours follows last weekend’s 4 night beach trip with my family of 5, preparing my kiddos to go one place while I went another for this current weekend, and the school / work week that starts tomorrow. (Do you have at least a half grin at me right now? Because I’m definitely giggling a bit out loud at myself.)
I saw the amusing within my big plans yesterday on the way home from my 2 night trip to Asheville. I saw how if I pushed through on fumes to accomplish them then absolutely nothing would be enjoyable. I’d be limp in the water before I even started swimming on Monday. And so, what did I do?
As I lay in bed this morning and felt the crush of my day ahead instead of the potential for S-P-A-C-E, I paused. I repeated each task in my head for the upcoming day and then felt into my body for the corresponding response.
Blog posts – I breathe evenly when I think about this. I feel the lightness in my chest that always rewards me when they are done and I know I’ve shared my truth. This stays in my plan.
Class plan – Teeny tiny electricity behind my right shoulder. Eh… this starts to build the tension by way of a whisper. I look at my calendar and have a window to which I can move this draft later in the week. I’ve moved it in my “Work Plan” calendar to that time.
Clothes to attic – I literally feel the weight of carrying the clothes up alone (a lot of them) as it pulses in my right hip. As I feel that, I also know Ruthie loves to do this with me. We can do it in small chunks throughout the week. And no one will perish if I finish it next weekend.
Pedicure – eh. Neutral on this one. No response in my body as I know I have similar self care already scheduled later this week.
Dinner – My body gets a pulse of energy and fullness in my chest when I imagine eating something homemade and nutritious with my family tonight. Yes, I want to make a good dinner tonight. This stays in my plan.
Can you see what I did? I simplified. I paused, listened, and responded. I released my attachment to “MUST DO IT ALL!” and grounded back into “What can I do with ease?” It’s not that I am doing nothing and it’s not that the things that I am not doing are back in the black hole of “I’ll just get to that later.” There is ease in the now because I know when those things will happen this week. It’s not just crossing my fingers and hoping I get to them. And with that awareness of now and the ahead of my week, my shoulders are now at ease, my right hip is not aching, and my right low back has quieted. Crazy stuff.
In your own practice, how does your body react when you try to do it all in one singular pose? “In this downward dog, I will stretch my hamstrings, get my shoulders down, open my chest, relax my neck, AND breathe!!!” And you might pull off all of those things….. but at what price? Next time you’re on your mat consider simplifying. Can you quiet enough to hear which part of your body needs love the most? Answer it and trust that the others will receive nourishment and attention as the practice moves along. Keep following the whispers and responding and ease will bubble up one pose at a time.
There is more. There is always more.