Every week I commit to hammering out a few blog posts so I have them ready to go on my days, Tuesday and Thursday. Between errands, time sensitive to dos, follow-ups, and other things, my lofty aspirations of writing a blog come crashing down. It’s the one unchecked item on my list, circled, underlined, and starred multiple times over, but never fully complete.
Laundry – done; make soup – done; pay bills – done; yoga class – done; blog – blank.
How do I follow through and bring this lofty aspiration into reality. It takes a degree of self-discipline. Is it better time management? Am I putting of writing my blog? We are reaching a midpoint. The freshness and newness of it was good. Maintaining the commitment of writing two times a week was never easy, but I was committed and more importantly I didn’t want to let Rachel or myself down. Plus, I was really proud to be out there, opening myself up, which isn’t me at all. Work overwhelmed me in January causing me to run out of steam.
And now I’ve been aiming to write once a week. It’s a lot like doing yoga or going to the gym – a muscle you have to exercise. So, where is my motivation, my discipline? At work, we do a job because we’re responsible for it. I do yoga – honestly – I thought about this one – because I pay a monthly fee to the studio and want my money’s worth. It’s the best way to keep me accountable; otherwise I find an excuse or sit at my desk and do more work. Same thing with going to physical therapy.
After working out or going to yoga, I always feel 100% better. When writing a blog post. I do feel a sense of satisfaction, especially when I read it over and think, “Hey, this is decent.”
So, feeling good is an outcome and I do enjoy the process. That’s the end and the middle. It’s the start and step before I start that’s really hard for me. Perhaps my goal is too high. Instead, I will aim to write one blog over the weekend and start with baby steps. Let’s see what happens…
Yoga is like a bellows, every asana breathes breath into the body.
Work, traffic, cold weather all grind us down into dust causing that inner light to flicker and fade. One of the things I love about yoga is how each breath you take rekindles your inner light. Flowing through a simple set of sun salutations reenergizes every cell in the body. Every inhale is followed by an exhale, and the cycle goes on slowly igniting that inner spark.
I’m sure there is a science behind it, but the effect is magical. Finding the right words to describe it is difficult because none seem to do the experience justice making it a great, albeit challenging, writing exercise for this blog.
Lately, when I’m feeling anxious, I check in with my heart. Sounds super-cheesy. I literally focus in on my heart and send my thoughts and energy there to kickstart that good feeling. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the one you get when you get a diamond tiara, win a million dollars or get a promotion. LOL. The only one of those three things I’ve ever actually received is the last one, the promotion, which is indeed a wonderful feeling. Being recognized for your hard work and increasing your earning power is fabulous. But a promotion doesn’t happen every day. The problem with all of these things, other then being highly unlikely and rare is they are external, fleeting triggers of joy. They don’t come from within.
The best place to start and capture that feeling is from within. Kickstarting your joy with good, positive, loving thoughts and feelings puts the right energy in your heart. And that feeling is priceless. It let’s you know, “I’m ok, and because I’m ok, you’re ok, everything’s ok.”
Instead of thinking how something shouldn’t be or how f*cked up things are, I’m trying to think how things should be and what the upside is. A lovely way of thinking.
Plus, Rachel just told me how to access free pictures in WordPress. So, I’m posting a pretty picture. Each stone stacked on top of the other in perfect balance. Another way to visualize how things should be.
The recovery process after spraining my ankle last summer has taken time. I had no idea the toll an injury takes on the body, especially considering mine was not even as bad as injuries many athletes or others have. Taking a hard spill down the stairs, really wreaks havoc. All those action heroes definitely would not be able to get back up from some of the falls you see in the movies.
Despite being mobile, I had to take slower yoga classes. Now I’m slowly building my way back up to where I was before I fell. I even started doing a full sun salutation again! Yet, with each upward dog, each chaturanga dandasana, my left foot feels like a flipper swimming in isolation, still paddling back towards harmony with the rest of my body.
Although the different parts of my body are still finding their way back together again, it feels really good to be on this path. I’ve missed the feeling of doing a complete sun salutation. As each pose combines with it’s respective inhale and exhale, I rediscover what I love about yoga. Only it’s deeper, because I am so grateful to be practicing this way again. The ujjai breath winds it’s way through the body, working in unison with each muscle and helping me to find my inner light and shed everything even if for one moment.
Overthinking is a shackle. If I do X, then Y. Saying this will result in that. What if scenario A, B and on and on to Z? By the time you get to Z, you will have completely talked yourself out of the thing you were doing.
As children, we are fearless, playful and curious. Over time, a parent slaps our hand when we reach for something, a teacher says we didn’t color in between the lines properly, a coach or teammate says we can’t do it that way and pretty soon we are programmed to try to just figure out what others want and please them.
Writing is a creative process. Overthinking obstructs the process of letting an idea come to life. Once where there were thoughts and ideas flowing freely, the shackle presses down on your brain and holds the creativity back like a vice. It boils down to just going for it and not second-guessing yourself, in other words, it comes down to confidence.
Lately, I’ve become more self aware of how my desire to please takes over my confidence. My fear of being or doing something wrong freezes me dead in my tracks.
What’s the cure?
Being highly aware of the behaviors and realizing when I’m doing it is a start. And then when it starts, I tell myself, “Stop overthinking, do it.” Or in the case of writing, personal or professional, “Don’t think, just write.”
I really loved Sharyn’s post on January 27th where she gave advice to start of the New Year right. The tips and insights were spot on and perfect to get me through my present mid-Winter funk.
February is always tough. I feel like I get through December with the holidays and it takes the next 31 days to settle in and adjust to the New Year. Once February rolls around, the deep freeze, grey skies and snowy wet weather start to wear on me. All motivation seems lost. Everything is moving at a slug-like pace. I feel like a drone punching in a clock at work (or in this case logging on and off my laptop), crossing things off my to do list, showering, eating, sleeping, waking up, repeat all over again. It’s a heavy kapha-esque feeling.
I woke up Monday morning with an urge to shake myself out of this stupor and reached for a Wild Orange essential oil. As I inhaled deeply, the vibrant scent electrified my nostrils and knocked the kapha right out of me. The bitter orange peel, bold citrus, mixed with audacious juicy flavors hit me like a lightning bolt. I was alive. It made me see sunlight again and filled my heart with warmth and joy, keeping the cold, icy claw of that mid-Winter funk away.
Walking outside this evening, as I made my way down East 47th Street, I could see the sun setting in the West, a rosy glow emanating from between the skyscrapers. It reminded me of a bright, beautiful, zesty orange and made me smile in anticipation of longer days and sunny weather.