This Month’s Challenge: Yoga Practice & Writing, Day 28
Here we are at the end of the first of two months of yoga and writing. I can tell you first off, that I am ever so grateful that I set the challenge up for 2 months. One month is clearly not enough.
A challenge is definitely a correct term. Every day, I have had to corral myself to do the most important things first – yoga and writing. I’ve witnessed in myself the tendency to go off track, over and over again. Gently and compassionately, I bring myself back on track saying, “Nope, you have to do your work first.” Because of this attitude, I have been much more efficient throughout my days. By forcing myself to do the things I have to do first, my attitude remains one that is focused on getting the essentials done.
We all likely know the adage ‘Do the Important Things First,’ but like me, we slide off that path. Bringing ourselves back takes work, but it pays off. I feel proud each day about what I have done. I feel trust in myself, that I can fulfill my promises to myself.
Many times, we fail ourselves over and over. That results in losing that belief in ourselves. It is easy to come to not trust yourself. Choosing a difficult, but doable, task, and then succeed, helps renew that faith in ourselves.
I engage this challenge only on the days I don’t work outside the home. That means the days available are sometimes quite limited. However, I have only missed two days; one – for tax preparation, and one this week due to being in a work funk:
I missed yesterday. I decided that preparing a budget, and shopping for hiking gear for our Appalachian trial hike next week, took precedent over writing and yoga. I spent most of the day at my computer. I felt restless. I was poorly attentive. Sometimes I was anxious and uncomfortable in my body. All day I plugged away at crunching numbers, then later, presenting them poorly. All day I was feeling – not great
I now know that these tasks did not deserve precedent. Clearly skipping my commitment was a mistake. It was not a devastating mistake, but regardless, it made it clear that nothing takes precedent over the thing that has precedent.
Today, I got up and went down to do my practice. The week had been full of work, so it was my first day on the mat all week. I found that today was the first day that I was disappointed my time was up, and I had to leave the mat. Like a cool science experiment, I wasn’t ready for ‘my lab’ to end.
It felt GREAT! I had missed it so much!
This is what I have been looking for; the day I feel something is out of alignment when I don’t do my practice. That is how you know you are starting to form a habit. I recently read that it takes 28 – 256 days to form a habit, I only need to go another 3 to 230 days for it to be set. Yay!
What have been the other challenges and benefits? First, I have found resources within me. Without a teacher leading me, I have found my own practices. This has been particularly rich.
One day, I decided to do all the sun salutations I had easy access to. There are about 5-6 in my folder. For each one, the first time I looked at it and did it, I thought “well – this is stupid!” the next time, I wobbled through the salutation, while realizing there was some point or value to this particular exercise. The next several times, I let go and dove into the lesson in the practice. Not only did I have a great work out, but I got to see the pattern of my own resistance. I could note how it played out every time – even when I was aware of it!!! Fascinating. Really!
Next, I was left to form my own yogic rest and meditation. I had a very old memory of being lead through a meditation where I felt my brain. In my shivasana/yoga rest, I felt through the parts of my brain, finishing with sending energy through my crown chakra. Afterwards, I walked around for two days feeling like I had a crown of light radiating from my skull. It was slightly weird, and a little embarrassing, but fortunately no one else could see me glowing! I ended up making a new guided meditation, which I have used several times since then.
Additionally, I found I can acknowledge that I am too tired to lead myself, and can elect to use videos to substitute for an outside teacher. They are also helpful to review the finer points of techniques, or wording. Altogether, I am able to follow my curiousity and learn so much more.
As far as writing -I have written 8 blog articles, 4 meditations, 3 stories, 2 poems, in addition to journaling, and -hey! -getting our taxes done!
I have been studying how we form habits, how we break old ones, and this challenge has supported my studies, and vice versa. We are our own laboratories, just waiting for our curiosity! It’s well worth going inside to play!
by Tama Cathers
Photo Credit: Myriams-Fotos Pixabay