I took myself back to my mat today. Yes, there were still holiday decorations to put away. Yes, there were still errands to run. Yes, there were still thank you notes. Yes, there were still lists. And no, I didn’t want all of my to-do’s to wait. I wanted so badly for everything to be done. I still dream that when my floors are clean and my task list is empty I will feel differently than I do now. Better, somehow, calmer, somewhat, more contented, settled, relaxed. But instead I sat on my floor, cross-legged and uncomfortable on this creased and unworn roll of polypropylene.
My inner narrative was harsh, critical and unwavering. My body shook, my breath was rigid and I didn’t feel like anything valuable. I didn’t want to stop practicing – I wanted to be better. I wanted my body to not tremble and my muscles not burn. I wanted my heart to not beat quite so loud. I wanted to be different and easy and beautiful.
I want to be you, I said to Meg – A strong single mother, unstoppable, powerful. I want to be you, I said to Deborah – A mother of two special needs kids, who always is showered. I want to be you, I said to Alexis – She works full time and still bakes on the weekends. I wanted to be anyone other than myself, specifically someone braver, better, more sturdy and yet, more fluid. More patient. More capable. More.
“You have more coping practices than anyone I know,” said a friend yesterday when I spoke of my unsettledness. “Use them.”
I took her advice today.
On my mat today I learned that I am more than stubborn. That I “know” all of these things (drink water, exercise, meditate, take herbs, breathe, ask for help, change self talk) but I don’t think I should be the one to need them. That I perceive myself as someone magical who can go and go and go. And yet, the anxiety that brings me to my knees proves, I cannot.
In 27 minutes on my mat today with a sleeping toddler and an interrupting preschooler I learned that my legs are not as strong as they once were, and that’s rough. But I also learned that my practice is still here, right where I left it and I can pick it up as soon as I am ready to set stubbornness aside and allow, allow, allow.
Please join me and @calmamama on instagram for #mindfuljanuary. I’m not making any resolutions – I am just exploring and celebrating the amazing women we already are.