I’ve once again embarked on Yoga with Adrienne’s yearly 30 Days of Yoga Journey. It’s funny, but when I first typed the title, I used the word “challenge” instead of “journey.” And while I am challenging myself to complete it, the difference between it being a challenge and a journey is exactly the subject of this post.
This year’s theme is “Center,” and today’s word, or intention, was “Shift.” Adrienne invited us to find or allow a shift in ourselves during this practice. We were also left with these questions:
Where do we want to make a shift in our lives? Where are we ready to make a shift?
I am always filled with excitement, intention and energy at the beginning of the new year. I usually start Adrienne’s 30 Days Yoga practice for that year, I have jumped into January Jumpstart, and I start trying to shift my waking time to earlier to be able to accomplish these things (exercise, writing, enjoying some quiet time.) And every year I get so far along and then my motivation falls away, like most people’s, and I revert back to old habits. The promise of the long-term goal is not enough to keep me motivated in the short-term.
That’s where I think this “shift” comes into play.
This morning I woke up, on day three, and didn’t want to get out of bed. I really like my morning snooze time. But as I lay there, I thought about how good it had felt the day before as I’d finished my practice. And I thought about Adrienne’s mantra, “Just show up.”
I didn’t think about trying to achieve my goal. I didn’t think about wanting to be more limber, more flexible, have my back hurt less, wanting to lose weight or even to establish a new, healthy habit. I didn’t think about how much better I’d feel in a month, or even how I’d feel later that day, knowing I’d got my butt on the mat. I just repeated, over and over, “just show up.”
And then I got out of bed.
I have known for a long time that playing the “don’t fuck up future me’s life” game doesn’t work well for me. I have a hard time thinking beyond the now, always have. What I am experiencing right this moment feels like the entire world. I would probably be that kid that ate one marshmallow rather than wait and get two. In a way that’s because I feel like…well, maybe now is all we get. Maybe we won’t have that tomorrow, so seize the moment.
But I’ve also worked a lot on not seeing everything like that. For instance, when I am overwhelmed with bad feelings, it seems like that will be all there ever is. Of course I know this isn’t true – but I have to remind myself of that, and talk myself through it. Remind myself that this is not all there is, that this too shall pass. I have a note taped to my monitor: everything changes. And I have done it, got to the other side, and have had a lot of success at it.
This, tho, is kind of a reverse of that. Rather than do these things so that future me will be happy with me, I approached the mat today with the simple intention of being there, of being present, of experiencing the moment for the pleasure it gave me.
I showed up.
So this is my shift, this is where I want to shift, and where I am ready to shift. Yes, I will keep those long-term goals in mind, but I am going to remind myself that this here, this now, is just as important, if not more so. In this instance, it’s in how my head and body feel when I am present on the mat. In my writing, it is the pleasure of putting words here, of knowing someone will read them. My shift is that I am going to show up in my life, be there, be present.