I went to yoga yesterday. In Athleta. At the mall. Truth is, I love it because it’s a little different setting and when they have classes, it’s different every time. If I could practice yoga outside regularly, I’d probably do that too since it’d always be something new to look at.
I go to yoga for a lot of reasons, but one of the main ones is so that I rest from thinking for an hour. All I have to do is listen to the instructor, follow her voice, her flow. Done right, it’s a time for me to let go and be present, in the moment, connecting with myself. But that’s not what happened today. I felt like I had one thing after another flying through my head. Telling me everything I needed to do today. A non-stop barrage, organize the garage, clean the house, groceries, all on the day that is intended to be for rest. In that time, that space I put aside which should be still, I wasn’t relaxing because my mind kept churning.
I don’t need a phone to remind me, I have a constant to-do list in my mind. And it exhausts me. It’s not that I truly have so much to do, I’ve worked at slowing down, intentionally. But my mind doesn’t rest. I really want to be present, to be here, now, engaged in whatever it is I’m involved in, but I usually spin ahead.
I’ve reached the point where I’m over it. So much so that I’m going to take a class in mindfulness this summer. Even as I look at the pre-worksheet though, I feel panic arising. “When will I practice,” every day. Ummm…can I get back to you on that? All the what if’s surface in my mind. What if I commit and then don’t do it. Can you fail at mindfulness? Ok, deep breath. I suppose not.
It also asks about what I’m hoping to achieve by the end of the course. Mindfulness. Ok, well besides mindfulness…I want to stay focused so that I’m not running through a million scenarios in my head at all times. I want to be able to actually say where and when I’d like to go on a trip this fall instead of playing the entire thing out in my head and then thinking through the pitfalls. As it is, I’ve waffled on where to go so many times my husband has stopped going down my rabbit trails. He’ll wait until I get worn out and come down to 2-3 choices.
I’m also hoping to engage with others and with myself. To really engage in what I’m doing right now instead of thinking about the future. I realize that all I have is right now. And I miss it. I’m so busy thinking ahead, I often don’t truly engage in what’s happening now. I mean, I do, but my brain’s in maybe 60%. It exhausts me.
So mindfulness, how are you doing with it? Are you here, now, or are you planning dinner in your head? It is just a busy season, or is it one long continuous “season”? Rushing through things in your mind doesn’t give you or the experience much of anything, just motions. If you’re in the same boat as me, I’d encourage you to think about why. Are you avoiding something? Maybe trying to meet someone else’s expectations? Whatever it is, I encourage you to take the time to explore it, and slow your mind down. If you want someone to walk the path with you, reach out to me. Despite my talk of distraction, I am engaged when coaching, promise. My challenge to you today, and to me, is to slow your mind down, maybe only for 5 minutes, but slow it down, give it a rest. You won’t be sorry.