Demands are high during this time of year. Whether it’s the final push to meet a set of corporate or personal goals, or the long list of holiday gatherings, gift giving, and to-dos. It’s ALL good; it’s just A LOT. This intense trend which demands putting forth 110% is something I’ve been practicing NOT doing. In yoga, this concept is called Brahmacharya. There are other aspects to this Sanskrit word, but I am talking about the teaching that reminds me to use my energy wisely.
After a decade of following the endurance athlete mode of pushing hard and chasing my goal of qualifying to run in the Boston Marathon, I have ingrained the pattern of doing everything in my power to push past the pain and fatigue in an effort to hit my goals. As a result, I have a long list of injuries collected along the way. It could only go on for so long. Ever since my qualification and marathon in Boston, my body has been letting me know that the time to make a change has come. I shifted from running to yoga, and found that the deep-seated pattern of continually going “all out” just didn’t work. Something had to change.
Breaking away from always pushing-the-edge (mostly physically) has been my lesson-of-sorts for this year. This is most easily seen in my physical practice, be it yoga, hiking, cycling, or other, I am not merely talking about my physical actions. I’m also talking about my tendency to taking on responsibilities, lofty goals, and aspiring to walk on water. Well, I don’t want to undo all of my work on making this change just because it’s the end of the year. I understand that there are no guarantees that there will be another year — or day for that matter — but assuming that there is, I would like it to be a little less painful (if not pain-free).
In addition to wanting to make the season bright and memorable for all my loved ones (myself included), the final push includes taking the written exams for my yoga certification. So as not to overwhelm myself, I’ve taken a one thing at a time approach. I’m happy to say that I passed my Anatomy test, and am now preparing for the Sanskrit test which I hope to take by the end of the year. Then comes the developing and teaching of a 75 minute asana practice as the final step for testing out. Thankfully, I did not put that on my list of things-that-must-happen-this-calendar-year.
What is my point? Well if, perhaps, you have found yourself being pushed over the edge so-to-speak, I am inviting you to join me in figuring out what items can be moved off your plate. Are there items which could be done at a later time, can you give up anything, or enlist the help of others? Maybe there isn’t. But maybe there is.
Honestly, Santa really likes cookies made from the pre-made cookie dough almost as much as he likes cookies from scratch. More than anything, he loves to see that everyone is nestled all snug in their beds when he arrives. And sometimes, I am told, he pops in mid-month just to see that everyone is being nice (to others AND themselves).