One of the benefits of yoga is that the mindfulness starts to show up off the mat. I have been simplifying my life, connecting more with the Earth, slowing down and focusing on the present. Holidays are tough for me; they bring up a lot of expectation and anxiety. I found myself doing much more than I wanted and wound up exhausted.
It all started with Pinterest, which is a wonderful way to store ideas, recipes, and plan.
I made my list, ordered a smoked ham from a local farm, and planned to grocery shop on Friday. The vision was embedded: food, table settings, and activities. I shopped at Market Basket and actually everyone was happy and cordial, the sun was out, and all was well.
On Saturday morning, I taught two yoga classes and felt very connected and energized by the practice. My niece was visiting and it was her birthday so we had great plans: Apple store, lunch, Odiorne State Park, Starbucks, and Lululemon. It was an epic girls’ day for four. Saturday evening, we joined the guys who had dinner ready (almost, they forgot vegetables) and a fire going outside.
Sunday, 6:00 am, I arose with fervor and began the battle in the kitchen. I was chopping and mixing and prepping until 10:00 when the others came down for coffee and to open Easter baskets. The food was prepped and the table was set. I needed extra seating and a table, so I carried them in from the garage. I did it all myself and did not ask for help. Easter baskets were opened and the ham was in the oven. I took a quick shower before the guests arrived.
As I was setting up appetizers at 12:30, I realized I had not eaten since about 6:30 last evening and I was HANGRY! I was completely having an out of body experience. I was in my head and not at all in my body; no heart, no soul, no throat, just me and my monkey mind. Check, check, check off the check list and eventually you will be happy: mindlessness.
Needless to say, I was depleted at this point, no prana.
I got through the rest of the holiday in a fog. Everything may have looked great, even Pinterest-worthy, but I was not fully present. I had enough energy to sustain a few meaningful moments but not full conversations. By 4:00 pm, I admitted to others that I needed a nap.
When my daughter left, she told me I should journal about the day and what went wrong. So, as I sit here, I realize: I was not true to myself. Instead of listening to my body, breathing and focusing on what was important, I got hung up on my expectations. I did not use any of my skills from my yoga practice. I am feeling like a fool. But a wise man once said, “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” — William Shakespeare
Another day will arise and another holiday will be around the corner. I will take this new wisdom and practice. A wise woman once said, “Practice means making an effort to keep your mind steady. Yoga is about learning to pay attention. That’s what drives transformation.” — Beryl Bender Birch.
See you on the mat!