Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Five Minute Rule

It is yet another week that is running away with all of my good intentions for taking care of myself and healthy living.  The busier I get, the more my self-care gets set by the wayside.  Eating three square meals with healthy snacks, walking the dog, quality time with my husband, meditation, my asana practice.

It's the last two that are the most difficult to fit in when I'm busiest.  Not necessarily because I'm so busy, but because I resist them.  And yet it's what I need most.  Yoga is the greatest tool I have access to for bringing me home to myself...and it's coming home to myself that's the most challenging when I'm feeling spent.

It seems counter intuitive, right? Why wouldn't we want to do what is best for us when we're struggling the most?

Because when we're feeling lousy, be it illness or feeling drawn out or overwhelmed, it isn't easy to be with those feelings.  It isn't easy to be with a body that aches from overuse or a mind that is scattered or a will that is just too tired to continue with our commitments. To just be still and quiet and honor wherever we are takes a surprising amount of effort.  Our mind wants nothing to do with it.  Our mind wants distraction -- TV, food, alcohol, sleep, what have you.  But to sit with it?  To let "lousy" be OK?


The truth is, to accept the best of life, we need to learn to accept the not-so-best of life.  We can continue our habits of distraction, or we can make the tiniest effort to accept ourselves as we are, where we are, when we are.

This is what I call the "Five Minute Rule".

When fifteen minutes of meditation feels like it would be just too much, when doing a yoga class -- even a restorative one -- feels like one more to-do on the list, I give myself five minutes.  I lay on the floor and breathe.  Long deep in, long deep out.  I bring a knee to my chest and breathe in, and breathe out.  In and out.  I switch legs and breathe in, and breathe out.  In and out.  Then I bring both knees in, hug them to my chest, breathing in, breathing out, and I rock slowly side to side.  I breathe.  I feel my body.  I feel my breath in my chest, in my belly. I remind myself that I'm alive, that this body I'm in is beautiful and precious and deserves to be felt.  Deserves to be acknowledged and cared for in all the ways I know how.

Five minutes...it goes a long way.

What will you make time for tonight?//

What's For Dinner Tonight?
Papa Murphy's in on the menu tonight -- Cowboy Pizza -- because it's "Clean the House" night at our house.  Nice to know our oven's doing the cooking while we're doing the rest of the hard work around here.  We're entertaining three times in the next five days so it's now or never.

To be clear, I'm not one of those frantic, must-make-the-house-look-perfect-for-company folks.  It's just that sometimes it's more obvious than others when it needs to be done.

Let's just call this one of those days...

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