January, The Month of Busy
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
I'm so behind in posting for this month. I've been busy. So busy. It seems we all are a little busier in January, We are often in a state of intentional transformation, setting goals, perhaps adding new habits to our schedules; trying to let go of old ones.
If you've been following me at all, you know that I led a workshop on the sage archetype, I was a guest on Rebecca Warfield's podcast Dharma Drops, and I've begun my journey as a doula, contracting with my first client (yay!). All of this in addition to my (more than) full time day job, teaching schedule, running club, and making time to spend with my husband. One thing that struck me in all this busyness is that although these were new ventures, and I had anxiety about each of them, when it came time to actually do them, I walked in with confidence. This type of confidence is summoned from more than just accumulating knowledge and preparation, it is from a place of being centered, of trusting myself, and embracing the way that things are unfolding. This takes a lot of work. Hard work. Hard work on my yoga mat, on the running trail, in my journal, doing research, writing, contemplating, understanding, teaching.
The other day I took a Yin class with the lovely Genevera. We are currently experiencing the new moon and in class she talked about how we often have more energy with the new moon. We can use that energy to fill our days with busyness, or we can focus that energy towards something we wish to invite into our lives. She offered an opportunity to pull a card from the Inquire Within deck as a part of that reflection. The card I pulled, or rather the one the universe dealt me? REST.
Ah...okay universe, I hear you. At one point in class she walked by my mat and knowing me well, laughed, "I like your card." My days are full and my day job is demanding, often eating up more of my mental and emotional energy than I would like to grant it. Teaching gives me an outlet. It allows me to be creative, to continue to study my craft and share the gift of yoga and reflection with others. It feeds me. But I also need to make time to digest.
I find myself gravitating more and more to the Yin classes, the Restorative. This is my nervous system telling me, "hey there wonder woman, breathe, relax, REST." I put pressure on myself to always be working toward something, to be doing, learning, sharing. And sometimes I think to myself, hey I get sleep, I rest. But it is also the type of rest that matters. Sleep is good, necessary, part of a healthy life. But REST is different. Quality rest is letting the body and mind settle. Not from fatigue or exhaustion, but to intentionally restore. If we are always in a state of fight or flight, it is harder for our nervous system to make that switch to rest and digest. When we take the time to restore ourselves, we can tap into that skill at any time - before that meeting, in that stressful conversation, in traffic.
Earlier this month I was rear-ended pulling into the parking lot to teach. Everyone involved was okay and damage was minimal, but it still shook me up. I had to dig deep to become centered enough to lead the class that was starting in twenty minutes from a place of calm and peace, even though my nervous system was still reacting and recovering. I was able to do so because of the hard work I've done on my mat, but more so because of the hard rest.
Take a moment to ask yourself how you rest, more specifically, how do you restore? Rest looks different to us at different times in our life. Allow it to shift, to redefine itself and as it does so, embrace it, fall into it, give yourself permission to let it restore you. That's the true self-care, the consistent practice. And the next time you are asked what you are doing this evening, or this weekend, include time to rest.
"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes...including you."