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A Lesson Well Learned

I’m not going to lie, my IG and FB highlight reel look pretty damn good, however just as anyone else’s, it’s curated to sound and look as though I’m living the most amazing life. And that’s not to say that I’m not living an amazing life, however, I have my stuff just like everyone else. I have my complications, fears, jealousies, and sadness. ​One thing I have learned this past year is that I do not do well without routine and structure. My ADD brain needs a plan. I finished working the 18th of December and taught my first class back on the 3rd. Last night was my first class back for my usual Sunday flow. Before the class last night, I was riddled with anxiety, not because I was scared to teach but because it was back to routine, I was dreading the routine. I’m the type of person that if I stay home too much, it makes me want to stay home even more. If I fall out of routine I get stuck in the rut and find it very difficult to climb back out. If I don’t have routine than I resist going back to it even more, even though I know that it’s best for me to get back. So last night, before class I was talking to my husband about just quitting it all. Quitting teaching, finishing school but just doing the bare minimum and quitting everything else. Not doing any extras, going back to the way I was a few years ago. My husband said to me that I must remember how unfulfilled I was back then, without having anything to keep me engaged and excited with life. And then I remembered that prior to Christmas this year, when people asked me how I was, I would respond with busy but so happy. And I was actually so happy, but perhaps maybe too scheduled. So, last night I knew that I would love teaching every minute of my class, however the sluggish, lazy, holiday mode me wanted to sit in a chair with a book. I didn’t want to get out of the rut. Just last week, I was talking to my Ayurveda practitioner, telling her that I had let go of all of these things because I just needed a break. Her question to me was “what did you need a break from?” I realized that I did not need a break from my daily self care habits (oiling, using my netti pot or scraping my toung), I did not need a break from meditation, I did not need a break from drinking ginger tea. What I did need a break from was spending so much of my day driving, my long over scheduled days and the grinding. Rather than just quieting my schedule and not doing all the extras I put down all the balls that I had in the air, not just put them down, but threw them away. I STOPPED DOING IT ALL, and for three weeks I resembled a sea lion sleeping on a sunny rock. And was this wrong? Yes and no. The act of relaxing is in no way wrong but stopping all self care and pushing away all routine that keeps me balanced did me no favors. Serendipitously, also last week I had a class about making the most of my time (not specifically time management) as well as creating the life that I want to live, filling my time with things that nurturing and nourishing. It has had me thinking so many thoughts! One, my time is my own and I do not owe anyone an explanation of how I use my time! Nor does anyone owe me the same thing. And two, I do not have to be accountable about my time to anyone but me. Realizing that was freeing. So last night while teaching, I found myself, watching my community on zoom with a huge smile on my face. It felt like coming home. I loved every moment of it AND I personally felt so good. It was exactly what I needed to get out of the rut. It’s like the lights went on and I took off the weighted vest. So what does all of this mean? Well, I hate the word, but I think it means that I need to find balance. I know that I need to remain active and working in some way throughout the summer and extended holidays. I need to maintain a healthy lifestyle of sleeping well (not too much, not too little), eating healthy as well as comforting, movement (both yoga and cardio), spending time learning, in nature and relaxing. I can’t fall off the wagon into the rut and set up camp there. I need to maintain the things that I do daily so that I can return back to a normal schedule when the holiday is over and it is not such a huge anxiety inducing struggle. I’ve decided to take a serious look at my schedule this new year, making sure that I have time for teaching, reading and being in nature. Making sure that I am “working smarter not harder”. Yes, I realize that until I am finished school in October of this year that some of the way I use my time will be decided for me. Yes, I still must go to the dentist, take the dog to the vet and generally be an adult, but I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. My worth is not determined by my productivity AND my rest time is not earned by how much I accomplish. I am worthy of rest, period. I also have also learned that there are some things that are non negotiables (Thank you Dear Bonnie) just as taking my medication is non-negotiable. Meditation, taking my vitamins, yoga (or movement), my gratitude practice, my Ayurveda habits and sleeping the right amount are non-negotiable. These are things that I will no longer let slide, doing these things ensure that I don’t turn into a complete zombie. I started learning these lessons this summer (I had a hard time returning to normal after camping for so many days), although it took these same lessons kicking me in the butt this holiday season to become clear. That may be my greatest Christmas gift this year, a better understanding of me.

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