It has been a week since I did any yoga. My commitment to my practices: yoga, meditation, healthy food, community, writing... have all wavered, languished, and lapsed. They've been inconsistent for months and now, in the stressful time before a big event at work, I notice their absence. Because I know that they restore me? Because I don' have, or at least I don't feel like I have, the energy to act on them even though they do me good in return? Because I'm uncomfortable these days which sets me to reevaluating my choices and my time?
|chipped toe polish, jeans, not on a yoga mat|
Am I starting from the wrong place? I wonder. Maybe I've been trying to make myself into someone else rather than cultivate the life that I have. It's a subtle change of perspective that shifts my attention in a significant way. These practices are not about some future tense imaginary me that I'll turn into - or won't. Rather these practices are about embodying today in meaningful ways, living now, with this family, these coworkers, friends, and acquaintances, being attentive, responsive and true. Having something, myself, to share, and with which to receive and to play.
"The path itself shows you the way," Maezen said in her comment. I'm learning to look at my life not as starting here, toward someplace else, but living here.
There remains for me the challenge of community. I just read Jana Riess' Flunking Sainthood and she highlights that these practices she took on weren't meant to be done alone but in community. I think that extends to so much more than the 12 practices that she endeavored. Even my tiny life, my simple habits, call for the instruction, encouragement, and accountability of a community. But I'm a hermit crab, flinching quickly and withdrawing into my shell. Even with my husband and son, I retreat back to the bedroom, apart and alone.
Who is my community? How do I connect and engage with them? How do we interact for each other's benefit. I quickly list: my husband and son, my coworkers, my pagan friends, this new church (?), a few friends I rarely see (?), e pals from the past (?).
So for the rest of the month I'm taking on two practices.
Solitary: daily yoga.
Community: reaching out to someone at least once a week.