I try to be a good mother.
I try to be a good wife and daughter and friend and relative.
I try to be a good person.
I try to be a good student and employee and coworker.
I try to write well.
I try to entertain and delight.
I try eat well.
I try to practice yoga. Every day.
I try to exercise.
I try to breathe and meditate and be spiritual.
I try to look presentable.
I try to be compassionate.
I try not to eat or wear animal products.
I try to keep a clean house.
I try not to lie, get mad, eat too much sugar, skip meals, spend too much money.
I try to manage anxious thoughts, stave off panic and ride waves of depression without slipping back into the deep.
I try to keep my plants alive and my pets fed.
I try to support and help others.
I try to be green and heal the planet.
I try to keep my family happy and healthy.
I try to set a good example for my kids.
This holiday I stopped trying.
I took a holiday from parenting and everything else at my parents’ cottage. I ate a lot, slept a lot, relaxed, gained weight. I let my kids eat cookies for breakfast, spend the day in their pajamas and watch Star Wars.
We played a lot of Sorry! (the Rascal’s our Sorry! champ!)….
We made a (sorry) snowman….
I slid down a hill on this Spider-man sled over and over again and laughed….
We went snowshoeing….
We danced and did our thing….
And I bought a sparkly pompom hat and scarf, fell in love with Ryan Gosling, baked cookies with the Rascal, read books, coloured and went for fairy walks with the Monkey, played tons of soccer, gazed at the stars, the moon and the nearly-frozen lake….
I’ve quoted this a bunch of times here in this blog and I’ll quote it again. My wonderful former yoga teacher, Monica Voss, said this about an asana (yoga pose) during one of our classes a few years ago: Sometimes we have to collapse the structure so we can gradually rebuild. I’ve never forgotten it.
And I’ve done it again.
I’ve collapsed the structure — The Structure of Trying — in which, like a guinea pig, I try and I try and I try to attain goal after goal and I’m just running and running and time is passing, wheel is spinning, and I’m getting nowhere. And I’m still heavier than I’d like to be, getting heavier. And still anxious. And perpetually tired. Endlessly busy, and buying, and sitting, and doing, and pushing, and giving, and hungry, and full, and struggling.
I’ve collapsed the structure. And I’m very gradually building a new foundation — starting with me.
I’ve found a really gentle guide on holistic nutritionist Meghan Telpner’s website called 21 Days to Health. It’s an ebook that involves making small daily changes to your life, like drinking lemon water in the morning (Day 1), flossing every time you brush (Day 2), going to bed 15 minutes earlier (Day 3), and so on. I do a lot of these things already (like flossing!), but I’ve been feeling such a sense of accomplishment, simply because I’ve managed to drink lemon water every morning for the past 5 days — never mind the fact that I haven’t been inside a Starbucks in five days either!(!!)
That easy, daily sense of accomplishment is golden for someone like me.
At the same time, I’ve been energized enough to make all my own meals, feed my family well, eat greens, take a lunch to work, eat lunch, avoid sugar, drink more water, and stay away from Starbucks!(!!)
And, so, for my yogi readers: I haven’t been to yoga. I’ve gone from my daily, trying Ashtanga practice to effectively ZIP. But I feel good. I’ve been taking my practice into my own hands, laying down the necessary foundation of a good diet (and general self-care), on which to gradually build a proper yoga practice — and everything else. The yoga just wasn’t working: I was gaining weight, not sleeping, feeling anxious. But then again it was working. It’s now forcing me to make space for yoga in my life (as my current yoga teacher might say) by cleaning up my diet (but, as you know, he would definitely not condone not practicing to make the space…!). And cleaning up my diet, for me, has meant limiting strenuous exercise. At least for now. I will be in class tomorrow, though, and probably a few times next week. Eventually, I’ll build my practice up to where it was, but I’ll be stronger and healthier and lean enough to progress in it and, finally, to be assisted in twists without shame, crying (or laughing!). It’s worth a try.
So it seems 2012 is starting quietly, calmly, privately (hence the lack of blog posts…), pensively, lightly, (somewhat) effortlessly, deliciously, healthfully, joyfully.
I brought a delicious casserole I made and an orange to work today….
Happy New Year, Gorgeouses…!