Lately I’ve had some good diversions and opportunities come up (I’m talking about socializing, booze and cookies, mostly) and I’ve been enjoying myself. I have some really fun friends and lots of dancing and yoga to do and there are just lots of buttery, sugary cookies to be eaten. However, my morning meditation practice is slipping because I’m staying out late at night. I’m not seeing many people in my yoga classes partly because I’m not all that on top of the emailing and marketing that I could be doing and my thoughts are all over the place. When it’s all coming at me at a fast pace, I’m delightfully distracted and it feels kinda good, but then the slow down begins, the sugar high starts it’s downward course and there is a lull in my social calendar. I have to work hard to amp it up again. I really don’t want the state of distraction to end. I crank the loud music while I’m cooking, I obsessively check my phone for email, texts, facebook notifications, etc., and when all else fails, I might just walk over to my mom’s house and eat a few more sugar cookies in the shape of Christmas trees.
While all this distraction is going on, I’ve noticed some body-wisdom at work. I have been wanting very solid and grounded poses in my yoga practice. I have been working with Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana I, II, and III, Ardha chandrasana with one foot pressing into a wall and it feels so good. Working at the wall, I draw my attention to my center and from there comes the power to ground through my legs and feet. There is stability and satisfaction when an “active leg” gets to press, ground and root into the wall and floor. It feels so strong. With the lower body grounded, the upper body has support to move, reach out and extend. Sometimes it just feels good to have something to push against.
I think that the delightful distractions that arise during the holidays can serve as something to press into. They can be the wall that offers the chance to flex our resistance muscles. We can stay balanced and centered by meeting the offers of distraction with some strength and wisdom of knowing what we need to stay balanced. We don’t always have to give in and to soften when met with even a generous offer. It’s like the friend with a really strong personality or the acquaintance with a really strong handshake. If you aren’t honest and don’t say what you want, she’ll probably get her way most of the time. You’ll always go to her movie, restaurant, outing and after a while it won’t be all that balanced and fun of a friendship because you will get overpowered. If you go to shake someone’s hand and just give them five limp fingers to work with, then the handshake just doesn’t satisfy and your arm gets whipped around. We have to meet the strong friend from a strong place and sometimes say what movie we want to see. With the hand-shaker, we muster some gusto and give a grip and a shake that meets the grip-shake being offered.
I guess I’m saying (reminding myself, really) that life presents all these opportunities and some of them might be there so that we can practice mustering the gusto to resist… to stay centered and to remember what good self-care is and what it is we want and need to do to stay balanced and healthy so that we can get the most out of our days in a bigger way. The immediate “satisfaction” of finding some sensory distraction and diversion can feel good for a little while, but not in a sustaining way. Sometimes we have to draw into our center, push out from that strong place and meet the pressures (even the seemingly delightful ones) by pushing back. We know what is good for us. There’s plenty of room for fun and connection with people and good food during the holidays and throughout the year. It is so good when we can stay centered while enjoying these blessings. Making choices that are good for us can strengthen the connection to our center and to ourselves.
Happy Holidays, Everyone. Peace and love and all that good stuff,