Someone asked me the other day if I was too busy to post on my blog lately. As her eyes sparkled and her lips curled kindly she said, “It’s been a while since I’ve seen an email from you. How are things?”
And so I told her the truth. Yes, I’ve been busy. My days have changed drastically and taking on full time hours back in an office writing all day quite frankly, made it difficult to come home and continue writing. And for a while there, I was beating myself up about it, feeling like I was letting myself down in some way. After all, I know what it’s like firsthand to let the things that light you up slide in favour of ‘other stuff’. Shifting priorities sometimes means that some things will have to go on the back burner for others. But I also reminded myself that those things can only go on the back burner for so long until we begin to lose sight of what really motivates us and we begin to feel kinda ‘blah’ about things.
As I reflected on what I was doing every evening instead of blogging, I realized it was a combination of social media surfing, shitty television and some more social media surfing. In an effort to relax, I was tuning out. And then it so blatantly and brutally hit me.
I needed to continue to practice what I preach. And so I made a conscious choice.
I know taking time in the morning to squeeze in some yoga and conscious breathing makes a big difference in my day. So I do it. At times it feels like a drag but my body thanks my every time I stretch my limbs and become present with the air circulating through my lungs. Living within walking distance of the office is a blessing but rather than push my timing to the very last minute, I leave a little early now. I detour my way to work, appreciating how the trees canopy the sidewalk as I wander and I take in the sometimes sticky summer air. And I take a moment every day to count my blessings – even little itty bitty things – those things that make me smile.
And I meditate. I sit still and take the time to let my thoughts pass gently through my mind. With no judgement, I simply observe what comes through and make myself aware of what rises to the surface. I know I can handle the crap that comes along in my days better when I can apply this non-judgement to my day-to-day. I know that when shit hits the fan, I’m more likely to smile in spite of it all when I’m training my mind to observe without reasoning what’s right and wrong, good or bad. I’ll still watch The Bachelorette on Monday nights (because c’mon we all need our guilty pleasures) but it won’t define every evening any more. (This is my vow to myself).
I remind myself that in a city like Toronto where summer days are long yet pass oh so quickly, it’s important to me that I connect with the earth everyday.
My sanity depends on taking the time to soak up the sun, take in all the city has to offer and wander barefoot in the grass. Rather than wait for my next vacation to recalibrate, I decided to create a vacation in my own backyard (so to speak) and made my way to the beach. Granted, I wasn’t at a fancy resort on the other side of the world but it sure as hell hit the spot.
Sand between my toes, I wander along the water’s edge.
As I look to the sky above, birds fly in the most natural formation.
Wind at my back, I feel the chill of the lake brush against my skin.
Suddenly I realize that all my worries and fears are much like sandcastles.
I build them myself, pile them miles high.
In some sense, I cling to them and allow them to define me. To limit me. To stifle my creativity and freedom. My freedom to breathe. To live. To thrive. To open my heart fully.
I can choose to protect these sandcastles – these fears and worries – from the waves that threaten to wash them away.
Instead I choose to allow them to wash away with the tide. One by one, I let them go. I breathe a sigh of relief and know that this is healing. Rising. No longer reaching for something, I allow it all to just be.