Working Backwards: Cleaning up to make room for Calm.

If I did All The Things that I imagine I am "supposed" to in order to be whole-being calm and focused...

meditate. practice asana. devote time to my altar. sleep enough and well. cook wholesome meals. spend time in connection with others. spend time in nature. read. write. walk. etc......

It can begin to feel counter to the feelings we desire to cultivate: calm. grounded. centered. focused. healthy. whole.

Flash to now: I am sitting outside in the sun, coffee and a book by my side, my pup wandering the edge of where the grass meets the piney forest. There's a fleeting moment of contentment -- fluttering sun comes through the leaves, warming my face in the cool morning, and my sweet pup roots her nose into something particularly fragrant in the long grass.

My To Do List crashes into the moment of calm. Frustration rises from my belly - why can't I just enjoy this moment without getting hung up on all the STUFF? Especially when some of it -- my yoga asana practice, for example -- are supposed to be in service of my calm, wellbeing, and focus.

I've been sharing in class this week about the ebb and flow between HumanBeing and HumanDoing. 

I think the difference between the two is pretty self-explanatory, no?

The thing is -- HumanDoing can start to feel like a cyclical trap. We seek to find that state of HumanBeing, so we add things to our days to get there. We rush to get to yoga. We schedule in MORE meditation. We stack the spiritual/self-development books higher on the shelves, adding to the collection of half-read books that arrived with the best of intention. We fill the refrigerator with beautiful food.

We intend it. To make space, to get centered, to find calm.

But just like making room in our homes to bring in something new, we need to tidy up our daily habits first if we desire to welcome in calm, grounding, and focus.  

For anyone who has a basement/attic with boxes of stuff you just haven't been able to get rid of... The struggle is real.

start by simplifying.

What is the most important thing to you right now?

A greater sense of overall calm in your heart and nervous system? More restful sleep? Clearer focus when you set your mind to something? Soothing chronic back pain so you can be more present? 

Start there.

Resisting the urge to try start ALL the shifts at the SAME time, and establish your intention first.

Then work backwards.

For those of us with immensely full lives, the process of developing greater awareness and presence begins with identifying the elements of our present state-- and deciding what is no longer aligned.

Checking email/Facebook right before bed. Drinking 6 cups of coffee over the day. Leaving our meditation practice to be perpetually started... tomorrow. 

Then choosing one. Just one. And letting it go. 

Rather than becoming attached to what a calm, focused, embodied lifestyle looks like, we begin by making space to see what naturally evolves. 

Because the wisdom doesn't always come in the forms we think it should. And that surprise can be the richest material we never knew to wish for.

//

JOIN ME:: The Embodied Living Series begins in October.

Eight sessions over 5 months. 1:1 focus and group deep-dives. Connection. Intention. Transformation and Empowerment. This is the tool to take your practice, your wellbeing, and your focus deeper, wider, higher, and to new places.

More details are here.