I think we've all been there - we're getting ready to go on vacation or have some other big deadline and we have to amp up our energy to get it all done. Suddenly, we're very aware of time and money and schedules and we're trying to figure out how to multi-task as many things as possible. And early last week was that time for me. I had a trip for a wedding sneak up on me and a million things to do before I could get away, but I needed to do them all.... and now! I ate on the run, drove with my mind on all the tasks, and suddenly everything felt a lot more wild and distinctly less sacred.
So on Tuesday afternoon, even though my mind was listing all the things I could also be doing in that time, I took a break and went to yoga. It was a very slow, meditative yin-type practice and I dropped deeply into a still, quiet place and it was lovely. And the moment class was over, I was back to rushing again. "You're ruining all the the good work you just did," judged a little voice in my mind. But what could I do? I needed to move. And on Wednesday, I again chose to fit time for meditation and yoga into my schedule as I rushed around, and again, I found a fair amount of ease transitioning between a quieter, more restorative mindset and a more amped up one. I also noticed that even when I was thinking about a million things that needed to be done and how best to do them, some part of my awareness was noticing things like a leaf, slowly drifting to the ground - little moments in nature that capture our attention and quiet our minds and remind us that there's something more.
And I realized - this is the practice: the ability to build a balance and resilience that equally prioritizes our action and our rest and allows us to know what we need and to give it to ourselves at any given moment, even if that means switching back and forth quickly. If I had stayed in that relaxing mindset, very little prep would have gotten done for my trip. I needed adrenaline and less sleep and a very active mind... and I needed to balance all that with bliss and quiet and a deep sense of peace and restoration to take care of my body. After all, our bodies are meant to survive, not thrive, in that wild place. And so we learn to discern what serves us best in any given moment and what energy we need to bring to a time, place, task, people, etc. Do we need to multitask and problem solve and just plain get sh*t done? Or do we need to pause and restore? And the ability to discern what best serves us at any given time is something only we can listen into and only we can give ourselves. It doesn't have to look like how anyone else would handle it. It doesn't have to look like how anyone else would relax. It doesn't have to be for the same amount of time as others. It just has to work for us because it's our wild, sacred journey.
And then, when you finally do get to vacation... then comes the process of unwinding into an even deeper relaxation... or maybe a celebration! Wild and sacred...