It’s Monday night. I’m wrapped in a blanket on my couch, catching glimpses of the flickering flame of my teak wood candle, and drinking warm tea from a mug that once declared “seize the day.” The world inside me has felt like anything but complacent lately, while the world in which we’re all present has spun on just the same. My alarm wakes me up every morning. I make my coffee, halfheartedly choose what clothes I’m going to wear, and slowly (but always surely) slide out of my door to start the day. Minutes become hours and at least 14 more pass before I feel okay to drop my drowsy eyes to start it all again.
Maybe this sounds like you, too. This kind of mundane, hustle and bustle, cyclical series of events in our lives makes it really all too easy to forget. Forget the freedom in the air we breathe. Forget the warmth of the sun upon our backs. Forget the gentle breeze that provides us relief in the same way it surely guides ships to their harbor. Forget the complexities and delicacies and fragility of our beings.
Sometimes, the only way to put a wedge in this cycle, to wake up from the routines in which we lose ourselves and the tasks that we all too often attribute our worthiness, is to run face first into it all. And then kick it to the curb. And run it over with your steel toe combat boots. Or if we’re being really honest, just sob about it on the phone with your mom. But I’ve never done that.
We live in a world where stress is a token, a bartering chip often used to buy ourselves and others into the fact that we’re being productive citizens and thoughtful individuals. We push and we pull and we rely on caffeine to save our lives. Then we all wonder why we can’t sleep at night, why our blood pressure is so high, why we can’t take a deep breath, why our heads hurt, and why we do so much and still feel like our dreams are light years away. I’m so guilty of this. Just like the health experts say, not managing your stress will only lead you to a big fat brick wall.
Lately, that brick wall and I have tried to reason with each other. This morning, I rolled up my mat and stumbled to my first 7:30am yoga class with my best friend in tow. Maybe you remember this post, where I mentioned how yoga came into my life. It was the complete opposite of how Miley came into yours. There was no wrecking ball. It was quiet and it was slow. After a very long hiatus, it happened again today with very little difference. There was still no wrecking ball. It was still quiet. It was still slow. This morning I remembered what it felt like to breathe deeper. To walk slower. To think and do with more intention.
I always intended for this very public blog to be one of meaning and authenticity, but never one that detailed my deep struggles and nervous thoughts. I’m a positive person. I drink from the half-full cup. I hope that I provide others with support, love, and encouragement from the same raw place in my heart that dreams my biggest dreams. But all of this? This is real life. Feeling downtrodden, uncertain, and anxious about life is just how it is. And that’s the most real I could ever be with you all.
I know I’m not the only one. I know for every me, there’s millions of all of you who feel a small ounce of discontent. While I’m not perfect and don’t have many answers, I have the struggle. I have my own truth. I also have tea and yoga and burning candles and a mom that listens and best friends who make me laugh. For every hard, exhausting, seemingly meaningless and negative day, I have so many more days full of invigorating thought, inspiring ideas, wonderful moments with plenty of belly laughs and a cup that is just overflowing with all that is good in my world.
That is all to say, even on your darkest days/weeks/months, be good to yourself. Be nice to yourself. Say sorry and thank you to yourself. Stop trying to compete with your life.
Take an ounce of focus you give to other people, other projects, other deadlines, other expectations, and take it back. Plant it back into your soul and grow, my friends.