Lay Down Your Head
As I head into the home stretch of the Summer of Yes (I plan on ending it officially with a Labor Day celebration), my mind has already started to wander toward what’s next. For now, crisp, bright autumn has affectionately been dubbed the Fall of Responsibility (much less exciting for a hashtag , but everything has its season!).
I have big plans for the fall. Grown-up feeling plans. Plans for stability, independence, freedom and commitment, all at the same time. Entrepreneurial plans. Lovable furry animal plans. Career-rocketing plans. Life-changing plans.
Suffice it to say, right now this grand map for the next few months leaves me exhausted and overwhelmed just thinking about it. I have so many big picture ideas running through my head, I am not sure where or how or when to take even the first step. I have no doubt it is the first step that will be the most difficult. A body in motion stays in motion.
But sometimes a body needs to rest. And it’s reason number 7,463,592 that I love the yoga. When I commit my body to 60 minutes to take class, it’s an invitation to commit my mind for 60 minutes as well. To meditate, thinking less and breathing more. To let the kinks in my ideas, my plans, my way of being start to smooth themselves out.
There is a sequence inside the hot yoga room called spine strengthening. A series of exercises done on your belly, in between you get a moment or two of rest. Toes touch, heels fall open. Arms by sides, palms face up. One ear to the mat, eyes open. And I am allowed to be still. I am asked to be still. I have permission to do nothing for one glorious breath. And that breath is the sweetest sigh of relief, the biggest gift I could receive. The permission to do less that I have such difficulty granting myself, as many of us do, is vital, imperative. That moment isn’t really about calming my heart rate down or finding a slower breath. It’s about letting my whole being relax for one suspended instant in time. It’s about training my mind to learn how NOT to ask “what’s next?” but instead to feel “this is now.”
The next moment is always there to work harder, run faster, toil longer. But the now that is resting easy, holding yourself in a place of compassion and love, may just be the most valuable moment of all.
*photo credit apaperaeroplane.tumblr.com