Do It Anyway
It's not even 7 a.m. and I've been up for three hours.I am not a morning person. At all. But today is one of those mornings when my body has succumbed to the chaos of my mind.
I'm not the only one out of sorts; the dogs were up a few minutes after 4, whether in response to my restlessness, the full moon, or the call of their own bladders, I don't know. It didn't matter because I had already woken up worried. I don't know why this happens sometimes. I'll be safely ensconced in layers of blankets, fast asleep - one of my favorite things - and then my mind will just drift to the surface into a torrent of fears and insecurities. I worry about everything - the state of the country, my health, my family. I weep that everyone and everything has to end sometime. I fret about work and paying bills and saving for retirement. I wonder if the animals are healthy and make plans to work on the dogs' behavior training with more diligence. I imagine all the projects I want to complete in the house. I judge my life-choices. I envision what the garden will look like this summer and design dozens of hen houses for the chickens we'd like to have. I wonder where the money will come from for all these projects and plans and I circle back around to where I began and start on a whole new string of worries.
I want nothing more than to slip back into the comforting darkness of sleep, but usually by now my body has started to hurt and I'm tossing and turning. So, today, as I sometimes do, I just get up. The dogs and I answered nature's call and then I tried to lie back down but another hour of fretting went by and sleep was only teasing me. I took the dogs out again and fed them, took my first meds of the day and changed into yoga clothes.
I love yoga. I'm working on a whole tribute post to it, but today I clung to it like a drowning woman, part of me wanting to be saved and part of me wanting it to be over. I hurt. I didn't want to do it. My ribs and chest were sore from anxiety, my feet and ankles were tight and achy, knees, hips and back creaked and cracked, and my butt was still sore from the high intensity interval training I tried the other day. (Seriously, people do this on a regular basis?!) I didn't want to be awake. I didn't want to move. I wanted to cry. I did cry. Then I put on my stretchy pants, wrestled into a sports bra and long-sleeve shirt and rolled out my mat.
Yoga and meditation are the two things that can quiet my mind and restore me to sanity, but some days that takes more effort than others. Today I cried while doing Tree pose because I couldn't stop wobbling and find my balance. I couldn't find any flow (that smooth movement from one pose to another). My breath stuck in my throat and my mind judged my awkwardness and inadequacy on and off the mat. I struggled. The dogs were more restless than usual so I had to keep stopping to remove paws from my hair,wipe slobber from my mat and hiss No Kitties! when the boy wanted someone to play with.. Today it took more than an hour and three different videos on YouTube to sync my breath and my movement, and reign in my wildly careening thoughts.
I'm still tired and a little sore, but my mind is less chaotic. There will be napping later today. The dogs have fallen back to sleep and the cats are thundering around on the second floor. I'm drinking an extra large mug of tea and listening to my Johnny Flynn "station" on Pandora. I'm grateful for Yoga with Adriene online, this stranger in Texas that I invite into my living room almost daily who helps me ground and quiet the crazy. I'm grateful for my sweet furbabies who make yoga extra fun and challenging. I'm grateful for the anticipation of a coffee date with a dear friend this morning. I'm grateful for the subtle whir of a CPAP machine in the other room that tells me my husband is resting soundly, not disturbed by my restlessness. And I'm grateful for a book I read almost 20 years ago called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway which taught me lessons I still rely on to help me live life on life's terms.
When faced with something that you know you need but are dreading or don't feel entitled to or are afraid of, do it anyway. Do the yoga, try the meditation, take the nap, confront the fears, call the therapist, go to the doctor, take the walk, quit the job, ask for the raise, paint the picture, plant the garden, fake it till you make it. Do it gently, without judging yourself, and do it anyway.