Deconstructing a Stumble Before it Becomes A Big Fall (In Praise of Knowing Yourself)
I didn’t work out for 4 days last week. I didn’t dance, stretch, strength, bike or otherwise move my body in ways I know she likes to move.
Oh, the usual. Stress, time, consumed with other things. Great things and wonky things. Things that did and did not go bump in the night.
In July, I committed to a challenge of moving 3 times a day, every day. For as much or as little as I wanted to. The point was just to make movement a regular part of each day. And although I was a little nervous to commit to it, I did great and felt great. So great, in fact, that I decided to up the ante in August. And wouldn’t you know, I upped it too much, too fast. I went from about 30 minutes minimum a day to 60 minutes. I told myself that it wasn’t actually a 100% increase because on many days I had actually chosen to do 40, 45, 60 minutes anyway. And I let the sparkle of the outcome I wanted blur my vision to what I know bone deep to be true. For me and many others, maybe even for you, too.
I, we, need to BUILD progress, not bulldoze it. When we’re balancing multiple goals and dreams and roles and states of being, sometimes slow and steady is the only way a thing can get a foothold for continued traction. Sometimes it’s way more mental than the quantifiables of time spent doing X or time left to do Y. The key to my July success was that it didn’t get overwhelming. Little mini chunks I could easily fit in made it so I wasn’t stuck at 10 p.m. staring down the barrel of a whole hour of something other than what I wanted to be doing. I wasn’t left carrying a whole hour of movement debt on my back as I woke the next morning. And so I didn’t slip back into that old limiting all-or-nothing mindset that’s gotten in my way in the past. You know the one… “If I can’t do the whole hour, why do any at all?” Which, as I type it now, I recognize as ABSURD. And yet…
I share this with you today as both a holding accountable regarding why my Growth Tracker hasn’t been posted in my Stories lately, but also as a reminder to TRUST the tortoise and watch out for the hare. In this culture of better, bigger (or smaller), faster, MORE, it’s a revolutionary act to slow down, get intentional and honest about what invites you into yourself and your desires, and to do that. Faithfully, sacredly, in devotion to YOU.
I used to scoff at routine, made it the scarecrow in my field of inspiration and wholehearted connection and expression. I wasn’t very kind to it, calling it names like predictable, boring, soulless and dull. Certain that though they worked well for many, they in no way worked for me or “my kind” (cue Michael Hutchence/INXS lyric in my ear.) And somewhere along the way of exploring my soul and peeling back all the layers and self-imposed limits, I came to see the absolute beauty in routine, the divinity of intention, and the ever-woven ways all our practices and habits, rituals and routines hold us up and close, cradled and ready to soar.
My vitamins not only supplement my physical health, but the consistent taking of them keeps me connected to that intricate yet simple web of self and self-care. Mantra, meditation, essential oils. Tracking my growth. Snapping pics and singing songs. Intuitive and presence practices. Dancing, moving, stretching, sweating. Reading, writing, hydrating. We each have our own unique blend of self-care practices and habits. Each element on its own may or may not be crucial to our care, but strip away even one and we weaken the weft, beginning to wear down the bond of the whole support system. And again, what works for me or her or whoever is doling out the latest missive of must-do moves may not work for you at all or in just the same way. This work requires an intimacy with oneself, a willingness and a wantingness to know yourself so that you can truly love and care for yourself as you make your sweet way in this wild, wonderful world.
And yes, of course I knew the value of slow and steady when I got hooked by faster and more furious. It’s one of the foundations of my work, after all! I totally knew that it wasn’t “wise” to make such a jump from one month to the next, at least not for me.
But I waaaaaannnnted to lol.
And even though I just kind of mocked myself, I don’t actually think that’s so bad. Sometimes we lose sight of what we know in the bright light of what we want. There’s beauty to me in that.
Rather than wag fingers at waves of wants, instead we can ride them while they carry us and then pick ourselves up when they’ve brought us where they do, sights reset on our horizon. We can decide then, as I did yesterday, to finally do 30 kind of half-assed movement minutes rather than 0 whole-assed ones. And that’s how we shift the tide ourselves.
I love working with people around discovering and creating their most positively thriving self-care practices. Message me if you’d like to explore some more!