There are so many things I feel obligated to do (or not do) based solely on my personality. For example- I feel this compelling need to sign up for things, and then when the time comes to do them my introvertedness (yes, Spellcheck, that is a word) occasionally takes over and I bail. Not only do I bail but I feel a huge amount of incredibly heavy guilt over the whole thing, shame for my decision to pass on whatever was going on, and a private resolution to do better next time accompanying some kind of personal challenge (over which I mentally obsess). The process leaves me feeling like crap.
Today my husband and I were discussing this when I had an ah-ha moment.
There is something I have an opportunity to do, always sorta thought I wanted to do, I am fully capable of doing, and signed up to do- but when push comes to shove- I have not been doing.
I do not really want to do this thing at all.
I want to quit.
NO QUITTING ALLOWED, MISSY! (This is my personality talking... usually followed by A, B, C invented reasons for why quitting is not allowed.)
For SO LONG I did not quit. I prolonged, dragged, pushed, made excuses... but not quit.
I made a decision.
I will no longer be held captive by my personality.
I will not stay uncomfortable just because I am used to the feeling.
It was quite freeing, last week, to write my resolution to do yoga. Writing it out and sharing it with the world was so against my nature- but doing it felt great.
Quitting this thing felt great.
I wish I had known I could do this! How many awful books have I MADE myself finish? How many hours of sleep have I missed because I MADE myself clean, or study, or socialize? How many times have I basically punished myself for ridiculous (and self-invented) reasons?
I am stepping outside of the box I created for myself, and it is a good thing. The box was imaginary, and was holding me back from some pretty awesome experiences. (For others, it may be the opposite problem. It may be a challenge to stay in, or get motivated, or finish projects, etc.) For me, breaking out of this imaginary personality box means I am being kinder to myself. I am allowing me to verbally express my thoughts more openly, and acknowledging my personal boundaries and limits (realizing those change from time to time, season to season, and that is okay).
Don't get me wrong. This box allowed me to do some pretty awesome things. I have read Heart of Darkness and Moby Dick, and I have a really great GPA from my University. My life-goal of memorizing all of Shakespere's sonnets is going well, and I can recite many without any difficulty. My house is pretty much always clean, and my kids are at-or-above grade-level in their homeschool lessons. There are times when my particular personality comes in handy, and that is neat. (Especially if anyone nearby needs soup, babysitting, or help of any kind. I just jump in without thinking twice!) However- there are times when I need to "lighten up" too (And mostly, any lightening needs to be in the load I place upon my own shoulders.) and I need to work on that.
This week, I actually told a friend I would not be calling her because I was "feeling a bit too introverted" that day- but I told her I would catch up with her soon. Was she angry? Did she freak out and hate me? No! Actually, she admitted she had days like that too! It was wonderful for me to be able to be honest with my friend, and I am sure she appreciated my honesty too.
I credit a large part of this discovery to the yoga I have been doing each day. Yes- even though my writing is a bit late- my resolution is still intact. Yoga every single day. DONE. This week I actually managed more time than last! I averaged 51 minutes per day. Not too shabby- especially considering I have been feeling under the weather.
This has been almost 20 days now I have done daily yoga sessions. While muscle memory is allowing me to slip into positions that once took years to reach, my practice is (and always will be) a work in progress. Reaching this point so quickly caused a minor dilemma: do I dip my toe into more advanced poses, or should I stay where I am? A great thing about yoga: you push yourself without realizing you are pushing, if only because it feels pretty awesome to do so.
It is not going to kill me to take my inversions away from the wall, and it is not going to kill me to step outside of my personality.
This week's highlights:
Pose: Butterfly Pose Baddha konasana. This pose just called to me- especially on the days I felt the ickiest. I allowed myself extra time here, and it felt wonderful. It was only later I thought to look it up and check out all of the physical benefits. Excellent stuff for when you are feeling yucky.
Video of the week: This is a hard one! I did three videos this week, and I have to say I loved them all! I followed the winner of last week again, and I also did this practice and really enjoyed that too! However, if I had to pick a super favorite it would be this short practice for headache relief. I had a headache and it was gone after this little session- so I highly recommend it! Give it a try if your head is aching!
Best sequence/additions: This Yin practice was really awesome, and hit the spot for what I needed this week. Yin Yoga has never been my favorite... ever... but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was extremely enjoyable.
Physical benefits: I started feeling under the weather earlier this week- but the severity and duration have not been bad at all! My inversions are going much better- Kurt has been working with me on unsupported headstands. Love! -4 lbs.
This week's soundtrack song: U2 In a Little While