This week I’ve had a case of “I’m going to do it all-acitis“:
- Unpack and set up my entire apartment exactly as I want it? Sure, that sounds reasonable!
- Get all my homework done? Even though I said I wasn’t gonna, I sure tried…
- Watch one more episode of my favorite TV show? Absolutely, couldn’t miss it!
- Take on an important extra project at work? How could I possibly say no?
- Invite friends over to hang out at my new apartment? Yes, most definitely!
- Write a new blog post? I’ve got about 10 drafts in the works, how can I not finish one of them?
- Connect with my new teacher training classmates/friends? 100% yes, I’m in!
- Practice yoga? Obviously I’m going to do that…
- Spend time bonding with my newly adopted kitty? She’s to sweet to ignore!
By default, I want to do it all. I mean these are all things I legitimately want to do! It’s not like I’m talking about having to clean the bathroom, pay bills, or do other tasks I would rather avoid … I’m talking about the good stuff here, and more of the good stuff must be better … right?
(I think we both know where this is headed.)
More is not always better.
Here’s the harsh reality I remembered this week: There are only so many hours available each day. And there are only so many days in each week. And my body requires that I reserve a certain amount of time for eating, sleeping, and other basic self-care rituals. And I have to work to pay the bills and put food on the table. And when you try to do it all, you inevitably have to make sacrifices.
The sacrifices will probably start small and, if you’re anything like me, it will be easy to mentally justify why those sacrifices are no big deal.
30 minutes late to bed, that’s okay, I’ll just sleep in a little later than usual and rush through my morning routine. No food in the house because I opted to spend the evening with friends instead of grocery shopping, that’s okay, I’ll just swing by the Co Op at lunchtime tomorrow. And so on and so forth.
Then – bam – before you know it, you find yourself stuck squarely in the middle of “the busy trap” and you realize that by trying to do it all, you will ultimately fail at what matters most: caring for yourself.
Now, the teachings of yoga. [Atha yoga anushasanam]
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.1 is so brief and simple that you could blink and completely miss it. Now, the teachings of yoga – the beginning of instruction – the showing up. But it seems to me that Atha (Now) encompasses so much more than its simplicity implies:
- Atha is a proclamation. I am proclaiming that I will study Yoga Now.
- Atha is a level of readiness. I am ready to come into the present moment and see things as they really are.
- Atha is a statement of faith. I believe in this process Now.
- Atha is a commitment. I am prioritizing the study of Yoga as important to me right Now.
For me right now is that time; I feel ready and excited to begin this journey … so why did I find myself mid-week talking about teacher training as if it were a chore? As if it were something I was being forced to do? As if I were “too busy” to follow through with this commitment to myself?
It’s all about priorities.
Given that we cannot do it all, we have to rank the things we value and make difficult choices about how we will spend our limited time, energy, and resources. So, with that in mind, I am joining “Disappointment Avoiders Anonymous” (really, I am so sorry if I have to practice on you…) and publicly reconfirming my commitment to myself, the teacher training adventure, and the study of Yoga Right Now. Here we go (again)!