|Do as much as possible||Do as much as possible||Do as much as possible||Do as much as possible||Do as much as possible||Do as much as possible||Do as much as possible|
Why do I fill days with so many “to do” lists, you ask? Good question, and I don’t have a clear answer for you. For so long, I used to take great pride in how much I could accomplish in one week, or even in one day, for that matter. When I lived with my ex-boyfriend, I use to bounce around our house on Sunday afternoons claiming to be “Superwoman.” Between loads of laundry, completion of college school work, making dinner, carving out time to walk his dog and of course squeezing in an evening run, I barely took a moment to breathe. Still with all those tasks accomplished, I was somehow able to find a quick moment to read a book or watch my favorite TV show before bed. However, this was only a glimpse into what my typical Sunday looked like. Prior to Sunday, Friday and Saturday nights were spent bartending so I was able to pay my way through college. And prior to Friday and Saturday, I spent the workweek student-teaching full time. Hell, maybe I was Superwoman because I sure did accomplish a lot in any given week. However, in between prideful moments of conquering the world and checking off the BIGGEST “To Do” list, there were also moments of pure exhaustion, tears caused from stress and pressure, weight loss caused from anxiety, and sleepless nights and arguments with my boyfriend that only fueled the unhappiness I was manifesting.
As I continued to work on perfecting this pattern of “doing it all” I had a coworker once ask me, “Have you ever heard of giving one thing 100% instead of 100 things only 1%?” I quickly realized that my “do it all” attitude was unrealistic and more importantly, an unhealthy way to go about my life because often it was coming from a place of not good enough rather than a place of self love. So began the journey of learning how to say “No” and to no longer “biting off more than I could chew.” As my bartending days were nearing an end with the quick approach of graduation day, my perspective began to shift. The art of multitasking did not make sense anymore. I decided to take up yoga, and thus began a passionate love affair with a small family-owned yoga studio, Cambio Yoga. I started taking more baths. I became more intentional with my morning runs.
I prioritized me time.
Through all of these practices, I began to realize that every moment is magical and beautiful and a precious gift not to be taken for granted. In order to achieve an attitude of gratitude, one must first learn to be present in each moment. I once read a story about a young American man traveling through the Himalayas. In this story, he embarks on an arduous journey seeking the secret of a long life, happiness, and peace from a enlightened Guru. Once in the Himalayas, he travels five days through the mountains overcoming obstacles in the face of adversity. Finally, he reaches a high mountain pass where a great old man dressed in a white long robe with beautiful flowing gray hair resides. This man sits in lotus position, quiet and still. The young American man sits down next to this Guru in a similar pose waiting for brilliant words of wisdom. An hour goes by. Several more hours pass. Finally, a whole day passes, then another day, and then several days pass. Finally, the young man says to the old man, “What happens next?” The Guru answers, “Nothing happens next. This is it.” The End.
Like the enlightened Guru from the story said, this is all we have, this exact perfect moment. In fact, you are spending your current moments reading my blog (and for that I am grateful:). These are seconds you cannot get back. As well, you are not guaranteed the minutes or hours to follow. So how can you be fully present and completely invested in each and every moment? Santosha, or contentment, is the practice of finding contentment or happiness regardless of the external circumstances. It is the practice of remembering that what you have now is precious and impermanent. So, to find contentment despite the busy schedule I inflict upon myself, I am making an intentional choice to simplify my life. To just be. To acknowledge that sometimes I cannot do it all despite putting forth my best effort, and that’s okay. Yes, I will find contentment in accepting this truth. “When all your desires are distilled You will cast two votes To love more and to be happy.” -Hafiz
So, these days I am working on a schedule looking more like this…
|You are enough; You do enough; You have enough||You are enough; You do enough; You have enough||You are enough; You do enough; You have enough||You are enough; You do enough; You have enough||You are enough; You do enough; You have enough||You are enough; You do enough; You have enough||You are enough; You do enough; You have enough|
Just yesterday, during a “movie day” in school, I was watching Superhumans with my students. While watching this interesting account of a man, Stan Lee, who travels the world looking for humans who have incredible and superhuman powers, I realized that he wouldn’t be knocking on my door anytime soon. In fact, he would be extremely unimpressed knowing that the only “superhuman” thing I was doing was typing this blog, lesson planning, chewing bubblegum, and drinking my Yerba Mate tea. Yup, not exactly my proudest moment of multitasking. No superhuman here; just boring, ordinary perfectly complete me 🙂 I look forward to hanging up my cape and being a more simple version of myself because even though I am absolutely capable of doing it all, I instead choose to slow down. I choose to put down my phone more often, say “No” more frequently, and be fully present in the moment. I will spend more time savoring each moment like a decadent piece of fine dark chocolate. So, from one Superwoman (or man) to another, know this: You don’t have to be. You already are extraordinarily heroic and amazing, so today practice just being you.