Am I the only one that marvels at people that run in rain, sleet, snow, heat–or really marvel that people run at all? While I have absolutely no desire to run anywhere, as I have a strict policy of only running when being chased, I have always wanted what they have–a drive to do something rain or shine–a NEED to do something no matter what. But it dawned on me recently that their running is likely more than exercise for them, but rather a way to unwind, ramp up, reconnect, and/or release. And when thought of that way, I have that too, I just channel it in a way that does not get me soaking wet or require me to wear reflective clothing (I’m a “summer”, so I don’t wear yellow well). It’s what I call my “practice”.
It should come as no surprise to you that I thrive on routine and structure and schedules. These are just a few of the things that help me keep the family ship from capsizing on a regular basis. And my morning routines are those that help ME refocus and bring me back to center each day and have become a habit–a need.
Each morning I get up anywhere between 4:30 and 6:00 AM and stumble into my office. After a quick check of my email and FB for any “breaking” overnight news, I try to get in at least an hours worth of work by 7:00. Then I pad into the kitchen, which is my helm in the morning as I serve as short order cook for breakfast, make two snacks, two lunches and juice some random menagerie of vegetables for Sam to stomach later in the day. I do this while shouting, about four hundred times, “stay focused, you will walk if you miss that bus!”
Then once the boys are situated, I head for the shower. For me the shower is so much more than a place to get clean. It’s where I do my best work, so I stay in there as long as I can. My clients joke about sending me into the shower to figure out a solution to their problem at hand. Please…no visuals!
By the time I’m out of the shower, the house is quiet. I get dressed, and make my breakfast. This varies throughout the year, but whatever the “thing” is at the time, it’s the same every. single. day. Then I sit down with a cup of tea and my breakfast and I read The Skimm, which is a great news “digest” of the day written by what appear to be very witty females and is the only way I take my news. After that, I hit my mat.
I am very fortunate that my path has crossed that of Susan Westbook’s–the author of The Five Tibetans Yoga Workshop. Not only is he book exceptional, she is a dear friend! This book is one of my favorites and through a 12 week program guides you through the understanding of the five grasping and healing behaviors (that we all encounter and struggle with) while teaching you the 5 Tibetans–yoga poses that are thought to be the “fountain of youth”. For me this is recentering “gold”. I can center my mind, and tone and stretch my body, all within 15-25 minutes without leaving the comfort of my bedroom floor. And it allows me to wear yoga pants every day without an ounce of guilt!
For me, my “practice” includes a hot shower, quiet breakfast, and the 5 Tibetans, and for others it is running in the rain. It really doesn’t matter what the practice is, it’s more about finding a routine that helps you refocus your energy on you to help you refresh and re energize so that you can keep your head above water. That is the key!
So the challenge to you is. Look at your schedule. Where can you carve out 20-30 minutes consistently every day to focus on you–and sitting in the parent pick up line does not count! Once the time is identified, put it on your schedule–write it down, make it happen. Then start experimenting with different activities to fill that time that help you refocus and center. The what isn’t as important as the who–you!
And remember. If you ever see me running, look behind me, someone is after me with a knife!