Maybe it’s me, but did Spring come and go? I cannot believe we are almost heading into June and my summer travel plans once far off in the distance, are only a few short weeks away. It seems cliche to say, “Wow, I’m busy!” Everyone says this apparently; it’s the Western minded person’s badge of honor. What does busy mean and since when has spiraling our schedules and jam-packing every pocket of our lives become a virtue? I have been trying for almost eight months now not to be busy. A few things happened at the end of last year which took my well-intended plans to take six weeks off over the holidays into a mad dash to raise funds, to help someone in need financially and emotionally. Now I am faced with fighting for my ‘free-time’ this summer. I had set a goal: one month off. Bali is less than a month away and now I am hoping after Teacher Training to have ten days– at best.
Admittedly, I did just return from a wonderful few weeks doing workshops in beautiful Miami (found time mid week for many jumps in the ocean) and Houston surrounded with love by friends and family (found time to take my niece and nephew to the Avengers). But still, a lot has been going on.
Enough to make me need to pause and ask: why live this way?
Catchy hooks from two very different musical artists, one living, one deceased, come to mind when I think about ‘being busy’. The first is John Mayer. Not a John Mayer fan but I can appreciate his musicianship, songwriting and guitar skills. He has a song called, “War of my Life”. The other artist, MCA (Adam Yauch) from the Beastie Boys had the party anthem of my high school years, “Fight For Your Right…to party”. Both songs ring true as I just peeled another birthday layer off my being. Like the Avengers saving Manhattan from impending doom, it is a fight for life’s unspoken luxury: time. Waging war on the calendar, preparing the battleground for leisure and moments of peace and quiet even in small doses is exhausting work but essential to our well-beings and for the development of our yoga practices.
When I was in my twenties, there was a U2 song which struck me a bit as a song written to me: “Running to Stand Still.” Just recalling it as I write is very humbling.
This is not something new. The pathology of busy-ness is a fully formed bad habit.
This is one heck of an off-the-mat moment. I hope I can tackle this in true superhero form, just hopefully more like a little green Yoda and less like the menacing green Hulk. I have set two goals for the remainder of this calendar year: 1) Block one weekend per month where I make ZERO plans: no friends, no evenings out. Simply blank. I can always add things in later, but I am committed to no workshops, teacher trainings, or intensives. Earlier this year, I was booked for every single weekend for over two years. I had to make some tough choices, to say no and to set boundaries on my time and obligations. 2) Commit to no less than three months off per year. This year, I am going to SE Asia for a month and then later to India for hopefully — fingers crossed — two months. Truth is, I may not be able to meet my goal this calendar year as I had initially aspired; however with goals set and operating with mindfulness, I am hopeful. At least, I am going to try.
Next year, as my daughter begins Kindergarten, my goal is to keep my summer clear just like when I was in school and summers were carefree and sweet: good times of swimming, running, playing, reading and napping.
Some things to consider:
What songs strike you as humble reminders of something about your life you need to address?
What time have you committed to relaxing and enjoying the world around you for the summer or the remainder of the year?
If you could take more time, how much would it be and how can you go about achieving your goal?
I wish you all an incredible summer rich with treasured memories and plenty of quality time spent in the way you most desire. Take some time, set some goals, and make them happen. Just know that when the happening ‘happens’, the satisfaction comes in the non-event, the nothingness in it all. Consider it your exhale from bad habits of daily life; then kick up your feet and enjoy!