Start with Peace.
Anyone else have a July filled to the brim with activities and wonder how the heck it happened?
Our camping trip this weekend kicked off the merriment of July... and also the full schedules. It feels both wonderful and strangely surreal to be planning and traveling and hugging people after so long without it. I found myself packing this weekend and it feeling foreign, like I didn't remember what to do, what I needed. The logistics felt a bit overwhelming. Being on the farm, this time of year is always our busy season, and we spent the last three years not really traveling much in the summer. Now that we have moved into the city and most of our farming processes are automated, we have the chance to do more. In some ways, it's like we'd been living the pandemic life for three years, so it's no wonder a lot of this feels foreign. I've come to love being here summers, not traveling all the time, taking things at a slower pace... and this past year and a half solidified it more for me.
How is it, then, that now my July is filled and I'm feeling overwhelmed, when I know I've loved the slower pace and wanted to take that with me post pandemic?
I've spent the past few months sitting with this. Is it societal pressure? Living in a lake town? Wanting to make up for lost time? Wanting to fill my schedule so I don't have to sit? Honestly... it's probably some of both. What I see in all of this... is default. Habitual ways of doing things. Old habits that die hard. When I'm starting to feel deeply, my default pattern is to fill my schedule with things. I literally cram my day so I don't have time to think. When I'm feeling not good enough, my default pattern is to plan fun things so it looks like I'm not missing out. I tend to default to the pressure of what I see the world doing and what I think I should be doing. On the Blog today: Peace!
"The weekend came and I thought, "It will be so nice to get away." Get away from what, exactly? We sat in traffic jams on the way to our campsite. We fought over camping logistics. We watched our friends parent their young kids who are happily learning how to push boundaries. Life, even if removed from our normal patterns and routines, was still life. We don't magically go away and everything changes. In fact, everything comes with us, including our default patterns and ways of being.
It happened on the trip. Everyone was hanging out at the campsite enjoying themselves and I had this urge to get on my paddleboard on the water, by myself. My old defaults kicked in. "You shouldn't miss out on the fun here. You need to make up for lost time. What will people think?" As soon as I heard the voices, I knew my decision was made. So, I took my board to the water, hopped on board and paddled out into The Sound. Within minutes, a seal popped his head up about 5 feet from me. My first sign. I looked down and saw lovely jellyfish swimming and bouncing around. Sign. I looked up and saw the Bremerton ferry passing by. Sign. I turned around to head back and saw Mt. Rainier, glorious and majestic in the distance. I laughed out loud at the magic of this life, and the universe's way of reminding me, thanking me, for listening to my gut instincts and urges, for disrupting my habitual ways fo being. I walked back up to camp refreshed and rejuvenated to hang out with my friends in a more present way.
These moments remind me that peace is always with us. It's always available to us. It doesn't take getting away or finding a quiet space, though those things are nice. Peace is that still voice within that speaks." It's that still calm feeling within. We can get it from yoga and paddleboarding and walking outside and sitting on our porches and meditating... and those things are all ways to remind us that it's available to us at any time... as long as we remember we have access to it. We have access to that feeling of stillness within us. For me, the feeling of peace lives in my solar plexus, the space right below my ribs and right above my belly button. It feels like a deep well. Ask yourself, where does peace physically live in your body, and what could you do to access it? What if, instead of focusing on getting away, you instead, looked for how you could tune into your inner peace? Peace is the start to inner listening, which then allows us to see our defaults, and to choose where to go from there. Start with peace. See where it leads.
Looking to cultivate more peace for yourself this year? Join my for my upcoming course, Create Your Life. You'll learn to use the tools of yoga to become more present, more aware, more peaceful. When we are more present, aware, and peaceful, decisions come easier and we are more focused and clear. If you could use clarity and ease around your life and your decisions... the time is now. Join us. We start September 12th! Click here to learn more.