What do we tend to do in times of uncertainty?
This the question I've been asking myself this week. How do I show up when things get challenging? Hard? Uneasy? Difficult? What do I tend to fall back on/what habits do I have in place for moments like these? If I'm honest, the first two that came up for me were eating junk food and drinking alcohol.
I know I'm probably not alone in that.
Coping mechanisms (I prefer the word defaults) are the things we do automatically to help us deal with whatever is in front of us. Drink. Eat. Online Shop. All things we habitually do without much thought because the idea of dealing with the pain/struggle/uncertainty is too much for us to handle. Or so our brain tells us. And I love the word default because it reminds me that it's not entirely my fault. If you've taken class with me, you've heard me say this before: The brain will automatically look for the quickest route to do something. It likes to be efficient. In most cases, this is in an asset. In other cases, it's a pain in the ass. Our job is to start to catch ourselves, to interrupt ourselves. In yoga, we have the opportunity to DISRUPT, to catch ourselves in default, and to choose to create new pathways. New choices. New decisions, from the space of RIGHT NOW. It's not always an easy choice. It IS the higher calling. It's why I struggle some days to get on my mat, because I know (or at least I think I do) what I'm going to be confronted with. Not being confronted feels easier.
I can tell you, from having practiced only 3 days last week (this coming from someone who practices daily), I saw and felt the difference in my attitude and my actions and my choices. I came out of this week "worse for the wear."
I am a better, more kind, more loving person when I practice yoga daily. I keep better perspective. I have a more level head. I'm less tossed and turned by the sea of emotions that is the news of the world right now. It's a ritual worth keeping, in my book. So too, is reading at night. I noticed last week, without the yoga, I was way more likely to be on my phone late, which meant I stayed up later, was wired, didn't sleep as well, and generally felt more, blah. Yes, all that from screen time. All this to say... there are rituals that we KNOW serve us, make us better people, help us in navigating tough times... and there are habitual rituals. The ones that just help us "get through" a moment. Here's the thing. Getting through a moment is not living. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not just "get through" any of this. I'd rather live and be fully alive despite it all. So, my encouragement to you this week is to find one habit you can create for the morning and one for the evening that you KNOW would do you well.. It could be as simple as taking 5 minutes to sip your coffee/tea/chai or meditating for 10 minutes. It could be taking a 10 minute walk out in nature. Find 2 things you can add in to help you stay a little more connected to yourself during these times. I'd love to hear what you are adding in to support yourself. Feel free to email me what you are changing and what difference it makes for you! Here for you and for it all, Amy