I'm trying my hardest to stay current with my Reverb posts, but I've slipped in the past couple of days. In the spirit of not making excuses for myself (see #10 below), I'll be honest and say that I'm finding it difficult to post on a daily basis because of the time and energy it requires. (While Reverb participants certainly don't have to answer every prompt, I wanted to challenge myself by trying.)
December 11 Prompt: Things
What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?
1. Clutter. I love clean, open spaces and clear surfaces, so clutter drives me crazy. This year,
I need to pare down the amount of unneeded, unwanted stuff that I have.
2. Distractions. TV and mindless internet surfing are two of my biggest. These things are fine in moderation, but I find that living with intention requires cutting down on "background noise" and listening to what's real.
3. Mindless consumerism. For reasons of the wallet and the soul, I'd like to spend more mindfully in 2011.
4. Feeling guilty about saying "no." To requests for favors, social obligations, and other demands on my time and energy. I struggle with being able to prioritize and assert my own needs, but I'm getting better at it. It's an ongoing process.
5. Comparisons. I tend to compare my own life to others' lives and feel jealous of those who "have it all, " even though I realize it's impossible to really know what someone else's life is like. In 2011, I'd like to replace comparison with compassion. Compassion for myself and for the challenges that others undoubtedly face, even if their lives seem perfect on the surface.
6. Self-doubt and negative thinking. Replacing them with self-confidence and positive thinking in 2011.
7. Obsessing over my to-do list. Being organized is good. Scheduling an unrealistic number of tasks in my planner and then beating myself up when I inevitably fail to get everything done? Not so much.
8. Wishing. "I wish my living room were decorated differently..." "I wish I had more time to paint and draw..." Usually the things I "wish" for are within my control, and I would be better served by calling myself to action.
9. Biting my tongue. When I find a joke or statement to be offensive and/or bigoted. When I want to stick up for a cause or issue I believe in. When I witness rudeness, unfairness, or general jerkiness. There's certainly virtue in keeping the peace, but I tend to veer too far in the opposite direction for fear of being judged, and then later wish I'd stuck up for myself and/or my viewpoint. (See #8.)
10. Excuses. My own and others'. In 2011, I'd like to stop making excuses and just be honest with myself about the issue at hand. And while I can't control whether others' make excuses, I can be more assertive about my expectations and then hold them accountable in an authentic, compassionate way.
11. Lack of follow-through. I tend to get big, exciting ideas and then quickly abandon them because, honestly? Details sort of bum me out. I have the capacity and intelligence to deal with the details...I just find them boring. My challenge is to realize that anything worth doing is going to require some amount of mundane grunt work, and to find the excitement in the less glamorous aspects of any given project.
December 12 Prompt: Body Integration
This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?
I can't point to a specific moment, but yoga has this effect on me. When I'm on the mat, I feel a profound integration of body, mind, and soul. I'm a firm believer in the power of yoga, and I think it's power lies in its ability to infuse our conscious thoughts with an awareness of our body and breath, a consciousness that, in time, begins to show up in other areas of our "off the mat" lives. To me, this is what it means to "live your yoga." To take that feeling of cohesion - of being fully alive and present - and to bring that same awareness to our everyday lives.