My slowing down practice has been evolving for several years now, and it is mostly taking on a life of its own. i try to direct it sometimes, but usually fail. And then, it leads me somewhere better.
Breathing deeply at red lights became full body relaxation at lights and is now a whole new state of being while driving. It’s practically a meditation chamber. But, the most exciting discovery to date is this idea of truly only doing what my body wants to do. Really feeling into it. I haven’t been this cautious since I used to ask my mom or dad if I was allowed to do something. but checking in with my body, getting my body’s permission, is exhilarating. It’s like my body is so darned happy to be consulted it rewards me with energetic sparklers (or points to a very heavy brick). It offers me the opportunity to get entirely out of the drama (no matter how many times I may pull myself back into those mental conversations) but even more importantly, what I am noticing through this week or so of using my cueing for body decisions, I’m so much more GRATEFUL. It is as if I’ve been trying to work myself to be grateful for things, to be more mindful of things I am grateful for, I’ve been trying to be active in generating more gratitude, but making this space for and in my body has the gratitude pouring out of me. Indeed, I think i’d been going about it all wrong. I like this way so much better!
My body is so damned happy that I am paying attention to it in this deeper way it is rewarding me with enhanced senses. and more space. even though my general pain level is still there (much better than the end of last year, happy to report) there is more space, more freedom… the pain is actually more diffuse (except when it isn’t. but even my attitude towards it is gentler, more compassionate, less bothered or impatient). But the lightness of mind is the biggest shift. It seems somehow easier to focus on the present moment. like i belong there. here.
My daughter had a volleyball tournament today. Gyms are tough on me. I try to tough it out occasionally, you know, to support my kids, and even though i’ve made the decision not to go to these things, I still typically have a certain amount of guilt about it. But this one was close. like, down the street. and i could leave after even just a set. Checking in with my body, there was no way on God’s green earth I was going and suddenly, I got excited instead of guilty. Excited to be ok with my decision, but also excited by the freedom. that it didn’t mean I wasn’t interested in her or her performance, that it simply isn’t what my body wants to do. And even if it did make me a bad parent, well, yes, we all have some lesser qualities – and I don’t need to be the illusive and illusory ‘perfect mom’. I’m going to be the mom who honors herself. When she got home, she seemed excited to relay the high-points, to relive it in the telling. I didn’t have to apologize. –I’ve danced quite a bit with the conundrum of me not attending my kids’ sports, and i’ve hammered out mental treaties about why it does not make me a bad person and I’ve felt defiantly entitled to not go, but never before have I felt freedom and freedom from guilt and even a certain revelling. And as my daughter told me about her plays, I realize positive aspects that I didn’t ever see before – how as much as she’d like me to see her kick some ass out there, people watching isn’t what makes it great. Doing it because you love doing it and every part of you wants to do it is what makes it great. Whether it’s volleyball or slowing down…