Doing it Differently

‘Tis the season!

Almost daily at this time of year, I remind myself to stop and soak it in…this is the time of the year for which I wait all year. It can come and go in the blink of an eye if I don’t pay careful and close attention.

and

this year feels inherently different. At my own behest.

For a long time, I’ve felt the winds of change persistently, increasingly blowing, sometimes at my back, pushing me along an invisible but sure past. Most recently, though, (as in, the last 10 years) it blows directly at me as though daring me to inch closer to it, causing me to lean in against it and just keep pressing. Why are the winds of change fighting me? I wondered. Why does everything feel so hard?

It’s funny that, when I stepped back to actually truly consider this situation, it was only then that I saw it was hard, not because the wind was blowing so strongly against me…but because I was resisting with such determination. It was hard because I was making it so damn hard. So much for years and years of yoga, internalizing the idea of being the water in the river, flowing around the rocks. Somehow, I’d become my own fortress, stuck in my own little black box of fear and loathing. This, I’m pretty sure, is the origin story of the Grinch.

So, this year, starting not in January but in November, I decided to start doing things differently.

The biggest change: little steps vs. big swings. I’ve spent years in a pattern of swinging for the fences, becoming exhausted, resting and regaining (not all), and then swinging big again. I think age is teaching me there are diminishing returns on these big swings–I felt like I haven’t connected in years. If I really stop and examine, maybe I haven’t connected ever.

Here’s another thing I’ve observed: I don’t know why (it might actually be the pandemic and all of its accoutrements) but I cannot seem to commit to anything anymore, including things I learned in kindergarten…like brushing my teeth. Or keeping my house in any state of cleanliness. It’s a new turn of events and it’s scary in a life in which I’m currently totally over-committed in very practical ways. I needed a solution.

So, my solution is baby steps instead of big swings. I’ve known this for a long time and have practiced it exactly zero days before November 29, 2021.

The fact is, I’m over educated on what I need to do and under-inspired on doing it.

So, it was a meal plan, of all things that made me realize I have to actually start doing the work and not just collecting strategies. So I did. It goes something like this.

Baby steps. Show up today. Drink water today. Choose to be happy today. Rest today. Self-heal today. Journal today. Eat today. Take your vitamins today. Move your body today. Make the commitment for just today. If today is too long, pick a shorter time frame. This hour. This afternoon. Nibbles of time, nibbles of simple commitments. Tomorrow and everything more complex will take care of itself.

Since I’ve started this in November (29th) to be exact, what I’ve learned is that life can be much more free than I had imagined.

I’m calling this the Doctrine of Enough. It’s ethos: for now, that’ll do.

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