Blog 3 - To enjoy the present moment or to create space?
To enjoy the present moment or to create space? Can the two go hand in hand? These two concepts have long been on the my spiritual to do list. Constantly striving to achieve either, or, or in idealistic world both. Yet my experience to date was whilst they were present sporadically in my life, they were not there consistently. My recent restorative training (more on this in another blog) has increased my understanding and experience of these concepts by creating a shift in my inner world, that is evolving outwardly, yet still for me it was a conundrum.
During the Easter break, I took my 90 year old Auntie, my 79 year old mum, 2 young(ish) children and a tweenage niece to Llandudno in North Wales to celebrate my Auntie's 90th birthday. To be honest, both my mum and Aunty are young and able beyond their years. With a wide spread of ages, abilities, likes and dislikes and with the emphasis of being in-charge being placed squarely in my lap was this to be memorable for all the wrong reasons? Whilst I was delighted and excited at the opportunity to all spend quality time together, my inner critic was working over time saying 'surely this is a recipe for disaster' and 'you'll need another holiday to recover from this one'. Well it turned out to be quite the contrary!!!
The weather was kind, yet not too kind, and we had to embrace the elements of the wind and rain despite the mild conditions. We had two lovely days and nights together and then it was time to leave. On this particular morning, it was warm and sunny. The best day weather wise for sure. I longed to stay by the sea and feel the warmth on my face, yet I knew my niece wanted to get back around lunchtime, Auntie and mum were a little tired and I had a long 5 hour drive back home and so after breakfast we set off - homeward bound. As I was driving along the coast, thoughts kept bugging me about whether I had short changed everyone, particularly my kids who might have enjoyed a day on the beach. What kind of a parent and yogi was I? - surely it was all about enjoying the present moment. Making the most of the wonderful conditions but what would have the been consequences of staying? A question I will never know the answer too but I do know .....
That I got my niece back in time and she had an amazing trip out with her friend. I had time to settle my Auntie in her home. She popped round to my mum's after she'd unpacked and we got to spend additional time with her. I stayed at my mum's for a just over an hour, chatting and laughing with her, as the kids had a ball playing hide and seek in the garden in the sunshine. We all ate some lunch before embarking on stage two of the journey home. Despite this rest, after an additional 75 minutes driving I felt really tired, with still another hour's drive to go. Usually I would have 'pushed on through' in an attempt to get home and stop as quickly as possible. This time was different, I made the decision to stop at the services. Me and the kids had a walk around, an all important toilet break, a drink and a snack. Revitalised we headed home on the final leg of our journey. This last hour flew by in the blink of an eye. On our arrival back home, my husband was delighted to see us as we were home much earlier than anticipated and all enjoyed a family meal together.
On reflection, I realised from the moment I'd left home earlier in the week, I'd been saying to myself whilst driving, 'I'll take it steady, there's no rush.' Something my dad always use to say, god rest is soul. In addition, for the first time since I don't know, I wasn't concerned about what time we would arrive at any of our destinations. My experience during those four days was that I had created space and ease and had enjoyed the moments, particularly on that last day. It was all as it should have been. Every one was content and happy. The issue was I had been 'shoulding' myself. I should do this, I should do that. I should stay at the beach. I should take advantage of the sunny weather. What will other people think? How much more easeful could it have been if I had shifted mentally from that place of 'should' to 'I want to' particularly on the drive home.
An invitation to you ...... Try it on for the next 24 hours. Every time you think 'should' replace it with ' I want to'. Notice the impact.
Yes! We could had stayed but in this situation to create space and ease was so much more.
Going forward, to enjoy the present moment AND create space in every day life, I'm endeavouring to not rush, with the caveat of 'it's ok to move quickly whilst mentally not rushing'.
What is helping me, aka my top 6 tips ...
- MIND - The mantra ... "One day or day one. You decide"
- MIND - Every time I think 'should' replacing it with 'I want to'.
- BODY - A shorter (30 minutes) but consistent daily yoga practice - asana and mediation
- BODY - Going to bed earlier - 10.30pm instead of 11+pm (this is very much a work in progress)
- BODY - A 5 min restorative yoga pose before bed
- HEART - Be kind to myself if I don't achieve the above