Summer TIME Part 1: Time on my hands; time on my side.
At the beginning of Napoleon Dynamite, a kid asks Napoleon, “What are you going to do today, Napoleon?” and Napoleon says “Whatever I feel like I’m gonna do. Gosh!”
I love that line, and that is pretty much how my summer has gone so far…just doing whatever I feel like doing. Gosh.
I am LOVING this summer. I don’t think I’ve ever had a summer quite like it. Kids have been out of school for 3 weeks and the time has flown by with a refreshing grace and ease that feels completely natural, even though it is quite new, given my usual structured and busy calendar.. With my new “yoga only” schedule, I am teaching a lot each day, but I still have a lot ( A Lot!) of down time, or time that is not already accounted for on my list or calendar. So, with all that time, you might think I’ve been spending time doing all the things I always say I wish I had time for, right? So that would mean I’m spending more time journaling, meditating, practicing Yoga (focusing on my own practice, not on teaching), working out, and reading. I would also be spending time making progress on my workshops, my book and leads for my Yoga schedule for next year. And, I would be all caught up with my friends, having had time to call in my free time.
But that is not at all what has happened. Instead, time has passed very organically, naturally. Other than my classes, and picking up Zoe from camp at noon, I’ve not made lists or filled the rest of the day. So how am I spending the time? Well, there’s a lot of hanging out, much of it done in the kitchen while I prepare food for the kids. And a lot of time gathering that food, especially avocados for guacamole ( I probably make it every other day), and strawberries and watermelon, Wash, cut, eat, repeat. There’s been a lot of pool time, probably much more than in summers past, thanks to the record-breaking heat and the new volleyball/badminton net that draws everyone into the pool to play. So pool volleyball is my workout for now–much different that the usual hour walks, vinyasa and Pilates sessions I consistently do. I think I have done less formal working out than I have done in 30 years. And I don’t really miss it–very weird. I do spend time in front of the computer, sometimes just perusing Facebook, sometimes answering e-mails, and I put forth a massive effort to get myself unsubscribed from the multitude of junk emails that I receive each day. THAT was almost a full time effort. I’ve taken care of doctor and dentist appointments for the kids and for me, I’ve become Zoe’s personal trainer, and she’s a very fun and energetic client. I’m all caught up on Friday Night Lights, and Men of a Certain Age. I attended a 5 day training with Donna Farhi, and next week will train with Seane Corn for 5 days. I have spent time with friends from Dallas over a wonderful weekend visit, and had casual dinners with Seth and friends, with an evening during the week (school night!) that even included live music. I’ve seen many movies, including X-men, Super 8, Bridesmaids and the Hangover II, and enjoyed them all. I made the transition from CD’s to I-Pod (the last living Yoga teacher to do so I’m sure) and, with the help of Frank and his suggestion of Emancipator as part of my play list, I have actually upped my “cool factor” with some of my younger students.
I don’t know how things will change when school starts again. But I do see that allowing my day, like my practice, to just meet me where I am at each moment, as it happens, can be very liberating as well as motivating. Looking at the extensive paragraph above, it looks like I have done a lot; but I have never been in a hurry at all, and at the end of the day I feel good, not tired, and in the morning I”m ready to go. I’m going to try to keep this natural flow to my life, and put in just a little structure to get that journaling and meditation in, and I am committed to being better at keeping in touch with friends.
I look forward to evolving in my views about time. I do not miss that feeling of racing the clock and always feeling late and rushed. There’s an element of release of control that I am beginning to embrace, and it feels good. Time is not my enemy, but my ally. Don’t take my word for it. Challenge your assumptions about how you spend your time and see what presents itself, and be open to that…especially if it’s not what you thought.
Summer TIME Part 2: Time to let go.
I’m going on vacation soon. But before I go on vacation I am going to be studying with Seane Corn for a week. So what does that mean? At first glance, you might think, “wow, she must be so happy, a week of training and a week of vacation, lots of time to learn, to process and relax!” And that’s what I am thinking too. But I also am thinking, way too much, about what I will not be doing those weeks–and that is, teaching a lot of my classes. Don’t worry students, all classes are covered by teachers you will fall in love with, and then I’ll be back before you can even miss me. But I keep thinking, and thinking, that I’ll miss 2 classes at Eastside Yoga, 10 classes at Yoga Yoga, 2 classes at the JCAA, a couple of corporate sessions and some private sessions too. But who’s counting? Yes, the answer is obvious, it’s me. I have a little bit of an issue letting go of my classes; I really hate to have them subbed out. I know, in my heart and mind, that it is actually good, for me and for them but it is hard to let go. Vairagya, or detachment, is one of my favorite Niyamas, because it is just so darn challenging for me. I know I can do it because I have done it, and each time I loosen the grip, wonderful things happen. So in addition to letting go of ,my classes while I am off learning and then playing on the beach, here are some other things I’d like to let go of:
1. Needing to be productive all the time (see part 1 if you skimmed it).
2. My fear of being left out of things.
3. Getting up at 5:00 or earlier, if I don’t have to or want to.
4. Wanting to be right all the time.
5. Clothes that I really shouldn’t be wearing at my age (goodbye to those last bikinis and short shorts!)
6. Vigorous practice and/or other exercise while my Achilles heals.
7. Control over what my family eats, wears, says, does or believes.
8. Anger of all kinds.
9. Always being on time, no matter what.
10. Control, control, control.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. But I will keep on trying, I love that in the Bhagavad Gita it says that we are entitled to our actions, but not necessarily the fruits of our actions. This means do your best, and then let go. I know my students will enjoy their classes over the next weeks as I will enjoy my time also. I won’t completely forget about them (how could I?) but I will release my control of their practice!
Summer TIME Part 3: Me love you long time.
In a blog about time, I would be remiss if I did not mention that last week Seth and I celebrated 20 years of marriage. That is a loooong time, isn’t it? And it shows you how tricky time can be, as, when we look back, it seems like forever, and it seems like no time at all. There have been days, weeks and years that have flown by, and days, weeks and years that seemed to drag on. As we regaled the kids with tales of how we met, and those early years (they were riveted, as you might imagine teens would be with this), we were amazed at the passage of time, and how full our lives had been, how many phases and stages we went through. Life happens, and what I think about most is that you really want to be present when it does. Like the Kenny Chesney song, “Don’t Blink”, you just don’t want to look away, get distracted or dwell in the past or jump ahead to the future. You just want to be in it. As I often tell students when we hold a posture that is challenging…”Don’t worry about how long you’ll be in it; it’s just this moment; nothing is next.”
I hope you took the time to read through this, and that it was worth the time you took. Until next time…
Just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap,
And you wake up and you’re 25…
Best start putting first things first.”
Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand
You can’t flip it over and start again
Take every breathe God gives you for what it’s worth
Naw, don’t blink
Life goes faster than you think