Things have been a little crazy for me lately - my mom is dealing with some health challenges, we have 3 tiny asshole feline ninjas running around, and work is always pretty busy leading up to the holiday season. In the midst of all of it though, I've found some quiet, some space to just be.
Autumn makes me a little more reflective, internal. I think it's that way for a lot of people. Back-to-school always used to kick me into high gear with goal setting and planning and projects; but this year, I'm feeling a bit more settled and contemplative about how things are as they are.
Maybe it's that I've been so close to the business of life lately. Helping someone with a chronic illness is sobering and often difficult, but it can also open up valuable opportunities for accessing compassion. What I've learned this fall is that just being present for someone, holding space for their suffering, pain, and confusion, is a grace. Oftentimes, people don't need you to fix something; they just need to know you care and that you're there.
It's a practice I'm trying to apply to my own life. I find it much harder to be present for myself and what's coming up for me, than for someone else. But you can't be a good caretaker if you're not taking care of yourself.
I've embraced the usual things: meditation, yoga. I've been an inconsistent practitioner of both over the past few years, but I'm starting to settle into a rhythm a little bit. It's nothing mind-blowing: yoga 1x per week, and meditation as often as I can manage it.
One of the things I'm learning is that the best thing we can do is work with whatever our reality is at the time. A big theme for me these days is not pushing. I used to push myself constantly, driven by my own fears that I was fat, lazy, and not enough. Sure, I got a little thinner, and definitely stronger, but I also got a bunch of injuries and a heap of stress. The nicest thing about my current headspace is that I'm taking things at a pace that feels sustainable for me. Like, truly sustainable, no bullshit.
By being patient, checking in a lot, and waiting for the right time to move, I'm finding what works for me naturally. Me and my body are a true team. I'm just kind of letting things work themselves out. It's very different from my normal agenda, but the sense of peace I feel has no comparison.
If you feel stuck, hot, frustrated, cockblocked, whatever, do what seems most contrary to what you'd like to do (life something, throw something, yell at someone), and sit down. Try allowing those feelings to just be. It's probably the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's also been kind of the best ever, because there's always a neutral, safe place to come back to. My feelings don't run me. I just let them exist. And then they move on, and so do I.