I attended a yoga workshop last night that was restorative in nature using massage and acupuncture. They also offered CBD but I politely declined. The whole purpose of the workshop was to prepare for winter. In an actual way and in a metaphorical way. I enjoyed myself and was glad I pushed myself outside my comfort zone. (I hate going to things on Sunday nights).
While it was lovely, I couldn’t help thinking that I paid $35 to sleep in yoga poses for two hours...because it was restorative, that is what we did, got into poses and then relaxed deeply. Any of you that know me, know that relaxing is a skill set I was born without. I have had to foster it, grow it and practice it like some sort of long distance runner practices for a marathon. I have historically sucked at relaxing. So it was a bit of a stretch for me. (Pun totally intended.)
I am a do'er person. I like to make lists and check them off. I am the kind of person that will write down things I have already done just so I can check them off. Crazy, I know but true. In fact, my ex-husband used to call me “things to do” as a pet name. He then shortened it to “To do”. Actually, thinking back now, I think about five years before we split, he stopped calling me that. I think this was the time that my forward, detailed, list checking behavior became more of an irritant and resentment. Hard to call someone an endearing nickname when you want to smack them silly. I digress.
As an outward live'er, I have always been most focused on the external. What is going on out there...with you. And work. And kids. And....The internal has always been something that I avoided or tried to avoid. I am one of those people where the internal always wins any battle yet still I fight. The internal something I protected yet wholly ignored. How I felt and thought were things to be kept private. Project something else to distract from all I believed I lacked on the inside.
So attending a workshop about going within was kinda huge for me. The fact that I would spend $35 to go lay still or relatively still for two hours on a Sunday night, on Daylight Savings Time, and at 7 pm is kind of a thing.
What I realized is that the inside was not as foreign to me as it once was. I was not afraid of being alone with my thoughts and feelings. I was comfortable within my skin. Not feeling any need to make new friends or impress anyone. Just ok, sitting on my mat, occupying my own space. My head did not go into overdrive doing the comparison checklist. I did not watch anyone else's yoga postures. I kept my eyes closed most of the time and truly went inward. I inhabited my body and noticed all the painful places and how much laying in a posture for any length of time hurt. I wished more than once I could have taken the CBD and alleviated some of the stiffness in my joints.
I spent two hours on my mat with myself and it wasn’t psychically painful. My head did not chew on me and tell me all sorts of bullshit about me and others that was based 100% on feelings and very little on fact. I realized why I so often avoided the internal...my head was not fun to be around and, in fact, hurt my feelings a lot.
I left with permission to go further within. To embrace the season of winter: sleep more, eat more, stay indoors, be stiller. Every year at this time, I feel like a slug. I feel badly about my body's natural need to slow down and do less. I find myself on the couch a lot more and always feel kind of worthless about it. I left the workshop last night with permission to slow the fuck down. Shorten the to do list and instead, embrace the natural world’s slower pace.
This is good news because now that DST is here, my body and I are ready to go to bed at 5:30. I am not kidding. I think I am part chicken...get up when it is light and go to bed at the first sign of darkness. It is just how my body operates. So if you call or text me after 6:30, good chance I will be asleep. Ok, I might make it to 7:30...but don’t count on it.
My intention for this winter is to enjoy and savor the slower pace. To watch how this is reflected in nature, my body and embrace it. Give myself permission to notice more and do less. Allow for time attending to what my body needs and less of what my head tells me I need to accomplish. I intend to spend the winter going inward toward myself. For me, this is growth in an opposite, inward direction.