Solstice and new moon
Stars, earth, moon: dance together
Celebrate their Song
Content here first appeared on Linked in on April 14, 2020. It has been edited for WordPress and re-formatted.
Are you feeling like your head is busy and your body is unsettled?
Maybe you are trying to work from home, and it now seems like all you do is work…
Or maybe you are managing children’s “school at home” schedules and you are also expected to get work done.
With the uncertainty and virus concerns, many of us exist in a new reality. Even if we might worked at home before now and then, now we are possibly sharing space with more people.
We don’t necessarily have the “commute bumper” of our day to delineate starting and stopping anymore. For some of us, maybe the dining room is now our makeshift office. Pets or children may interrupt us many times a day, not understanding that it’s a Tuesday, not a weekend!
It does not help that the news can be grim, and that we worry about the state of our health, our loved ones, and of just how the world will “recover” from such a disruption. While we may be able to focus on certain aspects of our work during the day, we cannot totally keep from wondering… what is next?
During this period of collective upheaval and change it is important to schedule self-care into our day. I’m writing this while snow swirls outside in Minnesota as we speak. So while a walk would be lovely and I highly encourage that as a routine for before or after your workday, or after lunch, it does not always appeal.
Other things you can do include taking a break and making a cup of tea, and allowing yourself to step away from your desk. Grab a journal and write out your thoughts, or draft a screenplay scene with yourself as the protagonist.
If you’re like me, you will add yoga or other movement as part of your day. There are online NIA classes you might take. Perhaps some quiet meditation or listening to some soothing music will help you calm and center. Or engaging your creativity by getting out the paints or even some play-doh (remember kindergarten?) will give your mind a rest.
Whatever you decide to do, realize that these self-care activities are not optional. They are not frivolous, because they provide a respite from our left hemispheric thinking, which can be unrelenting. While thinking and problem-solving are wonderful aspects of our human capacity, over-emphasis can lead to anxiety, a focus on doing rather than being, and sometimes even insomnia.
I wish you well. I hope you experiment with and discover the activities that nourish your whole self, and nurture calm, clarity and resilience. I would love to hear about your favorite ways to relax in the comments below!
Take much care,
P.S. If you have not already found online yoga options and want to join a live community of people via Zoom to practice restorative or slow flow yoga online, please join my email list (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get a free class offer. Or you can sign up for a sliding fee yoga class here. No prior experience necessary. Thank you for your interest!
Does anyone else feel as thought they have been living in a time warp lately? Like March went by in the blink of an eye?
Me too. In April of 2019 I wrote about the rhythms of life and how life can be a dance. It feels appropriate to re-post an edited version in the “new era” which will likely be know as the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a recent dance class I started thinking about my life as a song or a dance. It is an interesting metaphor, and I had to ask these questions:
What type of song would it be?
–Syncopated, lyrical, dance-worthy, synthesized?
In what type of venue would it be played?
–Concert hall dive bar, dance club, opera house?
In what genre of music would it belong?
–Pop, rock, blues, jazz, classical, EDM, yoga, country, rap, Latin, samba, world music?
When I thought about my own life, I decided that while I would love for it to be smooth and lyrical, it tends to be more syncopated.
Sometimes there are some dance-able parts in there, and that makes it a lot of fun!
Other times I seem to be tripping over my own feet, struggling to keep time, and hoping to come out up right.
Generally, I enjoy the musical accompaniment of my life. The soundtrack includes Zumba, jazz (improvisation), and some classical, when I’m lucky. But usually it is a syncopated rhythm, and I trip or dance along as fluidly as I can manage.
I am grateful for it all. I recognize the value of each part of this interwoven melody, the story and the music of my life. Some of it is good, some of it is hard. And I am so fortunate to have each day in which I can live and love.
I’ll take it. Syncopated rhythms and all.
I have recently discovered some insightful books by Dani Shapiro. One is an audio book called Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love. The other is called Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage. Dani Shapiro also has a podcast called Family Secrets, through which I have discovered some other beautiful authors as well.
So this week’s Saturday share is a quote that resonated with me from Hourglass.
Happy weekend, friends.
I danced on Sunday at a place that’s become a favorite gathering at least once a month for me, and for a fellow yoga teacher who first invited me there.
She looked at the clock which read 12:45 and said: I didn’t realize the time had gone so quickly! Me, thinking that people had forgotten to turn the clock back thought: 11:45! I thought I had been dancing for longer than 10 minutes! In fact, the time was ~12:05…
I hadn’t looked at my phone and wasn’t wearing a watch. Eventually someone got up to change the clock to the “correct” time.
But the point had already been made for me – when you are lost in a moment of flow, or the pure enjoyment of a moment, you lose all sense of time.
Also, the idea of “correct” time had me thinking of the fact that time is designated purely for arbitrary and convenience reasons. Daylight savings time changes are archaic back and forth switches that mess with our natural circadian rhythms.
It has been difficult for me to explain to people that when I am completely in “writing world” or perhaps doing something I enjoy, like dance, yoga, or sometimes even working at my new job, time can feel suspended. I have no sense of the “feeling” of time passing.
In contrast, when I am doing something I do not enjoy, or immersed in chores that aren’t my favorite, I am keenly aware of the time passing.
When I first started to meditate, I could sit for maybe 3 minutes before I would want to bolt. All of that silence got my mind stories to play far too loudly and it was hard for me to relax. I’ve since learned that anchoring with the breath, with sensations in the body or the sounds around me has helped reduce the “noise” of my mind.
People who study quantum physics, as well as many mystics, often say that time is an illusion. When the leap was made from linear, 3-dimensional thinking to quantum, infinitely dimensional thinking, suddenly the space opened up for new relationships with time.
What is your relationship with time? Do you think there is never enough? Do you feel an abundance of time when you can be fully present?
May you, my dear readers, be curious and open to the experiences that captivate your time.