I have been stuck in a rut for quite awhile. Personal and professional stresses have taken their toll on me, and I would be remiss to say I have done much to combat either.
I have always been a creature of routines and comfort, to a fault. I don’t like to go out on Friday nights. I hate to leave the house when it is raining. I can’t picture a day without caffeine. And when left to my own devices, I can spend far too much time alone.
As a result, my life has become one big “if” and “when.”
“If I had more money, I’d be able to do more for myself.”
“If I’m not tired, I’ll go out tonight.”
“When I leave New York, I’ll be happy.”
These are just a few of the ways I realized I am holding myself back.
Years ago, I read “Eat, Pray, Love” – a self-improvement book that everyone seems to love, except me. Why? Because it tells you that in order to find yourself and be fulfilled, you need money and the opportunity to jaunt around the world. Then when you get back, you can write a bestseller.
I know my limitations and I know my resources.
So how could I change my life (or at least the lens I am looking through) without a lot of money or time?
Inspiration comes to me at the strangest times, and in the most peculiar ways. Today, it came to me in the form of yoga.
I have wanted to try yoga more than once in my life, but haven’t actually done it. I made excuses, primarily because I was scared to do something that I assumed I probably wouldn’t be good at doing. It was too expensive. The cheap classes were early in the morning and not near my apartment. And, my finest excuse: I heard that if you tried to do yoga and did it wrong, you could end up SERIOUSLY hurting yourself. (We’ve all heard about the millions paralyzed by yoga gone wrong.)
Here’s what changed my mind.
I own a yoga mat. I own not one, but two beginner’s yoga DVDs. And my body is in need of some serious stretching.
So I went for it. And here is what I learned (or was reminded of): I am incredibly inflexible. I lack balance. I suck at following instructions and, yes, I often forget to breathe.
But at this exact moment, my back feels pretty good. It feels good enough that I would try this again – and maybe not want to roll my eyes at the woman on the DVD every time she said something cheesy like, “The universe is breathing through your open heart.”
This ridiculous exercise inspired me. I did something for myself that (a) I was afraid to try, (b) didn’t cost me any money and (c) reminded me that to better my life (or at least my outlook), I didn’t need to make huge sweeping changes.
In an attempt to keep me accountable for this goal, I am going to document it. Not every day is going to be a yoga day. I know how I feel some days when I get home from work and all the energy I can muster is spent watching an episode of “True Life” on my couch. But I look forward to sharing my journey with you, and hopefully, my progress.