Mary Oliver writes "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?". Since I can remember, I've carried this with me as a thought and as a question to really consider, for bringing intention into my life, its such a fun open ended question!
In the early 2000's I recall jumping on board with this small obsession with French Women. Does anyone else remember this? I joined chat rooms, to invite more of this french way of living into my life. What I can see now, is that the interest and the obsession for his way of life for many of the women was this idea of living intentionally. Of not being just carried along by life, but by actively carving out an idea of what you would like to do with your life? How would you like it to look? Where might you live, and with whom? What might you wear? Eat? What music might you listen to? Yes, a totally use of all the senses here is required.
And what's fun about this is the fact that you might discover that you love eating like a french women, but nah, you dress like a J Crew or Country Road gal. You might love baguettes but alas, your gluten free. Or you might love riding your bike, but only in perfect weather! (ahem... me!).
Throughout our days and weeks are scattered little hints as to what your one and only precious life might look like. Little hints here and there, but we must be quiet and still to see and hear them.
Can you take time, go to a quiet place? Take a cup of tea to your favourite nook in your home? If that won't work, go to a coffee shop where you won't be interrupted. Sit and listen. Make this a sacred practice. During the week, can you take time to sit and listen, as you wander through your day and week can you look out for little hints of what seeds may be aching to grow? How can you bring more of you into your life?
Can you get to a Yoga class? A class where you will have an opportunity to release some tension and stress and get yourself to a point where your lovely body isn't aching, where its becoming a finely tuned instrument for you to listen to? Could you go for a walk on your own, maybe with a notebook?
Here are some little nudges for you:
Find quiet and still time / home, coffee shop, a lovely walk. Maybe ask yourself a riff on what Mary Oliver wrote so beautifully: What can I begin to weave into my life that really lights me up? What do I wish for? What dreams do I have that I could step toward? What are some of my deep hearts wishes?
Please, don't underestimate the value of small steps.
Taking small steps toward your dreams, and your wishes, is to live more fully into your life.
A life of skilfulness in action!!
Thank you David Bowie for that intro.
Life is full of stories about change. I love a good story, particularly one that illustrates the strength/love/resilience of the human spirit.
And the one's lately I'm really into, are the small personal victories. The tales of people making small steps toward their best selves. Now, I'm not going to go all Anthony Robbins on you but it really makes to jump for joy to hear these from my friends, family and students.
Because the big change, the large platform, the overnight success, and the list goes on, well that makes headlines, right? And I think this is because we underestimate and shrug off small change. We dismiss it because on some level I think we believe as a culture, that BIG CHANGE is the only change. That we need to look like we are "making it happen", we are edgy change agents!
I have learned, through personal experience, that small change is sustainable and often endures. If I use a Yoga example, you might see someone really pushing to nail a pose, say a handstand, and they push and push each class to get "there". Or a friend decides to "give up sugar" (been there!!!) and clean out every cupboard, every crevice where its hidden, and after day 3 ..... they are a cranky mess (um, yes maybe me!!).
Through studying ourselves and really knowing what works for us, we can implement change that will stick. The old "Svadhyaya", getting to know ourselves, all of ourselves, really & truthfully. That's really a very worthwhile step to take, before implementing any new habits or rituals in our lives.
So, lately I've jumped for joy (internally) after these small but awesome things happened:
- A student told me after class that they are feeling their body opening up in Yoga, they can feel it week after week of class. Yes! Yes! Yes! When this happens to us we are literally living into Yoga Sutra 1.12, we are living into the practice with a sense of not being attached to a certain outcome.
- After a Yin class recently, a student said that they finally are feeling a sense of calm when they do Yoga. She mentioned that in her day to day life at work that the breathing I talk about really works!
- For me, rolling out the mat or just doing 3 to 4 Yoga postures before bed really helps me to get a good nights rest. Its not fancy, its usually in my PJ's and its only 3 to 4. I talk about these in class often, but incase you want to know I do:
This can take about 3 minutes or up to 15! It depends. But I do it most nights and it makes a difference, I can feel it in my body.
So the story here is, do you have a small victory? A small insight? Have you made any little changes that are holding up, that feel like they are becoming embedded in your life? I'd love to hear.
Until then, keep tinkering!
Take a peek!