Setting intentions

Moderately productive day today. I woke up feeling so ready for action that the first thing I wrote in my morning pages was a to-do schedule, but everything took longer than I expected (no surprise there). The plan was to write 1,000 words on my post-VONA piece, to do my weekly review, to draw another self-portrait, to transcribe some of my family history notes, and to have an hourlong home yoga practice. Of those five items I got through three: the writing, the weekly review, and the yoga. I also cooked dinner for the first time in ages. So, not the best work day, but on the other hand I’m feeling nourished and nurtured thanks to the yoga and the homemade dinner (including cake!).

YJ desk stretches

from Yoga Journal, May 2010

I’m good at exercising when I schedule classes or when Erik comes walking/climbing with me, but when it’s just me, home alone without a car, I rarely make time for it. That was one of the things I noted in my Things I Want To Change in My Life list. I decided that day that I would schedule home workout sessions and stick to them as if I were paying for them. So far this is working somewhat, but it’s still difficult.

When I went to my mat this afternoon for my scheduled yoga time, my body was screaming for expansive movement, but I still felt the wrench of leaving my work desk for a whole hour. So I began my practice with fifteen slow deep breaths, and a declaration of commitment to that hour of treating my body right. It amazed me what a difference this little action made for me mentally. It only took about three minutes, but it transformed the way I was viewing this practice: from a burden to get over as quickly as possible, it became a gift I was giving myself. It worked so well, in fact, that I’m considering performing the same ritual when I’m feeling reluctant to write, or to draw, or what have you. I guess what it does is refocuses my energy on why I’m choosing to do this, instead of letting my mind scatter to all the reasons I’d rather be goofing off.