I wasn’t in the mood.
The alarm went off this morning and all the excitement I felt for the new year had faded away. Well, not completely away. It was still there, just muted. My desire to wake up early, do yoga, meditate and write, well, that morphed into drinking coffee while curled up with Lauren Graham’s book “Talking as Fast as I Can” which is an excellent read and funny and engaging and everything I would expect it to be. Only that’s not what I was supposed to be doing this morning. I wasn’t accomplishing anything. I was hiding behind witticisms which I would try to memorize and unleash later at an appropriate time.
Time was ticking away and I had a lot on my to-do list and my to-be list. I had made a commitment to myself and I didn’t want to blow it on Day 2. Anyway I wanted to do my new year practice and get on with my day of lifting weights and writing about hockey prospects and hopefully having some fun along the way.
So why the internal resistance?
I see the big picture. I see where I want to end up. I see the meta goals and the life I want to create and, quite frankly, my sidekick fear has decided to find his voice. (In this particular case, Fear is masculine.) There are SO MANY steps to get to that point. There is SO MUCH on the to-do list and so much I want/need to do RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE that it is all overwhelming and feels, just a tinge, pointless. I will NEVER get that all done and even if I do it will probably suck. Or be just on the “not horrible” side of suck.
I had a dear friend, Tracy, whom I lost to ovarian cancer a few years ago. Her voice whispered while fear was shouting familiar phrases in my direction, many of which were masked as motivational phrases, because the last thing you need to hear when you’re overwhelmed by how much you want to accomplish in the next 30 seconds is how much the present moment matters. I already know the present moment matters. I am full of ideas and optimism and yet somehow paralyzed by own hope. Did I pick the right start place? Did I chose the right goals? Can I really do the big stuff I want to do?
That’s when Tracy’s voice whispered: What’s the next thing you can do?
Not, “What are your life goals or dreams?” or “What do you want to accomplish this year?” or the familiar “Who do you think you are?” but rather, “What’s the next step you can take right now?”
Exhale. Roll out my yoga mat. Come to my practice. Sit with a mantra.
The rest will unfold from that.