give yourself permission to begin
Many ideas or plans we harbour can have incredibly long gestation periods. We can prevaricate and postpone, waiting for the right time to start a new project, be it a diet, putting up a shelf, tackling the loft, taking exercise, meditating, practising yoga . . . as a teenager I would put off tidying my room, even though I knew it had to be done and that I’d feel better for doing it. The same can be said for essays while a student.
By chance, when I was postponing the actual job of sorting through my groaning bookshelves to see what books it was time to pass on, in order to make way for the new, I lifted a copy of “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. I only delved as far as her first suggested meditation for beginnings. She suggests we focus on our best image of what we want to bring into our life, that we imagine starting it, how we want to feel emotionally, mentally and physically. Imagine the ideal. Next, we’re to be aware of how we feel right now, in the present moment and examine the gap – imagine the two selves, the here and now and the ideal. Do not judge, just become aware of the gap between where you are and where you want to be (or think you should be) to begin. Now imagine yourself beginning what ever it is you want to do, starting from here – the place that you are. See yourself doing it, maybe a bit tired, a bit distracted or uninspired . . . perhaps not perfectly or not as ideally as you first imagined it. Give yourself permission to begin.
Well, the books are still waiting to be sorted through, but I have made time in my schedule for a regular personal yoga practice – even if it is just fifteen minutes a day. The house does not need to be spotless to practise yoga. The ironing will still be there tomorrow. The books can gather a wee bit more dust before they find a new home. And making time for myself to do something I want to do, not putting it off until I’m a bit more on top of things or feeling a bit more in the “correct” frame of mind seems to somehow of made space for other things to happen . . . or made me realise we can start whatever we want to from here. It’s as good a place as any.
On and off the mat, yoga philosophy or principles can be applied. This blog catches those meanders as well as some of the extra bits that we don't have time to go too deeply into during class.