Transitions

I am beginning to determine the period in my day that I am finding most difficult and it is the time between 4 and 7 in the afternoons.  For a whole heap of reasons I think.

During the week, having spent all day in my home working, I pack away the work clobber to face an evening still in my home.  I change my clothes and then walk the few steps from the desk to another room and that is the total physical transition, no train journey, no listening to the radio in traffic, no walk back from the station, no brief visit to my Mum on route from work.  All of those mark my usual transitions.  My working from home is too sporadic for me to have a proper routine and I struggle with transition from work to not work in normal times anyway when I work from home.

The weekends are even stranger, I have a long weekend anyway as I do not work on a Friday.  It is especially difficult on a Friday and Saturday.  Those are the evenings we are often out, often with friends.  For three days I am relishing having time at home to potter and sort things out around the home.  I catch up with family and friends, I can surf the internet, catch up with folks on social media, read a book.  I seem to run out of steam by about 4ish in the afternoon at the weekend.  I sort of realise that this is it, whatever the evening holds, and we plan something for each evening, it is a variety of the theme of hanging out at home.  There is nothing to get ready for, there is no moment of leaving one location for another.  There is just more time at home.

On Saturday I remembered I do have some tools to help – and for the past couple of days have had half an hour of movement and stillness, focus on me and focus on everyone.  I do some yoga, gentle movement helps, focussing on my breath and physical movement.  Then a time of meditation and prayer help ground me further in my own faith and also in the wider world and it helps to hand the anxiety at this point of the day back to God for a bit.  This helped a lot this weekend, so I am going to see if it works today on a work day as well.  I am very grateful that these tools were in the toolbox already, and that I have remembered them.

Reflecting the lessons of the mat

One of the tools in the box to settle me into the new routine this month is yoga. Writing that has made me giggle. It’s not a new routine, it’s the old routine, but there has been a two week break of loveliness and so I am struggling. There we have it. I am an energetic, healthy and enthusiastic person, who just struggles with her routine changing. Somewhat like a toddler!

Anyway, in my adult self, I am being very sensible and am carving out time to do some yoga every day this month. I am using the lovely Yoga with Adriene series online, as that does not involve me finding a time I can attend a class, nor leaving the house again in days of work travel and other meetings.

It is a month’s programme for which I had to set an intention. Mine was simple – show up every day and see what happens. It’s been interesting. First of all, I have shown up every day, one night at 11:15pm, squeezing in that day’s practice at a time I rarely do anything useful. I slept brilliantly that night – not enough sleep, but great quality. I have proven that I do have time to stop and just be once a day.

The sessions are following some sort of path and surprise me every day. I am not great at a home practice of yoga, but I am thoroughly enjoying this gentle guidance. I am still responsible for getting myself onto the mat and letting go enough to follow the path. I like that guidance, I enjoy being challenged to do something unexpected and it takes away making choices and worrying I am making the wrong choice, a real relief.

I can do more than I think, I have very little faith in my physical self to do anything really, but I can feel myself letting go of some of the negative expectations and giving it a go, a good feeling.

Good lessons so far and we’re only a third of the way through. Wisdom will be mine by the end of the month. Ok, maybe not!

For goodness sake, stop

It’s Tuesday.  It’s very early on a Tuesday when I write this and yet so far this week two people have commented on me being a bit grumpy. Reactionary maybe.   Is this news to me?  Not really. Is it majorly frustrating.  Oh yes.

It’s frustrating because one of my goals this year was to be calmer about things.  Specifically, to stop talking so much.  To pause – possibly for ever – before speaking.   Being calmer and quieter was the overall aim, it sounds like I need some mini resolutions to work on this a bit more this month.

It ties in with a theme from last week – a craving for quiet and still.  My brain is definitely full and very chattery at the moment, so maybe that is why it is reacting to things.

It’s all this that meditation is supposed to solve isn’t it?   And yoga.  And prayer, especially contemplative prayer.  Yep – I have the answers. And yet… This could very well be the cause of the frustration – I know what to do, but haven’t done it.  I have no excuses.

But one step at a time. Discussing this blog at the weekend, a friend described it as a way for me to write down what was top of mind and allow those thoughts some space to breathe.  Space and breathing sound like things I am aiming for.  Now to do some of that other stuff too.  Where’s the yoga mat?

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