Just show up
I’ve carried the thought that I would like to try yoga for at least twenty years. And, like many of the things I know that I think would be good for me, I have never carried the thought forward into action.
I’m not really one for resolutions — experience has taught me that they are both a waste of time and serve only to make me feel disappointed in myself — but this year I am finally determined to make some changes. One of those changes is to recapture some flexibility, balance, tone, and self-respect. Yoga may or may not offer all that but I suspect it does, so I decided that I would start on January 1st using one of Yoga with Adriene’s monthly journeys.
I signed up at the end of December and on January 1st I showed up. And continued to show up.
It is now the 16th and I’m mightily pleased with myself that I have showed up every day and done the ‘class’ to the best of my ability. And I don’t mean I’ve sat and watched the video and wiggled my toes from time to time. I have given what I could. And I am rewarded.
Showing up is more than simply being there. It has to include a certain commitment to take part. Don’t be the churlish date that tags along to a party and grunts and moans and lets everyone know you’re counting the time until you can head home. The same goes for writing and the same goes for yoga. Be there in heart, mind, and spirit, or don’t bother at all.
This has coincided with me picking up and starting Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott again. She understands showing up.
“All I know is that the process is pretty much the same for almost everyone I know. The good news is that some days it feels like you just have to keep getting out of your own way….” p8
And that’s how it works. Trick resistance into taking your weaker self out for a coffee and sneak to the desk — or the mat — and just start.
And I have become superstitious about it, too. I know that habits are usually supposed to take about thirty days to get baked in but I think if you combine new habits there is a reinforcing element at play. So I’ve done sixteen days in a row on a book. I’ve done sixteen days in row writing posts on Medium. And I’ve done sixteen days of yoga practice. If I miss one now I’m scared I’ll miss the other parts of the triumvirate that is championing my self-esteem at the moment.
There’s a theory that by talking about this I will jinx it and tomorrow all my resolution — and resolutions — will crumble and I’ll be sitting watching TV instead of showing up. There’s another theory that by making yourself accountable any lapse in the process brings shame — or at least embarrassment. I’m going with the second option.
Come the end of January, I’ll commit to an honest appraisal of how I got on for the second half of the month. I’ll even talk word count on the book.