It is the day after Christmas and I am exhausted! I just want to cuddle up on my couch with a blanket, a good book, and relax, just simply relax. Yet, I can’t help but feel like I should be doing something and I have a sneaking suspicion that the “Laziness Police” are going to show up at my door any minute and ticket me for “excessive inactivity and failure to make productive use of my time”. Is my DNA to blame or is society? Regardless, why does the act of being lazy pack so much guilt?
I have recently done a bit of research on the restorative benefits of yoga and meditation and have set my mind on learning to do both as a goal for 2017. As my body seems determined to get older, I feel yoga and meditation will serve to mitigate the aches and pains of aging as well as, the corrosive impact of stress on my mind and body. “Practice” is a word I keep hearing in regards to yoga and meditation and in my recent attempts to do both, I now understand why.
I envy my friends who were born with a natural calm to their personalities. This calm translates to yoga and they can flow through their movements in seamless harmony with their breath; artfully graceful, fluid, and beautiful. When meditating, they can immediately focus on their breathing and transcend time to a more peaceful place and state of being. I, on the other hand, clumsily clod my way through yoga and feel certain a walrus would show more grace on a exercise mat after just one lesson than I could ever master in a lifetime. My attempts at meditating have not gone much better as the shear act of not moving and forcing my eyes to stay shut, makes me a sitting target for the rat-a-tat-tat of “to do’s” being fired from a machine gun. My instructors and friends insist this is why meditation and yoga are considered a practice – both require time, persistence, and patience in order to achieve desired results. But both also require me to accept that exercise does not have to be fast paced and suicidal to be effective and that being “still” is not the same thing as being “lazy”.
I have learned to accept that I am hard-wired to be a “doer’, but am wise enough to know that sometimes my attempts to check things off my list can cause me to become “undone”. With practice, I hope to one day find contentment in being still and replace this feeling of guilt with a sense of peace. But for now, I will pretend that writing a blog while snug and warm under a blanket is the same thing as being lazy and enjoy the twinkling lights of my Christmas tree while basking in the peace and calm that lie in the wake of a crazy holiday season. As a dear friend often reminds me, “I must first put the oxygen mask on myself before assisting the other passengers.”