The Daily Practice
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Monday Mornings...

Jan 25, 2021

...can sometimes suck. I don't often subscribe to that sentiment as for a long time I had Mondays off. Which is a sneaky and delicious day to enjoy with little to no responsibilities. It makes me feel the same way I used to feel when I would get up super early, like 4am, to train or meditate. Like I was stealing a bit of time back from the sands in the hourglass, tuning into this quiet little space of eternity that was meant only for me. Extending the leisurely weekend-esque atmosphere into a space that is usually reserved for mumbles and grumbles and extra coffees and afternoon shots of espresso as folks get back to their grinds...pun intended. Today that was me, mumbling and grumbling as my feet hit the cold floor at about 5:45 this morning, already planning how much coffee I would need to grind through my day. And then I thought about my Daily Practice, and how much I didn't want to do it.

I was protesting because I was tired. Because I felt uninspired. Because I felt like a failure, as I had fed my body with foods that I know full well to be tasty yet harmful to my delicate constitution, creating an even bigger challenge and barrier to my usual bright eyed, bushy tailed morning feel. I imagined no greater fraud, posting a video about connection and presence when the only thing I wanted to connect to and be present with was my bed. Then I thought about why I was actually doing those little videos in the first place. But this was an even less inspiring path of thinking as I became Judge-y Jess, pulling myself down to wallow in what an attention seeker I must be. And furthermore, how realistic is it that I post a video every day? Really...who is going to want to listen to me breathe? Or blather on about all the woo woo stuff...why did I even start this in the first place? Doomed to failure. This is a good day to quit. I could go back to bed for half an hour or so and still be on time for the front desk shift I had agreed to take. Maybe I'll do that. I hadn't committed to posting anything at a specific time anyway. Maybe I'd do one in the afternoon...and by maybe I meant most likely not.

I caught all of these thoughts rolling around my head like sharp little shards of glass, a shattered mirror of the peace I know I can reflect from within. I was crumbling. And it was in this moment of weakness I thought of the real reason I had started my Daily Practice. It was for moments like this. It was for ME. A connection with myself, and with the divine. A connection with others should they choose. A connection to my creativity. Some personal accountability. I do these things to feel better. To prepare myself. To heal. To shake off the heaviness and prickly-ness I accumulate in my daily life and begin (or end) the day a bit lighter, a little smoother. And what a gift, this uninspired feeling of fatigue and apathy, for it WAS the reason I practice. To say "Good morning Fatigue and Apathy, how are you today? Oh you're not sticking around? It's become too bright in here you say? Pity...okay, say hello to Joy and Inspiration on your way out, they'll be taking your place." An emotional alchemy. Certainly not discounting my feelings. Sitting with them. And making the decision to keep doing the things that I know will help me sit with them, understand them, and let them move on through. So I hopped in my Jeep and headed into the studio to do my practice in a beautiful and supportive environment before my 8am work responsibilities. I hadn't quite decided what I was going to do. I thought about the folks who had tuned in and what they might like for this Monday and I started to get all spun again. How will I ever be able to share the 'right' thing with everyone who might watch? Oh ego you are so tricky, making me feel all self important and yet completely insecure at the same time. Another reminder, this practice is for ME. So if I were doing this practice without sharing it at all, what would I be doing? What would be the most important thing for me to do today? And I decided to give this body some appreciation.

My physical experience is one of the hardest things to connect to when I start to feel crummy. I think it's one of the reasons movement and athletics have been so important for my mental health. It forces me to STAY HERE and FEEL what's happening. But I don't often take the time to appreciate my body for the work it does for me. I expect it to entertain me, to house me, to move me through life and help me experience the things I want to experience. I usually treat it well, give it the rest it needs and for the most part, the foods and liquids it needs to keep operating. But when I don't, and my body rebels, I am insulted and betrayed. Expectations are pre-conceived resentments, and I am often guilty of resenting my body when it doesn't give me the experience of health and vitality that I expect from it. So this morning's practice was about appreciating this fleshy apparatus that houses my soul, that carries me through this mortal manifestation, even when I knowingly abuse it for the amusement of my taste buds. This morning I chose to say thank you to all my tissues, my muscles and bones and organs, every cell. Every atom. Every space in between the atoms. And as I started into the practice it was simple, natural, and easy to feel some genuine gratitude and appreciation for my physical form. I started observing and touching my body with real tenderness. I recall looking at my ankles and really feeling the miracle I spoke about - how those tiny joints carry so much weight, and we only really think of our ankles if we twist them or go over on them. We only attend to them if they fail us. If they're crying out in pain. And then we curse them. Damn that weak ankle! Our ankles, our bodies, our SELVES deserve a bit more appreciation than the half hearted, fleeting scraps we intermittently offer up.

I had to dig deep to get to my practice today. I had to call on that part of me that I discovered while boxing. The part that is able to push through fatiguing and uninspiring circumstances to put the work in. I came to my practice today to simply 'put the work in' as best I could. And as I opened up to the work I chose, to the gratitude I was both giving and receiving, I was rewarded greatly. Heaviness made way for lightness. Fatigue for motivation. Apathy for joy. I felt bad for my coworker, rolling into the office shortly before 8 to see me smiling and giggling and bouncing off the walls, childlike excitement to have experienced the transformation from Monday blahs to existential bliss. Hahaha, who wants to be around a person like THAT at 8am on a Monday morning?

Today was both a decision to keep on keeping on, and a realization that just showing up is an important step to take, particularly when you're showing up for the right reasons. I showed up for me and let go of the expectations of what I might receive. Something I did receive which was in perfect synchronicity with the thoughts and events of the morning was a motivational email that reminded me...

"The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Amen, Ralph.

Keep moving, keep connecting, stay present. And keep showing up for the things that are important to you. Even on Monday mornings.

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