Do you ever get overwhelmed this time of year? I’m preparing for a stretch of very intense performing, teaching and presenting, and sometimes my mind and body rebel against my best intentions.
What’s the best thing to do?
I’ve learned over the decades that too much “do” without enough “be” leaves me unable to do much of anything at all. So this month I must choose wisely how I spend my few unscheduled hours a week.
Is sleep the best thing?
Not always. I’ve learned that snoozing til the last minute then cramming to get ready leaves me and my family in a sour mood. The promise of snooze never seems to come pay off, does it? If I just get myself out of bed and meditate, I create the best tone and mindset for the day, no matter how sluggish I feel at the time.
A discovery: never in my 20 years have I arisen and meditated and wished I had just stayed in bed. Why is that so hard to remember in temptation of the snooze?
Is working/practicing more always the best thing?
If I can’t focus anymore, it’s time to give my mind something else to focus on, the less digital the better. I’m a picky reader, but have thankfully found something fun. No, it isn’t always spiritual, but it helps my mind relax.
Meditation and exercise are crucial.
If I don’t give my body the structured time of dynamic stillness (rather than the passive stillness of sleep), I’m not easily able to keep my energy steady throughout the day. But I also need to move. Hard to do when I spend a great deal of time sitting in the car driving around all day to the five schools at which I now teach. I try to get at least 20 minutes of walking/running/cycling in a day.
So here is something I never thought I’d be able to do:
Get up at 5am every day of the week.
My daughter has to catch her bus at 6:15, so our days in the Eby household start early. If I want to meditate, I have to get up even earlier. So I’ve been telling my body when I go to sleep to get up at 4:45. This rosy idea of getting up early sounds great to me in the evening, but I haven’t yet been able to jump out of bed with the vim and vigor that I wish I had. I’m hopeful and intrigued to see if this will in time become possible.
So I do my best. I make sure that I meditate at least 15 minutes in the morning and evening, somewhere, somehow, sometime.
Consistency, the longer the better, is what helps me survive. What are the things that will help you in the coming months?