Last night I was asked to take a look at which things in my life are "pretending to be urgent" and therefore getting in the way of what's really most important. And so I was also asked to look at what truly is most important to me!
This came up in Laura Lavigne's online Happiness School, which I highly recommend!
First of all, this concept of recognizing that so much of what we feel is urgent really isn't urgent--well, that's a game changer. I'm already pretty good at saying no and having boundaries, like turning off my phone ringer when out with friends or when focused on a project. But I still find myself tending to prioritize some things that aren't actually as important as what's most important. I still find myself not doing some of the things that I really yearn to do and that I know would be good for me to do more often.
So, what is most important? What are my real priorities?
I believe this can be looked at on a macro level as well as a micro level. It can be looked at in a big picture way, but also in a day-to-day-what's-on-your-to-do-list type of way.
And in last night's class, as well as today while writing this, I am thinking more about the day-to-day, how to manage my priorities and time during the work week. And I have a feeling that the choices I make here will also somehow reflect my bigger priorities and values.
At the end of class, there was a prompt to list three things that are truly important to us.
Want to know what I wrote?
1. Sheng Zhen
The truth is, at first I had "connect with friends" as number 3! But then I realized that although that's very important to me, it comes after these other things. I feel more present and can enjoy social interactions more if I've already done these other three things. And as I type that, I recognize a self-care element to this.
So, this is my foundation. At least for now. Maybe it will change over time. Maybe once I get back into a better habit of including yoga in my day, I can take that off the list and replace it with something else, like connecting with friends, but we shall see...
For now I'm just making a conscious choice to say, "Hey, these three things come first. Even if it's just 5 minutes of yoga, it happens before I start checking email." I need that kind of message for getting back into a yoga practice! Can you relate?
And even though Sheng Zhen is my passion, again, if I start checking emails and going into work mode before I've done some moving or non-moving Sheng Zhen, then I don't always end up doing the practice later in the day--other than the "I am a big body of Love" mantra! Yes, even just taking a moment to feel like a big body of love is a good Sheng Zhen practice. But I want more. I want to hear the contemplations as I practice along with a video or audio track! And for me, personally, it's important to do this in the morning.
And then there's writing! And here is a big part of where the magic of the Happiness School comes into play. I wrote down "writing" as one of the things that's most important for me to do on a regular basis. And voila! For the first time in--how long? certainly over a year--I'm writing a blog post.
Although I've done plenty of editing and also social media post writing, and some newsletters, I haven't done any "real" writing, like blogs or articles or working on books for a very long time.
After I published my book, I think I went through some sort of postpartum depression. I also let other things take on a greater sense of urgency. But now it's time to get back on the saddle! I've been thinking "it's time" on and off for a while now, but I still wasn't taking action. I wasn't prioritizing it.
Until now. And all it took was the combo of calling out false urgency as false and this prompt, this assignment, to list three things that are important to me. :) How cool is that?! Here I am, already making a change that makes me happier, within less that 24 hours of class.
Maybe you want to join this school, too, and experience this kind of magic for yourself? Classes are recorded, so you can see last night's class via video. :) You can click here to learn more.
But I digress. The main point of this blog was not to send you to the school (although I do think you should check it out! ;)). The main point was to get started with prioritizing writing!
I didn't know that I was going to write about this. I thought I was going to write about a conversation I had with some Sheng Zhen students! But this is what came out. So, stay tuned for something about that conversation with my students!
This blog entry marks the beginning of my commitment to write on a regular basis. I may not write every day; I start with aiming for 4 to 6 days a week. And it will not always be a blog post or something I share publicly. But I'll be writing. And spending more time on the yoga mat. And practicing Sheng Zhen every morning. Everything else can wait.
It's official. I've started. 108 days of yoga. 108 days all in a row. Yoga every day for 108 days. Haven't regularly practiced yoga in over a year. But I'm doing this. And it started today.
The best I ever felt in my body was when I was attending yoga classes at least 4 times a week. It's been a long time since I was in that routine. And over the past few months in particular, my body has been crying out, yearning for it, begging for it, whispering in the mornings: "yoga. you need to get back into yoga." And I kept saying, "yeah, yeah, I know, I know," but never doing anything about it. Until now.
Thanks to someone I met a few weeks ago-- let's call him my yoga angel-- who recommended this Ultimate Yogi Program with Travis Eliot. A few days later, I ordered it as a birthday gift to myself. And I chose today as the start date. This means, if I did my math right, I'll complete the 108 days on December 30. Feels like a good way to close out this year and prepare for a new one. Feels like a good way to take care of myself and be the healthiest and happiest I can be.
So last night I set the stage: I unrolled my mat. Put a block next to it. I rolled out the cart with my tv/dvd-player. And this morning, I rolled out of bed and onto the mat. Popped in the first DVD, the one for Day 1. Got into the flow. And it felt like coming home.
I smiled. I cried. And a few times I even roared; the twists are what brought those out, and it felt like Kali working her magic.... It felt good to let whatever emotions and sounds come out that needed to move through me as my body delighted in moving and stretching again in these familiar ways.
I'm not sure how much I'll be sharing "from the mat" over these 108 days. But considering I'm also in the midst of a 21-day Kali Ma Sadhana, I have a feeling some insights will be had and will wish to be spoken and shared here. Time will tell though; it always does....
Until next time, I'll just ask you this: What's something your body has been asking you for, that you haven't been giving it? What can you start doing that will make your body say, "thank you! thank you for loving me."? And when will you begin? Then mark your calendar. Commit. And enjoy.....
Rebecca Clio Gould is a Certified Sheng Zhen Teacher and Holistic Wellness Coach. Her specialties include self-love, embodied joy, women's sexuality, spirituality, surgery preparation, and trauma recovery. She is also a Supreme Science Qigong Instructor, Essence vs Form Coach, and Award-winning Author of "The Multi-Orgasmic Diet: Embrace Your Sexual Energy and Awaken Your Senses for a Healthier, Happier, Sexier You."