Monday, May 12, 2014

First Things First

The saying: "First Things First" really gets me back to the basics. What is my next designated action and what is the most primary and important next step? When building a house, the priority is a nice, strong foundation. In yoga, the foundation of all poses is Mountain Pose. (Tadasana.) This reminds me that in order to create and meet my goals, I must make sure that I am taking care of myself by standing still and finding solid ground.
I received a phone call from a client recently who was completely exhausted and feeling low, after a lot if work and effort. The act of stillness can bring much to the surface. One thing that I know about myself is that if I am over extended , over worked or ill, I can feel deeply sad. Each time this happens I am convinced that the despair is real and possibly permanent. In the past I pushed past the boundaries of my physical body. As an adult, I have learned (the hard way, folks) to slow down and consider  the acronym: HALT.

  2. ANGRY
  4. TIRED

When I am irritable, have I taken the time to sit for a meal?
When I want to take immediate action to resolve a problem I pause to see if I am angry.
When I experience obsession, I may call a friend and have a date, I may be lonely.
When I am weepy I ask "have I exhausted myself?"

 In this world of to-do lists and overstimulation, it seems there is always another task to fulfill. The internet and out smart phones allow us to make purchases throughout the day and night. Our culture, at large, is not taking a "time out". I remind myself that nobody "out there" is going to remind me to replenish myself with a nap. No mommy to prepare my meals and feed me properly. Nobody else reminding me how much I love to soak in the bath or take a drive by the ocean. Throughout the day, I must check in on my own needs. Is there something I am not allowing myself to feel? In which case, I allow myself to do so. Taking a 5 minute sitting break, where I connect with my breathing is simple and allowing. In fact, it is always a good moment to do a check in like this. One of the best ways for me to get out of my head and into my body is to notice the sensations in my body, and to simply look around and sense what is happening in the moment.

This brings me back to the now. This brings me back to first things first.
No matter what goals and accomplishments I am aiming towards, it goes something like: inhale, exhale, continue....
Today is a good day to be present. Simply take care of what is most important in the moment.

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