I’ve had a very busy July. Sometimes I feel like I’m crawling my way out of a ball pit that just keeps filling up — work, home, parenting, chores, sleep-deprivation, long-term plans, short-term survival. That sounds more dire than it is; really, I am just living life, and it’s busy right now. I get short breathers here and there, and I’m looking forward to another.
So, I’ve been doing yoga this month. It’s supposed to be a 30-day challenge but I’m doing it when I can, when I have the energy and the time. I figure that forcing myself to do yoga sort of goes against the efforts I’m making to try to calm and ground myself. On the days when I’m not feeling it, when I have a kid climbing on me, when I’m tired, it doesn’t give me the same I feel more human results, so I’m only on day seven and the full 30 days will probably take me two months. And that’s okay.
Part of me trying to introduce some calm into my life, and part of yoga itself, seems to be having phrases and words of affirmation. I don’t know if they’re considered mantras, or something else, but I treat them as a bit of a lifeline to peace when I need it. They’re simple, and there’s a few of them, and I have them on repeat in my head, there to grasp in case of emergency.
The first one is simple – Yes. I am trying to say yes, more often, without fight, without guilt, without strings attached. Sometimes I’m saying yes even if I feel uncomfortable, if I think it’s for the greater good (going out to see friends even though I’m tired, getting up and cleaning something even though I just want to sit on the couch) and sometimes I am saying yes even though it’s not what I ‘should’ do (saying yes, it is okay for me to sit on the couch this time even though I need to clean!).
Okay, so I have never actually seen Frozen — this is not a Frozen thing! I realize it seems counter-intuitive to yes but let it go also has a place. Not feeling up to something? If it’s not yes, then it’s let it go — don’t do it, and don’t worry about it. Grudges; let it go. Arguments; let it go. Guilt; let it go. It’s something I am not good at, frankly, but I’m trying. I carry problems around, stuffed into my pockets like fruit snacks in my purse. Let it go. Let it go.
And when I want to jump ahead, when I want to bury my whole body under a blanket and pretend I don’t exist, when everything feels like too big, or too much — I try to remember, you are exactly where you need to be. Good things happen without us realizing. What feels big now will, most likely, feel very small soon enough. The world ebbs and flows, and history tells me, I will be okay.
I cannot make things appear out of nowhere. I cannot speed up time, nor can I slow it down. I can’t snap my fingers and make endless resources appear in front of me, be it emotional strength, someone to tidy my house, a personal jet, or multitudes of patience. I am what I am, I have what I have, I exist where I exist. Those things can be changed, over time, if they must — but in the present, in each moment, all I can strive for is to do what I can, with what I have, where I am.
Do affirmations help? I’m honestly not sure. I like that I have a constant, though. I’m guessing these things can change, too, and maybe I won’t need all, or any of them at some point in the future. I’m not worrying about it.