Right now I’m relaxing at Omaha’s 13th Street Coffee Co. enjoying a delicious iced green tea. It’s hot and humid outside but inside the temperature is as cool as the jazz playing softly through the overhead speakers. I have been reminded over the last few days about the pleasantness and necessity of taking time to slow down, although that probably sounds ironic coming from a girl who can’t wait to get to New York City.
I went to a yoga class this morning in the Old Market area of downtown. I think that area is my favorite part of this city. Cobblestone streets, coffee shops, delicious dining. Plus, it’s fun to watch locals down there taking in “the big city.” Oh, how life is relative. Anywho, back to yoga. This was the first yoga class I’ve taken away from my familiar yoga community. It’s a bit of a heartbreak and I felt myself resisting at first, thinking, “No, this isn’t how we do it,” but then I had to remind myself that yoga is a living, breathing thing that changes, evolves and surprises us. Feeling that reluctance was just my body’s unwillingness to accept change. So I calmed down a bit, got into a groove and started to enjoy myself. At the end of the class, the five of us women present enjoyed a cup of tea together in a circle- kinda felt like community.
The familiar, be it in yoga or your hometown coffee shop, is comforting because we know exactly what to expect. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t be pleasantly surprised by the unfamiliar. So while I’m in this strangely bucolic part of the country, I’ll sip it’s unfamiliarity like a new flavor of iced tea. Zen…
Do you listen to music when you wake up? At work? During the day? Before you go to sleep? When you work out?
Music can be a motivating force when used wisely. Just as the sad song mix can make us feel gloomy or overly retrospective about old relationships, so too can the right mix make us feel like smiling or literally move us to dance.
Take a good hard look at your iPod and examine how your current music selection is serving you. More importantly, look at how your music selection can serve you better. Maybe it’s time to take yourself on a date to the record store and get some new ear candy to help wake you up and keep you going. It’s no secret that music drives the soul, but it’s up to you to let it drive the goal.
What music moves you? I’d love to hear…
Life is busy. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I find that I am usually the most productive when I am busy. But sometimes the busyness of life can become overbearing and not allow us a moment to pause. Pause to grab a cup of coffee with a friend or take a walk in the park and notice how beautiful the trees look in the fall. Pause to take a long bath or call your family member who you haven’t caught up with in a while. Isn’t that the point in life, anways? At least part of the point in life? To enjoy the beauty of our world and the people in it despite our overwhelming to-do-list. I would rather die while walking in the park than I would driving to the bank.
The way I see it, there will always be more to do. More money to make, more errands to run, more oil changes to tend to, more school to finish, etc., etc. But what is a life without pause?
It always amazes me how afraid people are to go out and do things alone. I have a friend who won’t even go to the mall by himself. Maybe people are worried about what others think of them. Maybe they’re scared of being perceived as a loner, a loser, or someone who doesn’t have any friends. Whatever the case may be, I encourage all of you to let go of those worries and enjoy your own company. And I don’t mean spend the entire date with yourself on the phone texting other people. Put the phone away and be with yourself. Granted, this will probably not feel comfortable at first, but the only way it will get better is if you practice.
Do some people watching. Have conversations with yourself (inside, not outside your head). Read the paper or journal your thoughts. Wander around a bookstore. Go to the record store. Get a manicure. Have a beer at your favorite bar.
Being comfortable alone is a major step towards that place of wholeness- the place where you don’t need another individual to make you feel confident and comfortable. The place where you are able to fill yourself and be happy alone. Not to say that being surrounded by friends isn’t a wonderful thing. But when the night is over and everyone parts ways, are you still happy? Are you still whole?