Stepping Out of the Shadows
I missed writing my blog last week. In fact, it was one of several routine things I do that I skipped out on this past week. I started one, with a very clear theme inspired by the legendary end scene of "Dirty Dancing". No, not that one. The one where Baby's sister gets the solo.
My trip down memory lane wasn't enough to spark a full blog, let alone a newsletter. The energetic slump that began Sunday continued on a downward trajectory all week. After attending my sobriety call this morning, I learned I was not alone. There was something in the air this week and much grace and self-compassion was required by all.
Maybe it was a post-Thanksgiving hangover of the oddest holiday so far this year. Maybe it was the full moon on Monday. Maybe it was the final month of 2020 beginning and a desperation to race to the finish line. Maybe it was the continuing escalation...and division...of the effects of the pandemic.
Whatever it was for me, it resulted in an incredibly high-anxiety week. It's amazing to me that sometimes I can run on auto-pilot, thinking the tools I use on a regular basis keep me afloat. It's only when I look back and realize how much I was NOT doing that I understand how I ended up in the kitchen on Saturday, tears flowing, shaming and blaming the woman I was in the past.
I shared a video this morning about some of the lessons and realizations I learned this week. I think it's so important to document all the ways in which I can learn from that moment and chart a better course for the week ahead.
I have not been eating right.
And no matter how many times I come back to the message "garbage in, garbage out", I somehow always end up right back in the landfill.
We were coming off of a carb-laden Thanksgiving feast and I just let that party continue. I relied on Doordash for most lunches, which consisted of street tacos and chips and queso. I think leftovers of the latter even constituted dinner one night, while my husband ate leftover pizza. My appetite was sporadic and my choices, poor.
Last night, I read a section of "Wheels of Life" by Anodea Judith related to nutrition and the root chakra, the energy center responsible for safety and security. The essence of the message was: eat poorly and you will feel ungrounded. I was especially intrigued by the fact that protein is essential to the root chakra. The starchy carb addiction I've created for myself is not that far off from sugar. Add to that my ability to justify Crumbl cookie delivery last night in lieu of birthday cake for Ryan.
I am committing this week to cleaning up my diet. I have squash and chicken in the oven and Sunbasket arriving tomorrow. I have tried and true recipes to prep for breakfasts and lunches and new things to whip up for dinner. I'm only disappointed I'll have to buy eggs since the girls haven't laid eggs in days. Humans aren't alone in this holiday struggle.
I have not been on the yoga mat. Or the walking trails, or the meditation pillow for that matter.
I usually attend a restorative practice on Monday nights with an instructor out of Canada. Not only do I love the energy shared on these live calls, they apparently center me even more than I realized. I came back from Thanksgiving vacation to a slurry of emails and thought I was doing myself a favor by removing the pressure to join this meeting. Now I know the ritualistic aspect of it is important to my week. I will not be skipping it tomorrow, nor will I keep putting off every other chunk of time I carve out for yoga.
I'd been trying to start my work day earlier with the intent of getting out for a walk before sundown. This week, I allowed perfectionist mode to creep as I was preparing for some key meetings and as the sun set, I was still sitting at my computer. One night, I left to cook dinner and went back in to my office until 10 pm. The presentation was great, but both it and my stress level would have been just fine if I'd exercised instead.
I got on the mat this morning and it was just what I needed. The theme of the class was "worthiness". I'd drawn a spirit animal card beforehand, so the Horse accompanied me through the practice. According to my guidebook, she helps me over rough terrain, but I must bring her into alignment through strength training. My legs are still jell-o from all the squats involved with that practice.
I have avoided essential rituals under the guise of grace.
In my yoga community, we've been discussing the importance of routines and rituals for the fall/winter season. For someone like me, who has historically suffered from seasonal affective disorder, it is especially important to stave off the depression that can come with shorter days and longer nights.
It's important I give myself grace for the days where I "just don't wanna", but it's equally important to keep up with routines that bring anxiety relief. Movement, meditation, journaling, writing. I will not let them slip through the cracks as easily this week. That is the biggest difference between me and that past version of me who was subject to vilification during my anxiety attack. This brave and kind version does not give up without a fight.
"Extend your hands to us and touch our hearts, so we will rise up and step forward more awake than before." -Pixie Lighthorse