Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike. J. K. Rowling
The month of March has lived up to its reputation; it has felt like nothing less than unrelenting madness. The days of “in like a lion and out like a lamb” are long gone, replaced by schizophrenic weather and unsure predictions of tomorrow. In Delaware, the school kids have gone through a winter without a snow day, and the rest of us have been shuffling into the new year with our heads down. It feels like just now we are lifting our gazes to realize that the third month of 2013 is nearly over. “On edge” would be describing my last few weeks lightly.
March brought some changes to my schedule, as I now start my day Monday through Thursday by teaching yoga, in addition to teaching two nights a week. Then the CrossFit Games’ Open began and I have been competing in that. And that’s just my workout schedule! My hours in-between are spent, often feeling more like a deposit into a life account that I will never see rather than a progression towards something. Lately by the time my head hits the pillow at night, I realize I barely had time to think during the day. It’s then that all the thoughts come rushing in waves and the moments tick by without any real relation to conventional time. I cannot do anything but think. Then, it begins again.
I recently wrote a post about setting intentions, about having a purpose to practicing, training, moving, living. While I still find that setting an intention is challenging, I find it just as difficult to keep that intention in mind—staying completely present in whatever it is I am doing. Part of the problem is that days are filled with lots of doing—minutes defined by actions, what I need to do to get through. My time is propelled by what others need me to do. I will be in class practicing yoga and instead of being present for me, I am thinking about what postures or poses I would like my students to experience. Before I know it, the hour or so that I dedicated to myself is gone and I am back on someone else’s schedule.
This may seem like just distractions, but it is actually a form of neglecting myself. Yes, I am distracted by what others need and want me to do—but worse—I am ho-hum towards me. “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike,” (J. K. Rowling.) If I am floating through my day without mindfulness or true feelings, then I pretty much neglected precious moments that I will never get back. If at the very least I dislike something, I usually work harder to move to something that I do enjoy. Feelings of dislike can be catalyst of change, whereas indifference is a life sentence of static.
March may almost be over, but it’s not over yet. So I have vowed to change! While my routine has not changed, my perspective has. On Monday morning I got up and taught my small class, not because I have to, but because I enjoy seeing my students evolve. Then I was fully engaged in a staff meeting because I was there, so why not? I was thankful to get out of work early, danced around my house, went to yoga, and then ate cake. It’s not easy, especially in the morning, but I have been reminding myself today that I am here, so just be here.
Life moving fast is definitely nothing new and it will not change. The days will tick on and the responsibilities will pile up. People will tell you what to do and you won’t always have a choice. So I propose the intention to simply be present. Notice what you’re feeling, especially if it is unpleasant, and work towards something better. That way as we move forward, we can drop away the tasks, the people, the jobs, and our own thoughts and feelings that are not serving us. Spring is the perfect time to walk forward with your head held high—winter is leaving and the sun is shining the way into summer.