We all go through cycles in our lives. We experience times of change, times of routine, times we know where we're going, and, times we feel lost. This is an inevitable aspect of the human experience. In my own life, I feel like I am often going between feeling like I'm moving in the right direction and feeling like I have no idea what direction to move in. As I find myself in that latter place of uncertainty once again, my first reaction is exacerbated frustration. Really, universe? Again? Why can't I just have this figured out yet?
Of course, there's a part of me that knows life will always move in cycles. You don't have to look hard at the weather or how things in the earth grow to see that everything lives, to some degree, in cycles. As I pondered this, it suddenly struck me that I wouldn't expect a seed I just planted to be a full grown plant. It needs to nestle in the ground and, unseen by me, germinate and grow roots before, eventually, poking it's head out of the ground. It has to mulch (a word that, as a non-gardener, seems fitting for this process). So why don't I give myself permission to mulch?
Frankly, this is an easy question to answer. Our society exclusively applauds accomplishment and the end result of effort. While we might give props to the journey after the fact, in the midst of it, we usually try to rush to the conclusion. After all, that's what we value. While it's wonderful to praise accomplishment, this imbalance has forced us out of the natural flow of life. In our rush to "do", we burn out and break down. But, you know what? I don't want to burn out or break down. I'm tired of feeling frustrated and worthless every time my life moves into this "mulch" phase.
So, I'm going to give myself permission to mulch. This doesn't mean I'm going to sit around twiddling my thumbs, but, it does mean that I am going to let the seed of the next chapter of my life germinate. Yelling at it to grow faster has never worked in the past anyway, so, why would this time be different? Instead, I will practice being comfortable in the discomfort of not knowing exactly what's happening. I will do my work and follow my interests while letting the voices clambering to know what I'll get out of it quiet down. Even as the earth quiets in these winter months, I will allow myself to quiet and listen and be.
If this has resonated at all with you, I hope you will join me in this practice. Give yourself permission to mulch, to rest, to act, whatever it is your current life cycle needs. Find a manageable intention or action you can bring into your life today and play with it for the month of February. Notice what comes up for you, what effects you feel, all with compassion. I will share below my February monthly resolution (see my January blog post for more info) and feel free to share yours in the comments section below. As I mentioned in that blog post, I have made a Facebook page for community and support around resolutions and intentions for this year. It is there if you would like to join, we would love to have you! Peace be with all of you this coming month and I hope you have enjoyed this post!
February Monthly Intention: While I don't feel obligated to make an intention that matches my post, it does seem to fit this month! My intention for this month is to prioritize time for reading/quiet. I am surrounded by books I genuinely want to read but never seem to have time to. I intend to spend time every week day (weekends are optional) reading. I also intend to spend at least 5 minutes twice a week in a grounding, calming restorative yoga pose. I'm really loving supported forward folds and supported child's pose at the moment. This will give me time to simply be and listen, which, even though I am a yoga teacher, is not something that comes easily. What about you?