one little word: GIVE in May

Rather than making resolutions this year, I chose one little word for 2013 - a way to set my broad intention and create a guide for my path as I meander through a new year. I chose the word GIVE, and you can read more about that process here. At the beginning of each month I'll look back on the previous month and share with you how the one little word has been working in my life.

May had me thinking that perhaps I should give up on my one little word.  My record as a wildly giving person during the year of 2013 wasn't looking so great even before.  And then May happened.  It was a good month in big ways - we packed up our apartment and closed on our first house and moved in.  All of that was exciting and stressful and busy-making such that I was just holding onto a tiny thread of trying to focus on giving.  Then my to-be-mentee, who I was so excited to meet and begin working with, moved out of the state.  But all of that was just logistics.

The real issue was that May was not only a big, exciting month.  It was also a hard, sad month for reasons I won't go into on the blog.  On the outside, I was showered with blessings, but on the inside I was feeling empty and broken.  It seemed like the perfect time to give up on giving.  But I remembered a comment my friend Beth left on my one little word wrap-up post in February. 

"Maybe it's ok for 'give' to be related to giving yourself a break from the expectations and routines every now and again. Along these lines I think you should give yourself the night off to enjoy a movie with Navah."

I realized that, as new-age cliche as it might sound, what I really needed after May was to give to myself.  And not give myself pints of ice cream and hours escaping in front of the television - though I gave myself plenty of that in the beginning.  I needed to give myself something that would really nurture me, something that would help me heal. 

And so beginning June 2nd (it took me a bit to figure out what would be the right step forward), I committed to myself: 30 days of yoga. Not 30 days of hot yoga to shed pounds or 30 days of hour and a half long meditation sessions.  I'm not trying to make life harder with unrealistic expectations.  No, I committed to give myself at least 15 minutes every day for my own yoga practice - no matter what.  Some days I've only gotten in the bare minimum.  Some days it's been more.

I'm recognizing both how good it feels and how hard it is to care for myself in this way.  I worry about getting dinner made or getting the plants in the garden or hearing about my wife's day or taking Jammer for a walk or talking to the neighbors.  But what I'm really doing is trying to avoid being there for myself.  I'm trying to avoid the stillness that might bring tears again.  And at the same time, I know that stillness - and those tears - are exactly what I need.  I know that there's no going around, that there is only going through. 

So I go back each day, breathing in and out - through one pose.  And when it's time, on to the next.