Happy May! The city has never looked more beautiful to me than in this last month. The blooms, the trees, the brief but beautiful tulips! It was also really amazing to be in South Carolina for a week - aside from the obvious joy of being with my nephews and niece - to be surrounded by trees, open land, and big, gorgeous southern sky.
So yes - I am back from another three week period of madness. So much joy in seeing my best friend get married, spending the week with the one and only Katie Parker, spending a week with my sister and her family. But - it is good to be back. Not just back in NYC, and not necessarily just back to my normal routine and my husband and my own kitchen and my wonderful job - but back into a different and entirely self-inflicted madness.
The Brooklyn Half Marathon, my first distance race since January 2014's Disney Marathon, is coming up in 11 short days. That brings its own variance to my usual schedule and routine, as with today, where I mapped out roughly three and a half hours (including warm up, travel, and going verrrrrry slowly) for my longest training run of 10 miles. Due to various mental and physical road blocks here and there during training, I have honestly not been feeling as great as I hoped to be feeling at this point. Happily, however, today's run went better than expected, and I'm relieved to be almost at the starting line with my one and only Laura Frye by my side to cross the finish with me.
I've been very into choosing and sharing a particular word or mantra for each month so far this year, and May's is a very simple one - clear.
Just as my brilliant and fiery niece Zoe can completely reset herself from having a total meltdown to being a perfectly happy child after just fifteen minutes of alone and quiet time in her room, we all have the ability to completely change our mental course throughout the stresses of our days and hit our own reset button. We all have the ability to clear our heads of useless worry or self-doubt and start over, choosing a new and more positive thought.
It doesn't come naturally to probably 90% of us, but it is biologically possible. And man is it beneficial. Just today, on my run, I can think of several times I let my worrying and my negative thoughts the challenge of the run was get the better of me, and then, remembering my mantra, I consciously stopped and visualized just clearing it all out of my head - like highlighting the text of a document and hitting delete.
I've written about this sort of thing in the past - first, just scratching the surface on it when reviewing the absolute must-read book My Stroke of Insight way back in 2010 (which delves much more deeply into the biology of it all), and second just this past fall when talking about the "reset button" I refer to with my prenatal yoga clients.
It's so easy, literally anyone can do it - all you have to do is get out of your own way. Gretchen Rubin often shares the quote, "It is easy to be heavy, hard to be light." Sometimes complaining is the comfort zone. Sometimes it's easier to live in worry than in hope. Sometimes the habit of being bitter feels easier than taking the chance to let it go and choose to be better.
Just hit CLEAR. Pause. Reset your thought pattern. Choose a positive thought. Don't judge it, don't over think it, just do it.
And off you go, into a better moment.