Thursday, September 13, 2012

A gateway to being present: Slow Down

I'm sitting down to write this blog and to be honest, 47 million other things on my to do list are scattering around in my brain, plus the temptation to just mess around on facebook for an hour.  I have to be out the door at a certain time and I always, always, always have more to do than time to do it in.

On Sunday, I went for my longest run ever - so far.  Compared to the 13.1 I'll be running (ack!) in little over a month, 7 isn't such a huge number, but it's a mile farther than I'd ever run before.  Luckily, I had Marc with me for almost the whole time, which was such a huge help in so many ways.  One of the biggest benefits to having him with me was how often he told me, "Slow down."  The long runs are supposed to be at a slow, conversation, and dare I say leisurely pace.  There's no rush to get to the finish, the point is just to do it and get those miles in your body.  Conserving energy is essential, and you don't want to put anymore stress on your body by going fast than you already are by upping your mileage.

When I went out again on Tuesday morning and then again this morning, I was alone, but every so often his voice would pop up in my head:  "Slow down."  What's the rush, after all?  It's not like I'm an elite athlete trying to set records - I just want to make it to the finish in one piece!

I'm feeling a similar sense of rushing - and thus feeling overwhelmed - when I look ahead to my schedule for the next few months.  I'm very excited and very fortunate to be teaching some new classes - I'm continuing to learn and explore Prenatal Pilates, I'll have a regular Circus Yoga class, and I'm teaching tween and teen classes for the first time since my amazing Karma Kids Yoga Teen Teacher Training blew my mind.  I also have my very first regular Mom & Baby Yoga class on Friday mornings at The Giving Tree Yoga Studio.  I took the training last October and have subbed here and there, but I've never had a chance to teach a regular class and build the skills and confidence that comes from consistent teaching.

All of these great new opportunities make me want to spend every waking moment rereading my manuals, planning out classes, and practice teaching - but I'm also working 6 days a week, planning a wedding, training for this race, and attempting to keep my apartment clean (and hang out with my fiance!).  When I get overwhelmed - or just plain exhausted from all this crazy overstimulation of my brain and long days after a month of vacationing - I've started to tell myself this week - Slow Down.  Take things a class at a time, a day at a time, and I know that eventually I'll get to where I want to be as a teacher.  I talk all the time about my discomfort with being a "beginner" - I want to be good at what I do, and confident in my abilities.

If these past two years at Karma Kids Yoga has taught me anything, it's that I just have to put in the time and keep teaching and I'll get to where I want to be.  Sure, if I were only focusing on one of these new things I'd get way better at it way faster, but ultimately I'm going to have an even more widely diverse skill set than I already do - and the most important thing is, there's no finish line to it!  To deeply overuse a's a (half) marathon, not a sprint.  More importantly, it's life, and not a race.

Slow down.  It keeps you present, keeps you sane, and keeps challenges manageable.


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