I am in New Jersey staying with the co-writer of my book, Robin Renee. My offical work week began my first night here (Friday) in South Jersey at Bogart’s bookshop in Millville. It is a sweet little oasis and run by a wonderful woman named Amy. We even found How the Grinch Stole Christmas in Spanish there (my holiday gift to Robin).
It was Robin and I’s first time coming together to lead a group as kirtan singer (her) and yoga teacher/inspirational speaker (me) and meditation practitioners (both of us) to share our expertise. We used stories from my memoir, Inspired to Live, The Story of an Unlikely Rebel, to interweave our discussion and sharing of meditation particulars and mantra meanings for the folks present.
We had a similar event slated for yesterday, Sunday, at the Integral Yoga Institute Princeton which had to be canceled due to the freak blizzard the day before. Thanks to the impromptu storm our two hour drive North took six hours, consuming our whole Saturday. Sunday ended up being a day of visiting friends across the river from New York City, pulling together the key items for Robin’s Halloween costume (Mr. Snuffleupagus), taking a wonderful long walk, and Ethiopian chow in Philadelphia for dinner.
And now it is Monday, a workday. The sun has come out and the snow melted in southern New Jersey. I began my workday as I usually do a good stretch, breakfast and a re-grouping for the day’s plan. Today it is a few conference calls for Catalyst, follow up on e-mails, create some documents, change some others and of course exercise. Exercise is a key component to my brain working like a well-oiled machine Research is confirming the link between exercise and the brain’s functioning. I witness myself becoming lethargic in every realm of my being without it in my life consistently.
When I am home my first bout of movement is a walk with the pooches, which they will hover around my office waiting for in case I’ve forgotten our routine. Since I am not home the order of my schedule is a little different but the elements remain the same. Today as I was walking amongst colored leaves on the ground and snuggled into my jacket I thought about this day 25 years ago. My focus on the fact I am still here despite a 50%ish chance of surviving the mass filling my chest and the pieces spreading into my upper lymph glands. I am deeply grateful to have my life and to be able to do so many amazing things with my days. As I passed a playground I had a fleeting thought of one of my favorite childhood pastimes, which I write about in my memoir, swinging. My mind momentarily said be a responsible adult finish your walk and get back to work. Then the survivor-rebel-joy-seeking-spirit in me said, “Are you kidding?!?!? Celebrate! What is it gonna take 10 minutes?” It was right the thrill filled me from knit cap covered head to rain boot protected toes.
May I suggest some ways to celebrate life without guilt?
1.) One way I keep the guilty voice at bay is often I do a couple hours of work before I do my walk. Then I don’t feel guilty for not keeping my butt glued to my chair like office workers across America are doing at that moment in time. And I find I am much more productive when I return to that wooden seat at my desk.
2.) Make exercise part of my every day routine. Once it is in your schedule it becomes part of the schedule, just as important as that meeting with your boss at 10 a.m.
3.) I vowed to allow myself little moments of pleasures whether it is boarding a swing in a playground, wrestling with my dogs or going out to smell the flowers on my patio. If you are afraid you will lose track of time (I can) keep a timer on your desk. Have it preset for the amount of time you are willing to wander. I give myself ten to fifteen minutes depending on how packed my day is. The minute I leave my desk I click start and carry it with me. I thoroughly enjoy every minute without worry of how long I am away form the task at hand.
I wonder if any of you have a way you celebrate the day in bits and pieces?