I was in the woods last week for the first time in a while, walking down a trail I had walked down countless times.
As I walked down that well-known trail, that trail I had walked countless times, I was thinking about routine.
Routine sometimes feels boring, right? We get tired of the sameness, we get a little complacent, we might stop paying such close attention to what we’re doing. We might get a little lazy in our routine.
Simultaneously, routine can be so deeply helpful.
A couple of months ago I got a little cold. Nothing major, but seeing as I have a lot of activity in my week due to my work, I decided to back down from any extra activity in my week.
One week turned into two, which turned into three. Turns out, I had a really faithful routine going, and when I fell off that routine, I just fell hard…it felt so hard to get back on routine. Every morning my alarm would go off, and my bed would be so warm, and I would be so tired, and those extra 45 minutes of sleep would feel so very enticing.
And on and on it went, for weeks and weeks. Every morning I would argue with myself, and every morning my bed would win.
My dear friends, sometimes we can see clearly what we need to do, and it can still be so very hard to do it. I wonder what it would feel like to practice a little more understanding, a little more grace with ourselves when we inevitably fall off the routine we had hoped to stay on. My friends, I hope you can find your routine, but if you can’t, I hope you can find a little more grace and care for yourself this week.
Have an amazing week my friends.
The Darkest Day
Remember when I said movement helps me process things? Full admission, it’s been hard to get outside and move lately, and I’ve been feeling it in my body and my mind.
Tuesday was the Winter Solstice, the darkest, shortest day of the year.
We’ve been moving through a space where days get shorter, where light sets sooner, where it’s harder to get outside and to spend time in the light.
Perhaps, as me, you’re feeling it in your mind and your body. Perhaps it’s settled in a bit, perhaps it’s hard to see and feel the light.
But today light will stay around a little longer than yesterday. And tomorrow even longer. And the day after that, even longer.
My dear friends. Perhaps it’s hard to see and feel the light right now in your own life. I wonder if we can find a little more acceptance in the space we’re in, even if that space is a little bit dark…and in that acceptance, I wonder if we find a little more hope that tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that the light will stay a little longer.
I hope you have an amazing week dear friends.
In a Flash
I’ve been sitting in thoughts about that flash flood I spoke about a couple of weeks ago, coupled with my weekend of hibernation last weekend.
While my mama and I were walking the 5 miles back to our cars in Zion last summer, we were reading some of the signs that talked about flash floods. The Virgin river in Zion National Park transports about one million tons of sediment every year, but the majority of that sediment is transported during flash floods, changing the landscape, causing erosion and carving the canyon further with the rushing waters.
Several months ago on a Friday I was just in a mood. I was feeling grumpy, sad and “off” and was, in general, not feeling myself. All day long starting with my first early-morning class I had this feeling of grumpiness, sadness, and this feeling of being “off”, but I couldn’t pin-point why I was feeling the way I was feeling, I couldn’t figure out what was going on in me that day…I knew it was happening, I could feel it, but I couldn’t figure out the “why”.
I finished up with my work that afternoon, and decided to go to the park for a bit of a slow jog. As I started moving my body, as my heart rate started quickening and blood started moving a bit faster, I suddenly recognized what emotions I had been holding on to that day, what had been affecting my mood and why I had been feeling grumpy all day long. With movement I was able to pinpoint my feelings, I was able to see them and to recognize them as valid. With movement I was able to see why I was feeling what I was feeling, and in seeing, was able to give myself permission to both feel those feelings and also take more ownership and control over those feelings. Did the movement and the realization make that sadness go away? No. But did it give me both permission to feel what I was feeling and more control over those feelings? Absolutely.
My dear friends, there are days and times when we just need to hibernate and turn inward a bit…but simultaneously I think it’s important to recognize the power of movement to help us process our feelings. Just like the rushing water of those flash floods in Zion help change and carve the landscape of a canyon, so our movement practices help change our bodies and our minds and help us process how and what we are feeling. Our movement practice has the power to help us feel more empowered in our own bodies and minds.
I hope you have an amazing week, my dear friends.
I was on a walk in the woods the other day. It was not so late in the day, yet I could just see the sun through the trees on the edge of the horizon. It’s getting to that time of year..the darkest time of year. The light is fading, it’s getting darker and colder. The sun is up for a shorter period of time and we’re naturally less inclined to move and more inclined to hibernate.
This past weekend, I was feeling pretty down and blue for a couple of reasons. I had some plans that involved me really stretching myself in ways that I was both nervous about, and excited for....but I had to break those plans. While that was the correct decision for me, I was still feeling a little down on myself. The holidays are lovely and wonderful and sometimes really hard, and this past weekend I was feeling the ups and downs of emotions surrounding this time of year.
And so, as we’re inclined to do, I hibernated a bit this past weekend. Even though weather-wise it was a beautiful weekend, and it probably would have made me feel better to get outside, I stayed inside, I checked some things off my to-do list, and I binged some stupid TV.
And I was kind of down on myself a little more about my weekend choices.
But, my friends, there are times when we just need to hibernate a bit...and there isn’t anything wrong with that.
My dear friends, can we see what we need with a little less judgement and a little more acceptance this week. May we recognize that the world, the weather, life has an effect on us and sometimes we just need a little bit of time to move inside and hibernate. May we find a little more love and acceptance and a little less judgement for ourselves this week.
I hope you have an amazing week my friends.
Sometimes joy comes in surprising places.
Quite a while ago I was telling you about my trip this past summer to Zion National Park with my family, our walk in the Narrows, and the threat of a flash flood that did not come into fruition.
What I didn’t tell you was that a flash flood did happen...it just happened on the opposite side of the park from us....and shut down the entire park for hours.
My family and I had made it out of the Narrows before the rain started in earnest, stood in line for our shuttle bus in the rain, and then got on the shuttle bus to take us to where the rest of our family waited at the entrance to the park. We started on our way, got a few stops down, and stopped...and waited…for hours. Wet, shivering, stuck on a muggy and cold bus, my mama, several siblings and I, and a gaggle of nieces and nephews and my kids waited, with no idea why we were stopped, only that it was a shelter-in-place.
After hours of waiting, we finally got on our way again, only to be stopped a few miles down with no indication of when or if we would be able to get to our cars that day.
If you’ve ever been to Zion, you’ll know that you park at the southern entrance to the park, and then take a shuttle bus up the canyon. By that second stop we were about 5 miles away from the entrance, but it was cold and drizzly, and we were in the shelter of a bus and knew we would be safe there if we couldn’t get out of the park and that it could potentially be dangerous if we got stuck on the road with no shelter in the cold and wet.
But the weather finally turned. It got a little warmer, it stopped raining, and so our discussions turned in earnest to whether we stay on the bus with the unknown time-frame, or walk the five miles to our car. After much debate back and forth, we decided to take the walk.
And, oh my friends, it was just the most beautiful walk. The shuttle bus is a lovely ride (when you’re not stuck on it for hours), but you can’t see the canyon fully when you’re on it. But our walk, our walk was just magical. Five miles, slightly downhill the whole time, with the canyon walls surrounding us and the ability to really soak in the beauty of that place in a totally different way. Yes, there were some blisters, some chafing, a bit of kid complaining (there had been miles and miles of hiking prior to our unexpected five mile walk!), but it was totally worth it to experience that canyon in that new and different way.
At the exact time we walked up to the visitor center, we saw our bus turn into the road in front of us. Turns out our walk was unneeded. But the experience was priceless, it was so majestic and beautiful.
My dear friends, sometimes joy comes in surprising and unexpected places. And sometimes we need to look around to find it.
I hope you have a joyful week my friends.
Hi, I'm Krista!
Krista Mason is a yoga and fitness instructor based in Washington DC. She owns an online studio and loves it!