Maybe I should start over. Maybe I should end this blog and let the domain go into the archive. It’d be easier–a clean break from the winter of the last three years.
I think instead, I’ll start right where I am with who I am. Today’s not the day to tell the story of where I’ve been and who I was. That Odyssey will be told in time. I was there and am back again. Back home in the library, more prepared and determined–I hope–than I was before.
For now, I’ll start over with a word. Possibility.
The first yoga class I attended in 2018 began with the instructor offering a new understanding of the word accountability.
Accountability, she told us, has two parts: intent and grace. Intent, yes…but grace? Yes. Grace. We start each yoga practice by setting an intention for that day’s practice–strength, balance, breath, foundation, forgiveness, courage. Whatever our life needs in that moment on the mat, we devote our practice to. One of the things I fell in love with first about yoga was the discipline it required to practice grace for yourself. Ten years ago in my mid-twenties I was not good at this. Today in my mid-thirties, it’s getting harder to have grace for myself, but at least I know how important it is, and I can recognize the signs of when I’m should-ing myself.
“You should be reading, Audrey.”
“You should be doing laundry, Audrey.”
“You should be unloading the dishes, Audrey.”
“You should be organizing the closet, Audrey.”
“You should be blogging, Audrey.”
“You should be nicer.”
“Should be smarter.”
“Should be more patient.”
“be more loving.”
“be more spontaneous.”
I’ve should-ed myself to the brink of panic attacks and debilitating anxiety. When should-ing is at it’s worst, I start to should those around me, denying them the grace that I’ve denied myself. My response has been to do the one thing that quiets the shoulds…I do more.
In a yoga practice, however, in a roomful of yogis with a good teacher, there’s no space for should because grace occupies the room. When you are focused on an intent on the mat, then every wobble, fall, modification for a difficult posture, and child’s pose is part of the journey. Each breath is a new possibility.
And so, possibility is my intention for 2018. To hold myself accountable to my word I will not set weekly goals for the number blog posts I publish or calendar my day to make time for all the things I should be doing. I will instead, practice grace for myself and create space in my life for all the marvelous possibilities that this year has to offer. When the shoulds start rolling in, I’ll do the opposite and make space.
Hello, 2018. You’re beautiful.