I was given some homework on Tuesday: spend at least 10 minutes a day doing nothing.
No email, no eating, no instagram, no reading, no bike riding, walking, or driving...
Nothing. Just me and myself.
The past few months, and especially the last few weeks, I've kind of felt like I'm dancing on the surface of life. My schedule has been pretty full, with sporadic gaps in time to go on grocery runs, walk my dog, eat, clean the apartment, and MAYBE hang out with my friends.
Don't get me wrong, I love what I've been keeping myself busy with! Teaching yoga has brought me so much joy and growth. And even my "day-job" of being a barista has been fun, challenging, and rewarding in it's own way. I love my jobs. BUT. I started to notice something happening.
I started to fill my down-time too.
Maybe you can relate to this: Let's say I have an hour in between running errands and teaching a class. In that hour, somehow I manage to make and eat food, check instagram, "listen" to a podcast, answer all my emails, straighten the kitchen, check facebook, , and frantically get dressed when I realize I'm almost out of time.
Or how about this: I'm in line at the grocery store, and I instantly grab my phone.
I quickly started to feel the effects of not making time to just BE with myself.
When all of your attention is outside of yourself-when you're not nurturing yourself-your self will eventually cry out for help in whatever way it needs to in order to grab your attention, as if to say "HEY! Remember me? Your self? Do you even know how I'm doing these days?" For me, I've heard the cries in the form of binge eating, under eating, exhaustion, and random bursts of emotion. I got to (*am getting to) a point where I MUST listen to these cries.
I realized that I felt like a baby bird inside of its egg. I've grown big enough that the walls of the egg are pressing against me, and it's uncomfortable. To break free, I've gotta do that tedious, sometimes painful work of breaking my way out so that I can live the life that's in front of me.
So far, these alone times have not been pretty. Turns out, suppressing thoughts and emotions is something you can do without realizing it (who knew??). But although it's not butterflies and rainbows right now, it's still good. I feel that this is good. This is my work right now. And I choose to honor that.
So we'll see how this continues! We'll see how much more uncomfortable I'll get. We'll see how many mini epiphanies (say that 3 times fast) I will have. We'll see how I transform, grow, and chip away at my little shell.