When I went to the Kripalu center (Kripalu) a few weekends ago, my brain had the fun of getting packed full of some pretty amazing new information. About all different things, too. It was like a mental buffet…little bit of this, little bit of that…ooo, I’d like seconds of that, please! It was a weekend that was stimulating for the body as well as the mind. Quite the combo. I consumed so much info that I’m still processing it and know I will be for a while. I’m also hoping that I can retain it all…or at least, if I’ve forgotten some of it, some parts of memory will be jogged at points in the future and one of those morsels will be set free to be thought about again. Generally, my life revolves around many habitual things, so to have a new flurry of ideas is a wonderful thing in my book. And boy does it feel great.
When I left Kripalu on that Sunday afternoon, I was feeling both energized and a bit melancholy, although that word sounds very dramatic. Hmmm…how to retain this sense of peace, balance and focus in my daily goings-on after I leave the lovely Berkshires? This was a fabulous little bubble where Kripalu-ites concentrated on yoga and meditation and self-awareness. They thought about ways to treat their bodies and minds in the best ways that they could, whether by food, exercise, relaxation or creativity. There were no bills, no obligations, heck there weren’t even any phones really. Technology was quiet. Peace was easy.
For starters, I bought a little talisman of sorts before I left. I felt like I needed something tangible to remind me of what I learned and how I felt while I was there. It was that good. I’m now wearing a very delicate, two-strand beaded turquoise bracelet that has a wee “om” symbol in silver dangling from it. Tiny and unassuming but I find myself glancing at it whenever I need a little reminder of balance. I suppose you could liken it to Greek worry beads or worry stones. Or for some, even rosary beads. I’m just not going to rub these into oblivion.
Secondly, I’m trying to slowly integrate some of what I learned into my daily routine. I have not dove head-first into meditation, but I’ll try it a bit soon. I have not done Sun Salutations every morning since returning home (I have eaten more quinoa, though). Too much enthusiasm usually leads to burn-out quickly. I’d rather the slow and steady approach.
One idea that really struck me while I was there and I think it was discussed in one of my meditation classes was this….What is your intention for the day? The notion of starting each day with a written-down or clearly communicated intention. This is not your to-do list. This is not your run-down of errands. Think of those as being the spokes on a wheel. Well, the intention is the tire. What is the overwhelming thing that you want to accomplish in your day? Do you want to stay balanced? Do you want to be friendlier to people that you encounter? Do you want to foster your creativity and step out of your box today? What do you want to do and how will you approach your day because of this resolve?….
Mine, as of late, seems to be focus. It was jumping around in my head while I was there, too. Focus. As a Mom, you multi-task. Child is born and you are off to the races. Second child is born and you are working your tail off to keep up with the pack. Somehow, though, evolution just dropped the ball because along with giving birth to babies, women should at the same time be given extra arms, feet and an extra head (eyes-in-the-back-of-the-head included). Add to the multi-tasking a smartphone, a couple of computers and other technological fancies and we are doomed. Too much to keep track of. Too many directions to run. My husband always says that I can’t multi-task for all of my talk about being able to. As I step back, I see that he’s right about this. Yes, there are days when I do a million different things, but did I do them ALL WELL? Not necessarily. Some I did just to knock them off the list (oh, what a feeling!). But actually focusing and being present. Hmmm…there’s that old yoga idea again…being present. I’ve been trying it for the past week (one week in! yay!) and I have found there is a difference. A good difference. Case and point, I hosted Easter this past weekend for friends and family and Was. Not. Stressed. Not even when I did all the grocery shopping on Saturday, pulled back into the driveway and realized that I had forgotten to buy the coconut that I needed for my macarOOns. I actually amazed myself. I did not swear a blue streak. I did not stomp up the stairs with the groceries I just bought. Somehow, I was ok with this. I unpacked the groceries, went back to the store, got the coconut, even smiled at the checkout lady, returned home and made my macarOOns. Which, as a side-note, turned out brilliantly.
Take your time. Look at the thing in front of you. Only that. Don’t flip out. Do it well. Niiiiiiiice! This is an addictive feeling. Mama like.
So, the Simply Complex question of the day for you is….What is your intention?