Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Change of Plans

It's an ill plan that cannot be changed.
-Latin proverb

Supermoon over our house May 5, 2012
Seven days ago I would not have written this post. Actually, seven days ago I couldn't find an uncluttered horizontal surface on which to put my laptop, so I couldn't have written this post even if I'd had a mind to. Which just goes to show how much can happen in a week.

Something's been wrong for awhile. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what was wrong, but I've had the overwhelming desire to hide under a blanket in a dark room. Physically, I'd recovered from the flu except for a lingering cough, but my neck and shoulder had seized up for no apparent reason and my cervical vertebrae were painfully out of alignment. Plans for the yoga studio came together, and then fell apart, then came together again. My father was hospitalized briefly. The house fell into disarray. I napped. I blew off almost all my triathlon training but daily played with the training plan in my calendar trying to find a way to fit 4 hour bike rides in between the other things I wanted to do this summer.

Then, this week, the universe sent the perfect storm of self-care. I had an incredible first experience with acupuncture at the Acupuncture Studio in Glens Fall, New York. The physical release enabled my chiropractor to do a really good adjustment a couple of days later and I am now almost pain-free. That, plus a Reiki session, followed by a Reiki share with a great group of practitioners at the studio, created a big energetic shift. I feel like I can think clearly for the first time in months.

The storm kept building. I finished the inspiring book Wild by Cheryl Strayed, a Women's Adventure Magazine book club suggestion. I watched the equally inspiring movie The Way with Martin Sheen. I had a great talk with my life coach. I cleaned the house. And, last night, I stood outside at 11:30 pm while my husband tried to get a perfect picture of the big full moon, soaking in all the energy flowing down.

When I came inside I laid my moonstone pendant on the windowsill to absorb some of that energy - the pendant I had been wearing when I labored and gave birth to my son - and as I held it I realized that the training required to complete a 70.3 mile triathlon conflicted with other things I valued: freedom, adventure and time with my boy. By the time I woke up this morning the decision was made: I would switch to the Olympic-distance triathlon and enjoy my summer.

A huge weight lifted off of me. I shed a few tears for a dream that I was letting go. I felt like a quitter, briefly, but when I made the plan to do that race at the beginning of the year I didn't know what was coming: changes to the yoga studio's business plan and a flurry of activity around that, weeks of illness and injury, a new venture, and, most recently, the decision to homeschool my son beginning in September and the preparation that would require.

The Yoga Sutras tell us that we must practice compassion toward the suffering (1:33) and I often remind my yoga students that we must begin with compassion towards ourselves. I've been forgetting to apply that to my own life lately. Dropping the race is the most compassionate thing I could do for myself right now, even if it means feeling a bit foolish because I told so many people I was doing it.

Oh well. Sometimes the best plans are plans that change.

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