For this August Moon prompt, Kat says, “Today I invite you to consider how you might contemplate the path ahead from a place of greater self-compassion.” The invitation is so perfectly timed. I just finished the first week back full-time at my CSU work. Week one is always the busiest, with everything needing to be done yesterday. We are adjusting back to a schedule where both Eric and I are working and busy, and we need to share dog care, and hardly see each other. I’m working through two blog challenges, so writing and posting a lot. I’m just finishing up yoga teacher training, which means lots of practice teaching and a belly full of joyfear. Ringo and I are starting a new training class. I’m looking to start/finish work on my self-compassion ebook and the offering book that goes with it. There is laundry to do and groceries to buy, and I baked glazed lemon zucchini bread to take to our department potluck, which I then attended. At one point during the week, I posted a status update on Facebook that said, “Having one of those days where I’ve been working so hard, I need to stop and just cry.”
And then on Friday, I learned that my yoga buddy Ann died. She’d been in hospice since last Friday. She fought cancer so hard and for so long, but it finally got to be too much. She’s one of the strongest, toughest, and yet softest people I’ve ever met. She’s the reason I kept practicing yoga for so long, showed up to class at 6:30 am three times a week for years. Even if I was too busy or tired or the weather was bad or I didn’t feel like it, I went because I knew I’d get to see Ann. She made me laugh, made me try harder. And now she’s gone. I’m going to teach my first yoga class soon, and she won’t be there.
I want to slow down. I want to take it easy. I want to spend my weekends taking naps, reading, spending time with Eric and the dogs, going on long walks. I always set the intention, but find myself rushing ahead, pushing myself on to the next thing — and there is always a next thing. Right now I’m so clear about where I’m headed, my list of “next things” could easily fill the next 10 years.
What propels me, and it’s right to mention it here because as I wrote that last sentence I felt the panic rising, is the reality of impermanence. I am going to die, and as I’ve learned from Heather and Kelly and now Ann, death isn’t going to wait until I feel finished, until I’m done. This is what makes me rush, not want to wait, what makes taking a break get confused with wasting precious time.
Kat ends today’s prompt asking “What sort of trust would this require?” To move forward, allow things to gently unfold, to practice with self-compassion, I’d have to trust:
- That what I produce is purer, more honest, easier, and more beneficial to everyone if I do it from a place of self-compassion rather than through smashing myself to bits.
- That I can’t ease suffering if I make myself suffer to do so.
- That my experience of life is just as important as what I make, what I do, what I offer.
- That I wouldn’t have been born with this fire inside of me, this intense longing, if I weren’t meant to manifest it.
- That I will be able to do what I came here to do.
- That I can take a day off, that my need for rest is valid, that self-care is absolutely necessary.