Can you recall a time recently that you felt completely in the moment? Not thinking about the future, the what-if’s, the pulling away into the chasm of unknowns?
For me, it was this morning.
I have recently reconnected with an old and dear friend, my bicycle. Since my recent years included multiple hip surgeries I have been unable to really enjoy my bike riding, and I had said a painful goodbye to her years ago. Or so I thought.
I had forgotten how bicycling for me is much different than walking in the sense of presence. The intensity that is required to ride a bike on a bumpy trail, paired with the rhythm of pedal strokes and controlled breathing I found I had the perfect combination to allow the sorrows of recent days and weeks to fade, and to be completely in the now.
This was exactly what I needed.
I discovered while in the spaciousness of being totally present the range of emotion that I have stuffed over the last couple of months. For a strong-willed person who rarely loses control or allows emotion to take front and center, I simply said yes. I watched as tears fell from my eyes and blurred my vision of the trail, I felt the consuming love only a mom understands, and I let my heart fill with compassion and grace, that at times took the breath right from my lungs.
I stopped. I took in what was around me. I let it all sink in. I welcomed and allowed the emotions that were sunk deep into the cells of my body to the surface.
I said yes. I said yes to what has been ruminating in me since late March.
Not unlike others in recent weeks, you may have heard people sharing how COVID has changed their outlook on life, even in the middle of what seems like a constant division. Not just a division politically or socially, but sometimes a division within even the dynamics of a family or close circle of friends. It appears that people are seeming to realize that there are priorities that need to be adjusted and that the things we may have held important need to be reevaluated. I am not any different in taking an inventory of my own life and determining what may need to change.
For me, I have honestly loved the pace of my life that COVID has offered me. Since I have a hard time saying no to things, this has been an opportunity to have no said for me and I believe wholeheartedly that I will be able to move out of this season with a strong voice that says no to that which does not align with the vision of my life I want to create.
I have also learned to look at the reasons behind saying yes to everything, except myself. Many of my yes’s were based on fear and some crazy need to be that person who does it all and does it all with perfection. To the point of exhaustion.
I have enjoyed the space of my home and being deliberate with how I spend my time. I have a schedule that I stick to and it contains many sections of time devoted to reading, resting, being in my garden, on my bike, or enjoying a french press coffee on my patio. Not racing from facility to facility, cursing at drivers who were driving too slow because I was always late, often because I kept saying yes to something else. I never seemed to have enough time, I was always late and always stressed.
I have also come to see that life isn’t all about work. In fact, I have adjusted my work so much that I don’t know that it will ever resemble what it was. And, I am more than okay with that. I will return to the things that feed my soul, rather than drain my soul, and I won’t be working to exhaustion–ever again. I trust that I have built a solid foundation to take my work into the platform it has been proven to be successful the last two months and continue to build from there, but with a thread of honor and deliberate action.
I learned quickly to let go of many people in my life that have an obvious view that is in direct incongruency of who I want to surround myself with. I have seen characteristics of people I would have never guessed that frankly, I don’t have any interest in being around. Again, more choice and less yes.
I trust in this new time and I know that in the emotions there are also windows of clarity. I also know the gifts that come in the space of presence. I welcomed this morning’s gift and promised myself to say yes to this unprecedented time with an open heart and a new path ahead of me.