A truly compelling title, yes? No. Well, compelling or not, this is the excuse, I mean reason I haven’t posted in a while. Truly, all the busyness that has taken up space has been good stuff—no complaints here, except that I am too busy. I have been fraught with this as of late and I must ask myself, in the big scheme of things, does my busyness matter? I’m checking in with myself regularly as I do not want to fall into old patterns of defining myself by my busyness. You know how it is, you ask someone how they are and they might reply, “busy.” I do it all the time. Yuk. I am catching myself though, and qualifying it with a “But…it’s all good stuff.” Does that even make a difference?! It comes back to the intention.
“Do not mistake busy-ness in your life for meaning. Make sure there is some time every day that you are not filling up with anything. See what arises.” –Judith Hanson Lasater
I used to be the one who chose to be so busy so that I didn’t have to truly see and face what was happening in my life. I wore busyness proudly my puffed up chest and as my martyr badge. Truly, it was a look away from the mirror and excuse for not dealing with my deep sense of discontentment. I found it much easier to find something to do, the great departure from “being,” to find myself “happily” busy than it was for me to stop, to look hard and deep, and address what was truly going on inside. I wasn’t content or truly happy. I wasn’t making the connection at that point that doing a lot equates happiness. Then one day, while blissed out in savasana (corpse pose), I had an epiphany that brought me to teaching yoga. It was a sensation that felt urgent. I just couldn’t push it aside. So what did I do? Of course, I added it to the list of things I had to do. At that time, it ended up being one of the best things I ever did for myself. I was (and sometimes still am, grrr) the woman who can do it all! Put the badge on front and center, fasten the cape, with scepter in fist, and kickass boots afoot, I signed myself up for yoga teacher training and added it to the list of who I was, which was truly someone who was desperately seeking to find her path—albeit really confused and full of fear, and too afraid to see what was truly happening.
And that is when things really started to unravel.
Well now doesn’t that sound fun?! I was coming undone in a way that was really, really scary and very, very liberating. Though the liberating piece of it is an observation in hindsight. It usually is. During that time, it is safe to say that my moods jerked me around dramatically. I didn’t know what was up I was learning how to calibrate myself. What else could I do at this time except keep on going. Through all this I held a strong, mostly capable exterior (or so I thought) and I kept moving forward and I also kept coming back to my mat. I was steadfastly committed to my practice and through that I eventually cracked myself wide open, and scarily enough, oftentimes I became too open. [Note: hence one of my intentions is “open heart, clear boundaries.” It helped!]
I have made mistakes, I experienced great joys, and at times I felt like I was close to losing it. (But I didn’t.) I held it together, because deep inside and along my weed-encroached path, I knew I was heading in the right direction. My commitment to my yoga practice still serves me well. It is a gift and reminder to slow down, to stop, to breathe, and then keep on going. When my head is too far down into “being busy,” I find I can lose track of gratitude, and the experience joy passes right on by. What a loss! For now, though I am still busy in all the best ways and for the right reasons; but now I try to remember to offer myself a pause, a deep inhale along the rush of it all to really see and feel what matters, to bring gratitude to the front of my mind and mat, to make it an intention, and to realize joy. When I am able to achieve this, these are the best days!
Alicia Hitzler is a Registered Yoga Teacher at INVIVO Wellness in Milwaukee, WI. Her commitment to yoga has been a life-changing experience for her and she is passionate about sharing her love for yoga with others. She practices the integration of yoga into all areas of her life in order to gain a deeper understanding of herself and the world. Learn more about Alicia at her blog, The Joyful Warrior & Savage Vegetarian.