Tag Archives: thoughts

Priorities

Wow – so it’s been over a year since I wrote in here. I have a lot to say, but I was pregnant, started a new job, had the baby, and then somehow am now surviving life in Shelter-in-Place.

People staying at home suddenly find that there is an abundance in time on their hands. The thing about humans is that we always find some way to fill up free time. There is always an unending list of things to do, things to accomplish, etc. etc. Even with the advent of technology that is meant to speed up how things are done, we still manage to fill in the spaces.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how to prioritize my time. I already do it for some instances. Like, I know I am super behind on what is cool on television (something about a Tiger King? a documentary of Jared Kushner?) But I’m okay with that. I don’t watch a lot of tv and it’s not my favorite way to spend leisure time. I don’t mind that I don’t know what people are talking about or that I don’t understand the latest memes around it.

So what is important to me? I enjoy journaling. I downloaded an app called “Day One” and have started journaling to my baby. I used to journal a lot but my childhood through college age journals mysteriously disappeared after my ex and I broke up. A part of me is sad those journals are gone, but I’ve managed to start many instances of journals over the years. I hope Day One sticks.

What else do I enjoy? I used to exercise in every latest form possible – yoga, Barry’s, megaformer, rock climbing, whatever. Given the time constraints due to baby and nursing, I realized I like yoga and climbing the most. Given the constraints with the coronavirus, I can only really do yoga at home.

I think a part of this is just learning that you can’t keep up with the tide of everything. You pick what you want to spend your time on, and then you enjoy it for it is. Everyone is different – energy wise as well as priorities. My husband has unbounded energy, can watch documentaries until his eyes bleed and can run around doing whatever he wants forever. But that’s his choice and he finds it sustainable, so kudos to him.

I used to think that maybe I wanted to open a yoga studio, or build an online presence or be x or y or z. I’ve come to realize that what makes me happiest is cutting down on what I want, doing well on what I can and to stop chasing things just to make everyone else think I’m relevant.

Which brings me to my closing questions for you: What do you really value with your time? What is it that you want from your life? When you lie on your death bed, was it all worth it?

[Photo: Me and my latest #1 priority in South Lake Tahoe at Van Sickle National Park.]

Engaged in Distraction

I’ve been trying to write this blog post for over a year now. I have jotted down half thought out ideas but never really sat down to ruminate over them.

Why has it taken me so long to get here?

I am of a generation with little to no attention spans. A generation constantly addicted to the rush of dopamine from every ping and vibration of our cell phones. Sitting down and writing something remotely meaningful requires the arduous task of focus. It requires dedicating myself to a set block of time to translate the garbage in my head into a coherent strings of words. It requires time to format, find photos, research relevant items, etc.

Who has time for that anymore? Who has time to sit down and read a novel? To have deep meaningful conversations with friends? To spend time doing nothing?

People wonder why I “exercise” as much as I do. In all honesty, I probably spend about 1 hour a day doing something. One hour where I leave my cell phone out of sight because it serves no purpose for me in that moment. It is probably the one hour of my day where I am forced to stew with my thoughts or the (weakness/strength) of my body – to focus on how much my core is shaking in megaformer, to focus on my alignment in yoga, and to focus on plummeting to my death in rock climbing.

I’m not even good at paying attention even then – my mind wanders, I have injured myself plenty, and I have fallen many times.

The secret is this: the moment you notice that you are no longer present is the moment that you become present.

Now that you know this, how present will you be?

(Inspired by this article by Mark Manson.)

Photo credit: Fernando took a photo of me taking a photo in Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil circa 2014. I had no cell service in Brazil (except for emergency purposes) so we were forced to plan how to get around, and then wing how to survive since we had no idea where we were going or what we were doing. Lack of cell phones meant we were forced to engage in marital small talk and live in the moment.

 

What Is/Is Not Yoga?

Every time something comes along, backlash isn’t too far behind.

Yoga is/isn’t a community practice, but a solitary one. Yoga is/isn’t a solitary practice, but a community practice. It isn’t physical asana, it’s all mental. It’s some physical incorporated as mental. Include quote from Rumi, a passage from a book, pop music/no music. Fun, extroverted teacher or quiet, contemplative teacher. Yoga is/isn’t hot women doing yoga half naked posting themselves on Instagram. Ashtanga is the original. Iyengar is the original. Bikram? Vinyasa? Power? “Hatha”?

So much judging happens when you say you practice yoga. Depending on where you go, what style and who you practice under, others seem to judge the authenticity of your yoga or the hipness of your practice.

The greatest aspect of yoga is it’s reach and it’s ability to tailor itself to each individual. If you crave the singalong, heart-pumping community feel, try for a Bhakti class. Want to quiet the mind and stretch the body? Try for Yin or Restorative. Yoga for bonding with your partner/baby/toddler? Done. Solely here for silent contemplation? Meditate. Is what you are doing yoga? It is, if you want it to be.

Photo Credit to my husband, Fernando Cheng. Taken in Bangkok, Thailand from one of many many many temples we visited.