22 February 2013

Starting Small

In recent weeks and months, I've come to realize that decisions I made 20 and even 30 years ago to move far from the town where I grew up are now limiting how much I can be with my parents as they get older.

A little over a year ago, I was rear-ended (in my car) by a runaway truck, and escaped (miraculously?) nearly unharmed, except for a shoulder injury.  The physical therapists told me to stop doing yoga because I needed to rest the shoulder, and over the next several months as they worked on it and gave me exercises to strengthen it I learned just how complicated a joint the shoulder is.

I still fear being hit from behind, mostly when I'm driving or riding my bike, but I also feel a fairly constant sense of vigilance about what's around me.

Between the lingering fears,and current worries about various illnesses and infirmities among people I care about, I find myself drifting in a fog of anxiety.

Three days ago, I decided that even though the shoulder still aches, it's time to return to yoga.  I made a very, very small commitment to myself: one sun-salutation sequence each day.

Once I get going, I tend to continue, whether for ten minutes or thirty.  But the fact that I made such a tiny commitment makes it easy to start, no matter how badly I want simply to fall into bed at the end of the day. I'm not going to beat myself up about how little I practice, and if I should miss a day, I'm not going to beat myself up about that, either. 

But as I resume daily practice, I'm reminded of how much I need stillness, balance, simple awareness of breath. I'm finding hope that I will be able to move through fear, through worry, through regret about decisions that can't be unmade, and find equilibrium.

If I can get anywhere, it will be by starting small.