Thursday, May 12, 2011

Just Show Up.

I was talking with my dear sister (no, the other one. the one you are thinking of is in Spain!!) this morning, and she asked me... "How do you do it? How do you actually get started? And then how do you make a change in your life that lasts? And then, if you go back to your old habits, how do you start again?"

This is SUCH an important question.

She said, "I know Nike says "Just do it." But I don't know how."

We had a beautiful conversation about how to make the change in your life so that it stays, so that you are the change, so that you are growing and becoming. And then I thought I'd better write it down for the rest of us, too!

"Well, I don't have time today."  This is the excuse that keeps it from happening, and while it may be true you may actually not have time today, most likely the reason that you don't have time is because you're used to not having time.

You're doing the best you can to fit in everything.  You're lucky if you actually make it to the post office.  You know if you make it to the post office, the grocery store and you get the laundry folded and put away, then you've done three things that you don't have time for, let alone getting yourself to a 90-minute yoga class which actually takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes including
driving and getting in, getting out and showering, so really who has TWO hours extra? 

Nobody. Not one of us. Not even the people that are there, in Yoga. They don't have two extra hours.

This level of awesomeness is not required every time. But it might be the accidental result of showing up. You never know.
The point is is that if you want fitness in your life, if you want your blood pressure to go down, you want to not have insomnia and depression, you want to have extra energy, you want to have clarity and balance and a strong body, not even a super ripped body, just a body that has movement and is functioning well, then you have to make time for it.

And I know everybody says that you have to make time for it, but I mean it.  You have to make
time for it in the same way that you make time for the other things you've decided are indispensible in your life, so if you have decided that as you're making decisions during the day, spending time with your children trumps getting the laundry folded and your kids are there so you spend time with them,
that's decision making. 

That's building little pockets of time according to your priorities, and it's true that something has to
give.  You can't just stay up an extra 2 hours because sleep is an important part of fitness, so where does it come from? 

If you work a 10-hour day and your house is a mess and you have other obligations, where does it come from?  It comes from making it every morning to that 8:15 class right after you drop your kid off at school whether you're tired or not because it's a thing that you don't compromise on.

If you have a job that starts at 9, you make it to 4:30 class. If your job, like my sisters, is 7 am to 11 pm, you tell your boss you need a 2 hour lunch in order to stay healthy. You go to the one hour yoga at lunch, and you walk there. You eat your healthy lunch at your desk after.

Even if you don't feel like going to yoga, you go. Especially if you don't feel like going. "Ugh, I don't feel like going." RIGHT! That's the signal that its time to get your shit in your car and get going. And park like four blocks away so you get a walk in, too.

This might do just fine today. You showed up.
Because it's not a competitive sport; the point of yoga is to do the posture to the benefit of the body, so you go into the pose and you hold it as well as you can to the benefit of the body, and if this morning you've been crying for three days or you've got your period or whatever it is, or you didn't sleep last night or you just had a big fight or you have 18 million things to do later today, yes you still have to go to yoga

No, it doesn't have tobe champion of the world workout.  You have to show up.  That's my point. Maybe this blog post should have been called that. Show up.  Just show up.  Get in the first pose.  Don't wish you weren't there.  Don't wish that the class could end.  Don't wish that your stomach didn't hurt.  Just let go of wishing everything.  Just show up and then be there.  Be there in the first posture.  Be there in the second posture.  Be there in the ninth posture.  Be there in shavasana.  Be grateful to yourself for the fact that you took the time to do it.  You don't have to hit it out of the park.  It doesn't have to be the best one ever. You can get there and be exhausted.  See if you can get there and
be exhausted and not have to show with your face or your body or your energy to everybody else that you're here but you're exhausted so you deserve something back.  Just show up.

And go to yoga. Namaste!!


Lisa said...

I don't know you, but I love this piece. And I bet if we hung out after yoga or on a walk, we'd like each other.
So much of life is about showing up. Being present. Knowing your priorities. And not apologizing when you're not perfect. It's about figuring out what you want and making it happen. My friend Michele Woodward writes often on this topic in her blog. A good one to read is "Either, Or & And" (

Life is about showing up and doing it. It's not always easy, but if we're lucky enough to be able to get up and do it (no matter the "it"), we should.


Unknown said...

Thank you, Lisa! Thanks for coming by and reading. I agree, so often its just about pushing through emotionally, or mentally.

Thanks for the blog link, I'll go check it out!!