Last fall I wrote about a health scare that prompted me to realize the importance of taking care of myself. Over the winter I told you about some of the lifestyle changes I’d made that had helped me feel better than I had in years. But then this spring we bought a new house and this summer we moved 600 miles and, perhaps not surprisingly, many of my good habits got left behind like so many donated items in the bins outside Goodwill.
Don’t get me wrong: things have been good, better than I possibly could have expected when we picked up our lives and resettled them here. We’ve made friends, we get to see our families all the time, we know where the good parks and good ice cream spots are. But I know from that telltale sluggishness that grabs me every afternoon and the ever-increasing number of times I hit the snooze button each morning that my body hasn’t come through the move quite as smoothly as the rest of us. Coke Zero has crept in and replaced green tea. A pint of Coffee Oreo has edged out the fruit.
Longtime readers of Motherese know that I love grand plans, and that I have long thought of the start of the new school year as a time for renewal and opportunity. What better moment then, with my oldest son set to start kindergarten and his younger siblings ready to begin at a new preschool, for me to try to reeducate myself?
About a year ago, I asked my friend Pamela, of the magnificent blog Walking on my Hands, for tips on her favorite yoga DVDs. She and I both found ourselves living in places without easily accessible studios and she introduced me to the world of Baron Baptiste. His method of power vinyasa yoga was both more physically demanding and less overtly reflective than some of the other forms of yoga I had practiced, but I came to find the challenging nature of the flow a surprising gateway to more mindfulness – as though working hard physically allowed me to more easily let go of all of the internal chatter that usually fills my brain.
For the next forty days, Baron will be my guide on a journey of, what he calls, “personal revolution.” Using his advice as a roadmap, I will practice yoga and meditate daily, try to be more mindful of my eating choices, and spend some more time on personal reflection through guided writing exercises.
I’m embarking on this plan with a light heart and spirit of playfulness. I’m certainly interested in regaining some of the equilibrium that got shaken loose by the process of moving and I definitely wouldn’t mind having more energy and feeling stronger. But I’ve dived into enough big projects to know that my enthusiasm sometimes wanes as quickly as it arrived. So for now I’ll say that I’ll try my best and embark on this new adventure with a goal of a few tweaks rather than a total revolution.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Do you tend to make grand plans or try for small changes? Which usually works better for you?