There was once a time when we could not—for the life of us—figure out how to walk.
We tried everything—we tried grabbing onto things, leaning on things, pulling ourselves across the floor, climbing up legs, pulling ourselves on the tails of cats…
And there are still times in our lives when we just cannot figure out how to get things accomplished.
But we never stopped trying to learn how to walk. We committed to that task with the ferocity of a lioness ambushing a field of prey. And we got it.
So now we walk all the time…sometimes too fast.
I’ve recently caught myself walking faster than the speed my two feet would like to travel at.
A consortium of life workings: a 50-hr work week, a host of relationship maintenance, apartment moving (and the litany of things that entails—address changing, consolidation of stuff, and saying goodbye to roommates I have nothing but love for), and that daily stuff of cooking and bathing and occasionally emptying one’s bladder.
For the past week, my life has been scheduled—down to the moment—in my planner, on my to-do list on the fridge, in phone reminders, and sometimes on hand scribbling.
And when I look around and notice that I am the only one walking on this side of the sidewalk, it feels very…overwhelming.
But I’m realizing that not only is that feeling sometimes necessary, it’s also sometimes awesome.
A week of madness and I have learned so much about myself and the company I keep inside the walls of my skin.
I’m learning to just calm my stuff down when it feels like the confetti will forever be up in the air.
Some tips on how to settle some of that confetti:
(1) When you start murdering people in your head (what? That’s not normal?), notice it, pause and find something—anything—to be grateful for. We’re alive after all.
(2) Keep vigilant but stay flexible. To-do lists are great, but you’re never going to get it exactly right. Stay vigilant in your self-kindness and forgive yourself for the things left undone.
(3) Stop when you get pissed off. Take a break and let it be okay to slow down.
(4) Practice mindfulness. We are alive now, even when we’re doing sixty things at once. Let’s not rush through a bunch of stuff so we can get to the good part of life later. Karma does not work on the philosophy: suffer now, enjoy yourself later. We will always find moments of feeling energetically split between places—let’s figure out how to enjoy that.
(5) Find 10 minutes to be alone and do absolutely nothing. At a park, at a restaurant, on the porch, on the floor, in the back of the closet where no one can find you. Ten minutes is not going to make or break your schedule.
(6) Look in the mirror, stretch out your face (which has probably been screwed up in a thousand different kinks since the onset of whatever madness you’re encountering) and stand there long enough until you enjoy what you see.
(7) Since you were born, but especially now, know that you are one mother-fuckin’ bad ass. Keep plugging.
Today I moved my bed up a flight of stairs by myself. While I was doing it, I thought, maybe I should have demanded help for this. Maybe I’m crazy. I’m going to break my leg. I’m certainly going to regret this. I should give up.
And then I thought, fuck it, I once learned to walk. This will happen. And I will enjoy myself.
So I did.
But I also let myself have some fun.
Like elephant journal on Facebook.
Ed: Bryonie Wise
hot on elephant
The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. These People are Rare Gems—Keep Them, Fight for Them, don’t Give Up on Them. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.” Waylon shares 10 transformingly beautiful Quotes about Love. My Marriage had to End—for my Life to Begin. Why your Yoga Goals are (Probably) Irrelevant, if not Downright Dangerous. The Day I Stopped Running. Dear Woman in the White Car at Margaritas Mexican Grill in West Memphis, Arkansas on July 15th, 2012.