by Amber Callahan
In the introduction of Baron Baptiste's book he defines the word revolution and the need for one in our lives. If you feel stuck in a relationship (with other people or food even), in a job that does not fulfill you, are unhappy with your body or your situation, it may be time to take a deeper look at what's going on under the surface.
I know, for myself that what he describes about the need for a revolution is exactly what I've been experiencing for months and exactly why I decided to commit to this program. I have lived with band-aids for years using various things to "fix" myself, make myself feel better, tell myself that everything is fine and willing myself to just be content and happy. Band-aids aren't permanent, though, and eventually they're going to come off and reveal the wound underneath. And when we don't tend to the wound, it doesn't heal...it festers. Funny how it's so simple on the surface, yet when we have to address the wounds below the surface we run from them (at least I do).
One statement from week one's reading really struck me, "It wasn't enough to just work my body and life on the surface; I need to look within, take responsibility for my own path, and completely overhaul everything from the inside out." This ties directly back to living our lives on autopilot so that everything appears good on the surface, but deep underneath there are parts of ourselves that we don't want to deal with or show the world. I have lived my life like this for years. I have only really worked on the surface level and haven't wanted to dig too deep. However, starting about 8 months ago, I decided to start digging deeper. I may have only broken ground, but it's a start.
I really dwelled on the excavation questions presented in week one. I'm not going to share all of my reflections, but there are a few that I think a lot of us can probably relate to. Think about how you would respond to these.
1. How much am I taking responsibility to learn from my experiences, both good and bad? If I'm really honest, I learn from experiences, but I don't always apply what I've learned. Inherently, I may know that a situation is going to end badly or is not healthy for me based on past experience, but I repeat the pattern. Maybe that means I haven't learned all I need to know if I keep repeating the same patterns? Isn't that the definition of insanity, though?
2. When in my life am I fully present? I wasn't present for my life for years and "woke" up in May and looked around like "what the hell happened?" You can read more about that here if you're interested in more of that story.
Yet, this week, if I'm really honest with myself, I am still not fully present in my life. I run from one place to the next and try to fit in time with my kids, with my friends and for myself. There are still days that flash by in a blur. I am not fully present much of the time because I am thinking about what I have to do next instead of just being present and fully embracing the situation at hand.
One thing that I am much more conscious of, though, is not spending too much time on the past or analyzing the future. As soon as I let my mind run with stories, anxiety kicks in. This isn't to say that I am not reflective and that I don't set goals, but I don't let the stories spin out of control any longer. Meditation and yoga have both been instrumental in helping me get better control of my monkey mind (although it definitely still needs work).
Week 1 Reflections
Over the past week I did focus on being more present, particularly around my children. I also have set aside some of the guilt that I feel about doing things for myself (I feel like I should be working all the time). I have been most consistent with my yoga practice and have been much, much more mindful of what I'm eating since I had gotten way too far off track. I've even been meditating and did so almost every morning and evening. I even got up at 5 am on Saturday so that I could meditate and do my home practice since I could not make it to the studio. I've never practiced at home and loved it early in the morning in the quiet. My dogs were even calm while I was practicing, with my female Labradoodle, Daphne, dropping into upward facing dog at one point beside me. My dogs aren't typically calm, so it was kind of cool to start the day with them this way.
I am so grateful that this Revolution is happening now with Awakened Yoga because even in just the first week, I've been able to refocus and get back on track in several areas of my life (now it's up to me and YOU if you're participating to make these changes habits and consistent...that's where the real commitment sets in.)
To my fellow 40 Day Revolution participants, what did you take away for this first week? And if you haven't take time to reflect on the questions yet, make some time to do it. They forced me to look at a few things about myself.
"Repentance...It is simply the willingness to see in full truthfulness what we need to face within ourselves and our lives so that we may get into the right alignment." - Baron Baptiste, 40 Days to Personal Revolution