As the busy end of the school year approached, I could feel how desperately I needed a reset. A change of scenery, a change of routines, some kind of shift was definitely in order. Time and time again, I become swallowed up by the urgency of ‘one more thing’ to bring the semester to a peaceful close.
Without the gathering for retreats at Aryaloka or R&R at Kripalu, I went to the mountains for my reset; my vacation from myself. This year, the prescription was five days on the trail; four nights sleeping in a tent, on the earth. To be honest, I could have stretched it out for at least a week, but water was scarce and my pack was heavy. Yes, I missed a real bed, but connecting with the earth and my loved ones in this way really was my much needed reset. The simple rhythms of being in nature all day every day was therapeutic. Without the lure of email, netflix, or social media: going to sleep at dark and rising with the sun each day came easily and eased my subtle body. How did I get so tired and weary? How did I get so far away from the version of myself I recognize and respect? How did I stand the mental chatter that I only recognized as such when I got quiet?
“From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I look back with compassion instead of judgment , I can see how inertia crept in. There was plenty of uncertainty across the various aspects of life when subsisting in times of a global pandemic. I created structured routines to cope with the unknown; to ensure that there was some predictability in the day-to-day. The new normal was established. And then I became stuck in these ruts (AKA inertia). No doubt, I will forget and it will happen again. This is clearly part of my human experience. Any habitual pattern that lulls me into mindlessness is just my spirit trying to get my attention; my routines and rhythms need an adjustment; a reboot and reset. Sun salutations with mountain vistas as a backdrop are good medicine for sure.
If you too are in need of a reset, try to press the pause button and take a vacation from yourself… from the mind’s continuous chatter and the habitual reruns that play over and over again. Notice when you are caught in the mindless “going through the motions” routines of your day. Invite your yoga practice to gently guide you with this vacation. Perhaps make your yoga &/or meditation a priority each day without expectations of what it needs to look like. Any time there is a change-up of our circumstances or our daily flow, we can allow for a gentle reset. Give yourself the gift of quieting the mind regularly. We can’t always get to the mountains for days, but there are some other ways to reset. Some of my favorites include: walking in the woods, gazing at the horizon, watching birds at a feeder, seeing the light dance & glimmer on water, spending time near the ocean, snuggling my pup, listening to birdsong, dead-heading plants, finding quiet time and most of all – hugging people I love (hugging anyone really).
Spending time in the mountains may not be your pathway to a reset, but if it is… check out the fall hiking and yoga retreat in the White Mountains HERE.
A few questions for you to ponder…
How do you know when you need a reset?
Can you recognize ruts in your life, or how inertia shows up?
What is your ‘tried & true’ way of pushing the pause button?
When you get really quiet, what do you notice about yourself? about others? what is your heart trying to tell you?
Here are a few sources of meditations to try when seeking that 20 minute vacation: