This year I’m going to be present for my untamable heart-mind. I'll listen closely for the boundaries it needs to thrive.
Yoga amplifies my intuition: an effusive, wise voice bubbling up from within. It pulls me with the Force of a Jedi.
The Electricity of Inspiration and Intuition
I was listening to a recent episode of the On Being podcast. Katherine May said to Krista Tippet “I don’t think we know what rest even is anymore” and she described a “nebulous sense of my overload.” Then, she talked about being diagnosed as autistic at 38. The conversation lit me up. I wanted to immediately run out and buy all her books, especially “The Electricity of Every Living Thing,” her experience of waking up to her autism diagnosis, which led her to “re-evaluate her life— with a much kinder, more forgiving eye.” The setting of the book is described as an “untamable coast.”
The thing is, I have a stack of books falling over in every room of my house. It looks like an untamable coast. I have a to-do list and a small business and a neurodiverse family. They all need my attention. How will I also enter into a relationship with Katherine May, as fascinating as she is?
How I've Survived Overwhelm and Burnout
The way I’ve survived the overwhelm of these past two years is by practicing mindfulness and pranayama, and by keeping my blinders on. I have whittled down my influences to just a few teachers and authors. I have a small circle of friends I’ve stayed connected with. I ignore messes and non-essential tasks until they become an issue. I stop myself from following the wild, leaping, equine creature in my heart. (Is it my heart or my mind?)
My heart-mind runs amok with the enthusiasm of new influences, so I need to rein it in or I don’t get the things done that are essential and time-bound. I patiently remind myself, “Let’s finish reading THIS book, Kate. Let’s turn in this article. Let’s finish editing this video. Let’s make sure the family gets fed.”
And then something deep and booming tells me, “Pay attention. This is important.” and I know I need to listen. My intuition is like the posthumous Obi Wan Kenobi talking in my head — so loud! It pulls me with the Force of a Jedi towards this new thought, or back to that recurring one. Sometimes the blinders come off and my mind leaps every fence to feel the rush of freedom.It's January! Are you ready to reignite your yoga practice?
How Yoga and Pranayama Help Me Be My Unapologetic Self
One of the things I love about yoga, and especially pranayama is how it sustains me. It won’t keep me young or healthy. We will all get older, we will all be unwell sometimes. It is good to have something to reach for when I feel scattered-ness or burnout creeping in. Yoga helps me to be authentically, unapologetically me. It helps me live in alignment with my values and follow my heart-mind (within reason).
This breathing practice below reminds me that I can expand to fit what I’m passionate about. Try it when you feel like your energy is limited, you don’t have any time for yourself or you’re overcome with fatigue. Nothing beats a good night’s sleep, this isn’t a replacement for that. It is a great way to start your day or restart in the afternoon if you don’t have time for a nap. It is a variation of anulom krama which I learned it from Rina Deshpande.
- Breathe in and reach your arms out to your sides.
- Sweep your arms halfway up and breathe in more.
- Reach all the way up and inhale even more!!!
- Breathe out slowly as you bring your hands together and down to the center of your chest.
You may notice that your capacity for breath was more than you originally believed. Continue to work with this breath to experience your boundlessness for as many rounds as you like. Feel your ribs, lungs and energy expanding as you breathe.
You can do hard things!!!
On Being Present For My Expansive Intuition
This year I’m going to be present for my intuition. I’m going to care for it, and listen closely for the boundaries it needs. I can make space for the rabbit holes. Not at every moment — I do have a family, and students, and responsibilities — but I can include it in the list of priorities. It will take me longer to complete a book or a project, because I’m never working on just one thing. That’s me, though: I’m never, ever bored.
What Lights YOU Up?
Rather than avoiding burnout by being stingy with my energy and attention, I’m going to stoke the flame by engaging with what really truly energizes me. My energy expands to fit the rabbit holes that my heart-mind pulls me towards. I'll also get enough rest and fresh air. Maybe Katherine May has something on Audible.
We ALL have more capacity than we know. How will you use your authentic and unapologetic energy this year? How will you create the boundaries you need so you can listen to your intuition and follow it?
Are you ready to restart your practice?
Kate Lynch (she/her): Parent of an amazing atypical kid, inclusive yoga and mindfulness coach, and author. Kate began cultivating community in 2002. Since then she has shared the tools that help her find joy, healing and calm in the face of self-doubt, pain and anxiety. Her little neurodiverse family lives in a magical land called Brooklyn.
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