I was given some of the best advice from a dear friend who told me, "Ashley, how would you teach your students" and I said, "Well I would start with a lesson plan". So that is what I am doing. Instead of putting all this pressure on myself to be this instantaeous enlightened being, I am going to go against every impatient cell in my body and take my growth one lesson at a time.
So here is my first lesson plan: start with small steps!
1. Every morning I am going to wake up grateful for my life and those I share it with. Appreciate what my life is right now and not worry about the future.
2. Each day I am going to commit to one thing (yes, just one) that I want to do for ME and I am going to do it no matter how tired or busy I may be.
3. Every week I am going to complete something that I have always wanted to do and then tell myself how proud I am that I finally did it.
For all my fellow big picture people this may seem a bit small scale but these small steps will add up.
So what is my progress report thus far...A +! This week I have gone to yoga every day even when I felt so weak and depleted. My greatest accomplishment this week...I made my first male necklace! :) This is something I have always wanted to do but never found the time (which was just an excuse). I knew it would take me hours to complete and it would be a test of my patience and ability to just sit still. And it was!
Yesterday, I wanted nothing more than to go home and wallow in the sadness of the day. BUT instead I decided to release my sadness on my yoga mat and then take my sweaty self to my favorite bead store and pick my beads for my mala necklace. I was drawn to fancy jasper which I looked up after in my Book of Stones is great for grounding mental energies, discipline and perseverance, and slow steady healing. Talk about a perfect fit! Good job intuition! Anyways, I then went home, put on meditation music and got everything set up to make my mala.
Mala making started off great, I was in a rhythm and feeling zen (well as zen as I can). Until, the sadness started creeping up again. See that's the thing about emotions, they never go away. They either control you or you control them. As Elizabeth Gilbert said, "Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome the human experience." So that's what I did. Maybe I took a break and cried (a lot). That's okay, crying releases emotions and cleanses your soul. And I told myself, I am going to take this break and release what I am feeling but then I am going to finish making this damn mala! I did, three hours later my mala necklace was complete. And it is beautiful, perfectly imperfect, and I made it! I gave myself a big "pat on the back" and started wearing it and a smile on my face.
One mala, one smile and two small steps...