It is a chilly, gray, rainy, perfectly-Portland morning this Sunday, as I sit down to write this. I’m thinking ahead to the week to come: days of packing, days of traveling, days of visiting, days of celebrating. It’s going to be a different week, spent in different places, with different people. A different time zone.
Now that most of the noisy It’s Coming monsters have morphed into the much quieter (but still persistent) Soon Soon Soon variety of monsters, I’m a little more free to contemplate what I want to come into this week with me.
1. Readiness of the body
What I want: Lots of good, blood-flowing movement for my body so I can better face the stillness of travel and the lack of routines.
I only have Monday and Tuesday to do this before my flight, which means each day needs to be deeply intentional.
How this could work:
I can commit to biking each morning.
I can agree beforehand that my body is my priority.
(If my body is my priority, then it doesn’t matter if I’m 15 minutes late to work.)
I can bring walking shoes to work and take an afternoon stroll to get my blood flowing.
I can do some crazy Shiva Nata to make my shoulders feel awesome and my brain feel shiny.
I could pick the baby up at the end of the day on the bike, too.
Little breaks for mini-balance exercises like I did during my Balance Expedition/Rally. Five minutes to walk around the building, stretch my calves, then balance with eyes closed while doing very slow level 1 Shiva Nata arms to challenge my center of gravity.
Evening walks! Takes some tricky timing now that we have so little daylight after dinner, but we could make it work.
If I bring walking shoes to work there might be other unexpected and delightful chances to take a walk! Like when I got to walk my co-worker’s puppy that one time!
To accept that because today is pissing down rain, it’s okay to focus on other Sunday things. Like making the frosting for the monkey cake!
To spend a little time tonight and Monday evening thinking about ways to make biking on Monday and Tuesday morning much easier (laying out clothes, preparing lunch early).
To accept the limitations of my back pain, if it occurs, and to find gentler ways to engage my body if I need to.
To continue my commitments to posture as I VPA’ed about last week.
2. Readiness of the mind.
What I want: To bring groundedness and awareness with me on my travels.
Grounding in awareness will be helpful as I pack and get the household and my workmates ready for my brief absence.
But also, I’m going to be staying with other people (family, friends) every night except the last night. This means: not a lot of introvert time in the evenings, lots of itinerant city-exploring time, not to mention lots of not-spending-money if I can. And! One of those family evenings will involve spending time with my father’s siblings who will have just learned about his impending divorce. (Ahhh, I can just feel the relaxation washing over me about that one!)
How this could work:
I could do a waking-up ritual to invoke boundaries and protection and me-ness in the midst of all the travel stuff.
I could bring emergency medication for calming and pain-relief just in case all the awareness and groundedness cannot overcome the essentially unavoidable mental and physical contortions of travel.
I could journal in my bed at night before sleep. Well, I can journal everywhere, really! I was planning this (in my favorite cafes! In a bench in the park!) but I think it will be key.
Maybe I need to design a safety questionnaire or something that I can use in the journal as a quick check-in to figure out what I need to feel safe and grounded.
With enough privacy, I could do some morning Shiva Nata to give me insights about things that are bugging me. Or about decisions I need to make about who to spend time with, or where.
To do the right kind of flailing (shivanautical!) instead of emotional flailing if I’m feeling cornered and stuck.
To keep my plans simple.
To not feel rushed.
To make lists in preparation. (Whyyyy have I not done this yet? Okay, addendum: to let go of guilt and The Shoulds in relation to the trip. Again. Still. Etc.)
To sit with the pain of going back and the pain of missing what and who used to be there and give that pain lots of space and legitimacy.
To do whatever else that inner voice tells me I need to feel safe and secure and ready to face the world.
To have fun! And laugh. And let the fun and the laughter help with the grounding.
And checking in about last week’s Very Personal Ad…
I asked for Carefulness in relation to my posture and my strengthening exercises, in order to protect myself from pain flares once my numbing treatment wears off…
…And it didn’t quite happen. In fact I did fewer of my back exercises and stretches rather than more as I had planned. I also didn’t end up spending any journal-time with the idea of connecting Posture to the good work I did this summer on Balance. Either this is something I need to re-commit to, or I need to let go of it. How about this: I will email myself right now (and…sent!) with a reminder to journal about it.
I also asked for some understanding about the Stuff and I ended up writing a post about it, complete with a Mission Statement for my trip and love letters to all my monsters. So that was lovely! Even if it didn’t cure everything, it sure did help to bring some awareness and clarity to everything connected to it. Thanks, Very Personal Ads!
So there you have it!
Perhaps, if you’re in Portland like me, you are very excited about tomorrow’s 10% chance of precipitation. Or more accurately, the 90% chance of non-precipitation. That sounds very nice right now, in contrast to this rainy, in-the-house Sunday.
Best of love to you, friends. For good weather, for clarity, and for readiness.