while pedaling up the canyon the other day I caught myself giving somewhat less than one hundred percent.
somewhat less that seventy percent, to be honest.
so I flicked my right ring finger and clicked up a gear, and putting a little more effort in, started moving a bit faster. my heartrate increased a few beats, I dug my heels in with every rotation, and I kept pedaling with that improved effort.
all it took was an awareness of my pedaling mediocrity to get me back on track.
sometimes we float---flow, back off, slack off---without realizing it.
sometimes we realize what we've done and continue, anyway.
sometimes we need that break . . . and sometimes we don't.
at times I find myself pedaling listlessly through life's activities. it's not easy to give one hundred percent to every activity we undertake when those activities include things such as laundry, feeding the dog, mowing the lawn, returning difficult phone calls, paying bills.
creating blog posts.
riding up canyons.
preparing dinner for teenagers.
but as I was brainstorming that list, I realized that I couldn't add "yoga" to it. because yoga class is one place where I am always challenged (encouraged, enticed, persuaded, even seduced?) into giving my best.
its very philosophy is about awareness: listening to and understanding your body, paying attention to your experiences, focusing on how you're feeling and breathing. yoga asks you to give fully of what you're able to in that moment.
I try to do this with my teenagers---breathing slowly, focusing, paying attention and being fully present---but it doesn't always work.
I try to do this with work, but I often get impatient and caught up in what's wrong instead of what's great.
I try to do this with cycling, but my mind often slips into comparisons and, well, whining.
I often find myself focused on finishing a task instead of giving my complete attention to it along the way.
(and truthfully, this also happens during yoga: I'll glance at the clock and calculate how much longer I have until I'm released. but I still manage to move through the asanas giving close to all I have. and I guess if I'm glancing at the clock and hoping to be done, what I have to give in that moment---though less than ideal---is all I have to give.)
today, I want to give more to every activity.
I don't want to wish anything away; I want to be fully present and aware, to breathe deeply, to give all that I'm capable of giving.
perhaps my experience will reward me. well: it already has.
namaste and remember to live each day of your life.
*which reminds me of a book, full catastrophe living, by jon kabat-zinn... all about mindfulness