"Show up. Hold space. Do the work. Abandon perfection.
Flirt with your curiosity.
And for the love of the process, keep coming back..."
A Yogi quote from Lululemon
Showing up and holding space is not the same as showing up, checking it off of the to-do list, and moving on to the next item. What's the difference?
It is time many of us learn how to do the work, and do the work well. And not the noticeable work, the internal and life changing work....
For me, this concept was one of the key factors that brought me back to my yoga mat--time and time again. Being an avid "fitness-lover" most of my adult life, the benefits of yoga weren't as appealing as a run. One hour running burns a whole lot more calories then 1 hour on a yoga mat. (Now, if we were practicing Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga, there would be a close comparison.) However, if you were to enter the activity and length of time into any calorie counting/weight loss app, Yoga doesn't rank too high. There goes that dessert you might have been hoping for.
Many of us live by a check-list. I will not deny it, I love lists. But when a list becomes more important then the why and who you are actually running around and checking items off for, there may be a problem...
When I was first discovering yoga, what kept getting to me was that I couldn't always force my way through a pose; nor could I skip the beginning of class because it moved slow. I couldn't just mentally check out either. When I run, my mind can cover quite a few topics in 30 minutes or more. To lose focus in yoga meant I would spend the next few minutes trying to figure out why I was not on the same place on my sticky mat as other the class participants. Some truths about myself became obvious. I often always did things just to get them done, I didn't always stay engaged (my mind was great at finding tangents). I was impatient with what I could not do. I hated to slow down and take my time—my mind kept reminding me there were too many things to fit into a day to allow room for slowing down!
The next truth was even worse then the previous ones. I wasn't any better off of my sticky mat. Whether it was my quiet time, my time with my kids and/or husband, at work or school—I lived with the exact same mentality—always struggling not to rush to the next "thing".
In no way have I begun to live without the same struggles, but now they are obvious to me. So when I show up, I really am working at showing up. When I start my day, it is with intention to make space—for God to speak into my life, rather then me give him my expectations. When my day gets hacked and is not at all like my list is—well, there is tomorrow. And it just might not get done... And, yes, I am "burning" less calories with my hour on my mat, but dessert is not a necessity, and learning to love God, my family and others is.
I think most of us have managed to learn to live really busy lives, and possibly look like we have conquered how to make it all work. And maybe we have—if our to-do list is what we are working for. I don't want my to-do list be my reason for living. I want to learn to live life well. a life that is full of God's grace. Working out the life that He has intended, not the one I constructed via my own lists and plans. And I'm hoping you don't either...
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." - 2 Timothy 2:15