I really wanted to write this update for a couple of reasons. First, this is my only weekend I will be at home for this entire month! Next week I am heading off to Boston and the week after will be my Thanksgiving break which I am spending in Florida. By the time I get back, it'll be December (scary). So while I will definitely be posting on my travels, I wanted to do a post embracing being at home and what we should switch up in our lives during the fall months.
With the time change now and the sun setting earlier, I have really stressed getting to bed earlier so that I can rise earlier and get the most out of my sun-filled mornings. Whether a walk around the block or a stop at the beach to embrace the pink sky, crisp fall air is invigorating. The time change sucks for many reasons, but using it as an excuse to get more zzz's is fine by me.
With the changing daylight hours and weather, I am also getting less sun. In Chicago, that means less vitamin D so I am spotting a deficiency. As a way to avoid this, I have begun my supplementation with cod liver oil again.
Back to sleep, I can tell that I really haven't been giving my body enough rest lately and that is mostly because I am thinking too much before bed and because my family is noisy! Well I came up with two solutions. For the noise, I am going to put a humidifier in my room. This is also good for me because I tend to get really dry in the winter months. The sound from the machine will create "white" noise, soothing noise that is not disruptive to our brains (a fan works too) but that will hopefully help me drift off more easily. To stop thinking so much before bed, I think I just need to work on my mindfulness again (I told you this would be an ongoing process). It is hard during the week not to be on my computer doing school work before bed, but I think my new motivation is going to be to get my computer work done early so that I can wind down in the evenings with my family and some chamomile tea and maybe a little yoga (or breathing meditation) in my room. What happens with me is that I get so wound up about that test tomorrow or essay due while I am writing it that my brain is still wired when I hit the sack (Notice a pattern? Lack of presence).
Before I go, I have a couple last things to touch on. Today I went to Bikram yoga-- it is a once a week must that I force myself to do. Meditating in a 105 degree room isn't always easy, but I realize how much it has helped my body and mind so I force myself to go (and always feel so amazing and clear after!). Today an interesting thing happened though. Our teacher is disciplined and doesn't like people leaving the room unless it is a dire emergency (this is just the rule of Bikram yoga and I like that he is strict-- it is a reality check for most of us). Well this one woman came into the class adamant that she wear socks. I have no problem with being a nonconformist, but being plain rude is unacceptable and there is a time and place for not listening to someone. Nonconformity is not wearing your socks in a yoga class, especially if you haven't done it the way Bikram intended once and you're involving your ego in the process. Anyways the class began and I could feel negative energy from my spot across the room. Everyone was fidgety (compared to our usual stone statue positions). She waved him over while we were in the middle of a pose and asked to leave-- and this was only about 10 minutes in to class. My teacher turned off his mic and said to her quietly, "Not right now" because it is rude to leave in the middle of the class (especially when there is no emergency excuse and she was just unhappy with the class). Well she just stood up with her mat and then he had to usher her out. I have never seen anything like it in my Bikram class before and as my teacher told us after, it is really sad that most of us don't understand the concept of hard work anymore. Sometimes we are going to be in situations where we don't get our way, but we have to deal with it. Success isn't supposed to be easy. That's why there are only a handful of extremely successful people: they are willing to do what unsuccessful people are not. See this woman couldn't push away all the extra "stuff" surrounding her. She couldn't just be. It's hard for us to just be because we have plans and routines and schedules we have to remember for tomorrow. But, my belief is that for a 90 minute class, we should be able to surrender ourselves and give up all the heaviness we carry with us throughout the rest of the week. If we can learn how to do this in a class, then slowly we can cultivate it in our lives to the point where our lives our a constant enjoyment instead of burden after burden. It isn't easy. I am not always happy when I am in that hot room sweating and dizzy. But I get past it and breath because there are 30 other people suffering in the room with me and if they can stay strong so can I. The mind is a powerful thing. It can work against us, but we can also conquer it and use it as a way to overcome an adversity. I look at all the people who have suffered and somehow managed to get through it because they had the will to live. My grandfather, for example, survived World War 2 in Greece by escaping from the Turks in a row boat with no food and only his family.
So as I sat down to work this afternoon, I realized how much we neglect listening to the real world. It becomes background noise as we give in to our desires, our schedules, our environment. So I decided I wasn't going to work and instead embrace the beautiful fall day I was given and take a four mile walk to the lake. It was absolutely beautiful and I would have a picture except my phone literally ran out of battery right as I was going to snap the photo! But then again, maybe it was a message that the view was just for me and that I should close out the other voices for a reflective time.
We all should. So make a point of doing so this week.
Have a calm Sunday and happy fall week. Get outside. Get baking. Go Autumn! (Okay that was cheesy).