I think I should have stopped before I began today. I knew I was tired and I had too much on my plate, but somehow I thought (as I tend to do) that I would be able to hold it all together. The real drama came after we'd done laundry, cut nails, walked the dog, showered, and gone to the store for more dog food. We played outside for a while with the new bubbles (so cute!) and then headed in to have lunch and get ready for nap. Somehow in the few minutes it took to prepare lunch, everything fell apart. First, I found doggy-doo on her cute pink shoes and therefore on our kitchen floor, so instead of cutting veggies I took the shoes outside to start cleaning them. But knowing I wasn't going to get that done right then and lunch was more important, I left those and went back inside. Then I started re-heating her sandwich from yesterday and the phone rang. It was the studio calling to clear up a few things. Things that I meant to take care of yesterday when I was in there but I just let them go out of laziness. In that moment I knew I shouldn't answer, I should keep my mind where it was, but I answered, I talked, and I burned her sandwich to a crisp! Ugh! So then I asked did she want a new one or something different? A new one of course. So I proceeded to make a new grilled cheese sandwich and tried to keep her entertained and out of trouble and away from the hot stove all at once. Trying to cook with a 1 year old is a challenge to say the least. Finally, finally the sandwich is done. She's still complaining because now it's almost 30 minutes later than usual. So I get her in her chair and start her on her lunch. My normal routine is to sit down and eat, but today the dishes and the shoes were still on my mind. So instead of enjoying a meal with her, I go back in the kitchen to clean up some. I go for the skillet that I cooked the sandwich in, careful to hold with a potholder and as I'm putting it under the water, I reach underneath and touch the bottom with my hand. OUCH! I had to get BURNED this morning to realize I was nowhere near paying attention to my life! (actually in that moment I think I was blogging in my head, of all things).
But it did the trick. That burn brought me into myself and into the present moment and out of all of the distractions. I immediately got ice, left the dishes and the mess just as they were and sat my tail down by my girl. I found out she'd been helping herself to yogurt (what a mess) and my sandwich, but it didn't matter. I sat down and got back into the present and let go of trying to do it all at once. After lunch, dishes in a very direct and calm way, then cleaning the shoes, then upstairs for nap (her) and yoga (me).
That reaction, stopping what I was doing and making new choices, is totally a result of my yoga practice and study. 6 or 8 years ago if I'd burned myself I would have cursed and yelled, I would have continued to try to wash the darned dish and who knows what other trouble I would have gotten into, then I would have tried to soothe myself with a big chocolate bar. I would have excused myself from my practice because it had been a rough day. 4 or 5 years ago I would have had a long terrible day but then maybe practiced some yoga to help myself feel better after all the craziness. That was about the time I made the mental shift to realize yoga is the reward for a bad day (chocolate too, but not as much, and only very high quality). That yoga is a the way to build myself up and get back to center. TV, the internet, and food won't do that for me. And as little as 1 year ago I still would not have realized the pattern of not paying attention and trying to do too much and would not have been able to stop myself in the middle of it all. Today I stopped. I didn't eat a mountain of chocolate or other crummy food. Today I came to my mat and had a great practice, pranayama, and really amazing meditation and followed it with a 30 minute savasana by Todd. Today I recovered.
Maybe one day in the future I'll know enough not to even get started down the path of distraction and over exertion that I went on this morning. And maybe not. I'm just glad to feel I'm making progress bit by bit. It's how I know the yoga really works.