This is a very random blog post….
The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind but amongst those days I had one of those Oprah ‘aha’ moments. I have had a few of those in life and it is always fun when you realize you have had one and can start to process the aha.
The days leading up to the AHA:
The week of March 4, I spent 5 days working in one of my favorite parts of the US…Colorado Springs. This week was starting off with a few days getting to know some of my new project team (2 new projects in the past few months)and then a couple of days doing some leadership development with all of the IT folks I work with that are based in the Springs.
As usual, when I visit out West, I have some amazing coworkers who invite me to do things like hike, run, bike, yoga or whatever. It’s the norm out there. One night I joined a friend/coworker for the weekly run club in downtown Colorado Springs. This was just a couple days after the Little Rock Marathon…so I did walk a bit of it (do I at least get a break for the elevation???) ha! On Wednesday night, I did something I have never done before! I tried hot yoga. This was quite an amazing experience. The class was around 90 degrees and was an hour of different poses and movements that were quite challenging. I walked out of there feeling 5lbs lighter and very at ‘peace’ with myself. I slept like a BABY that evening. I am so glad my friend and coworker, DeAnna, asked me to join her.
The next two days at work included this development training or ‘soft skills’ training that quite a few of us have had at our jobs.
One of the key take aways I had from this training was three things I came up with that I would commit myself to improving:
– I will assume positive intent.
– I will share appreciation.
– I will work on de-stressing mentally.
What is interesting is that the first two often happen if you can accomplish the third one BUT…the third one is huge isn’t it? We live in a society/culture of go go go go and no matter what we all tell ourselves we are constantly in competition in one way shape or form. This was my aha moment. It didn’t happen exactly that day or that following weekend (spent that weekend in Albuquerque with my sister and her family)…it happened in the few days following.
What is interesting about this AHA is it ties back to a transformation I think I have been working through over the past year or so….or maybe it is just being in your thirties and reevaluating? Whatever you want to call it. I remember when we lost my Aunt last year…such an unpredictable way to lose her. It really shook me to my core and made me reevaluate how I wanted to live my life. With the hustle and bustle of work, bills, marathons, family stuff, friends etc etc sometimes I find myself losing focus again…losing purpose?
So what was the AHA? My aha was basically that no matter how athletic, how slim, how well I eat….if I do not control my mental stress, how healthy will I really be? Will my body fight itself like so many people I have seen that happen to? Does how you look on the outside really mean everything on the inside is in optimum condition? I don’t think so.
I honestly believe I have spent at least the past 13-14 years since I was out of undergrad putting so much pressure on myself to do everything at 200% that it has finally hit me that maybe that approach is not the best way to live your best life. This one shot you get at it….just one shot here on earth. Well, if I ever get reincarnated…at least let it be as one of my dogs
My aha = it is time to work on focus…. focus on myself not others, focus on my dreams and my goals not others’ dreams and goals, focus on living my best life.
The days after the AHA
So, I got back super late from my sister’s house in Albuquerque the Sunday of that week…almost midnight. Got into work the next morning digesting so much…..my aha, my job, my family, my sister telling me “you need to figure out what you want”, my budget, my aha again LOL.
I called our local Bikram Yoga Studio and discovered they have a new client special for$40 the first month of unlimited bikram sessions. I went that night.
That night was interesting for many reasons. I had no idea how hot it would be. I had no idea there was no talking for the entire 90 minutes. I had no idea mentally how challenging it would be for me. I had no idea I would walk out feeling like someone had lifted a huge stone that was weighing down on the top of my shoulders for the past decade.
I went again the next night and for four more nights after (skipped the 7th night since my tummy was upset) and back at it as of yesterday. I have never experienced what you could call something physically challenging (the postures are difficult, the heat….the HEAT, I sweat like a man and even the sweat is running into my nose like I am breathing under water) but also more mentally challenging.
I can’t take my eyes off myself…if I do…I fall down…I lose focus. This has got to be the most intense time of focus I have ever experienced. At the end of the session, I always feel more spiritually connected and even have that moment of silence and clearheadedness when I can pray. I think my day to day activities and spreading myself so thin…has created a lack of focus for me…and it has compounded year after year until it is almost an epidemic that is derailing me bit by bit.
So here I am….I have no plans for the future other than to keep up with Bikram and see where it takes me. I decided to pull out of CrossFit (a hard decision for many reasons), have not signed up for any immediate races….and I have almost paid off my mountain bike.
Maybe I am getting close to a midlife crisis? If so, instead of a sportscar…I will just have my little Nissan with my used bike rack I just bought carrying my bike. I don’t know what the future holds but I am not going to put pressure on myself to define it just yet.