Celebrating the Middle
I was listening to a podcast recently (when both kids were miraculously asleep) that was talking about productivity, and the interviewee said something that I took as very profound, something I hadn’t ever really thought about. He said,
“we celebrate starting things all the time, but we rarely celebrate the middle part.”
The conversation went on and covered a lot of other interesting topics, but the truth struck me in its accuracy.
How many of us have made resolutions, or decisions to do something—mentioned it to a few people, got super pumped about whatever the resolution was and then maybe after 1 try–maybe it was 50—the resolution just became something that you tried once? I’m TOTALLY guilty of that. (Sorry, Dad, about the Bass Guitar!!)
I believe we get so caught up in the hype of whatever it is that we are resolving to do, we get the excitement of something new, the thrill of seeing a little something change, but then a month in, 6 months in, maybe even 5 years in, that thrill is gone. It’s ho-hum. It’s almost like a chore.
I have to admit, my relationship with yoga has done this a few times. When my son isn’t sleeping, or back when I was working in Corporate America and the long hours just made me want to come home and drink some wine and veg out, practicing was not always my priority. It has taken nothing short of sheer will power to keep coming back to the mat when all the other things in life have tugged at my mind and time. However, once I got ON the mat, started to incorporate conscious breathing with movement, within a matter of a few minutes, I found a glimpse of what I used to feel when I first started practicing. In the super busy and hard times, it’s just a tiny glimpse… sometimes it’s small for weeks.
I think the problem is that people like the excitement of something new. Our society loves to encourage trying new things, taking risks, never saying no. I think, to a point, all of this is AWESOME. I love that we are encouraged to do things we may be afraid of. (Can you see me raising my hands when it comes to ANYTHING upside down?) I love that our culture makes it ok to try and fail.
It's time we celebrate the middle
The part where you have been doing something for a while, you’re comfortable with it, there is some stuff you may not like about it, but there’s stuff you love about it, and you just keep on doing it for the parts that you love. This could touch on so many other aspects of life, but I want to keep this strictly about a yoga practice. I want to celebrate the fact that my life is defined by a number of choices that I made, and come hell or high water, I have stuck to them. (—No, I never did stick to no sugar for a month, sorry Nutrition people, this gal NEEEEDS her Chocolate!!)
I think that is the movement I want to start. I want to talk with people on their yoga journey and say, you’ve been practicing for 6 weeks, AWESOME! Keep it up! Just wait, in TEN years, you’re gonna remember these days and be so thankful that you said YES to that decision. I want to sit at the feet with someone that has been practicing for 50 years and just soak up the wisdom that pours out. Don’t get me wrong, when I meet someone brand new to the practice, I want to do a back flip for them too, but how cool would it be if we were that excited for the person that has come into the studio 5 days a week for 5 years?
I am excited that I have been coming to my mat almost daily for close to 10 years. Sometimes I can practice for 2 hours, sometimes it is 15 minutes…but you know what? That practice is a constant in my life. That consistency is something that I draw strength from in very difficult times—whether it is physical or emotional. Having the constancy of my practice has kept me grounded, open, and strong—in ways I never thought possible. My practice defines me and makes me who I am. I want my practice to inspire my children (I love it when my daughter gets her mat out to practice her “Oga.”) I hope that I can be an inspiration for anyone else that practices with me. The only way that can happen though, is if I continue through this “middle” part and keep practicing. I’m so excited for my dream of one day being able to say I have been practicing yoga for 50 years!
What about you?
Ready to Celebrate the Middle?
Maybe you started the year off strong with a great Yoga practice, but then something happened, you got sick, you got busy, maybe you got frustrated (or just tired?) Maybe that resolution to get onto your mat is waning and you see your practice going from 5 days a week to 3, and maybe it’s down to 1. Whatever the reason, if it is, I want to be an encouragement to you today. I want to say, “come on! Come back to the mat, it is TOTALLY worth it!” Let me celebrate the “middle” of this journey with you and be an encouragement to keep on coming back to the mat for the benefits you get every single time you step on to the mat and move and breathe with intention.
The changes may not be as dramatic as they were the first few times you practiced, but I promise you, the subtle energetic shifts, the tiny growth forward that you achieve with each practice, it will change you. It will make you feel better, look better, and be better. Let’s Celebrate this Middle together and commit to keep trying.
I want to help you do just that. That is why we have created our Summer Fun Packages. We have created two great ways for you to get excited about your yoga practice again. From now through Labor Day we will have a sale that includes a 25-class pass for $265. Or an Unlimited Yoga Package that is $89/month from now through Labor Day. Use these promotions to reconnect with your practice, see how much better you feel by Labor Day. Don’t give up on the decision you made to practice yoga, I know you will be encouraged when you do.