Is Showing Up Enough?
Earlier this week, I found myself in savasana in a Core Power Yoga studio in Colorado Springs. For non-yogis, savasana is the final resting pose at the end of almost every yoga practice, and basically involves lying flat on your back on your mat with your eyes closed for a few minutes. The enthusiastic instructor had a very Colorado-esque handlebar mustache and shoulders that flexed in ways that I didn’t know were possible. He guided us into the final resting pose as he intoned, “So whatever your intention was at the beginning of class, come back to it.”
My eyes sprang open and my heart rate spiked. I hadn't set an intention!
My involuntary anxiety attack was definitely not what our instructor was striving for! Exhaling deeply, I tried to tell myself that it was okay. Didn’t my body feel less tense? I’d sweated and stretched. Taken a break from helping my mom during her health emergency. Turned off my phone. Wasn't taking a break to take care of myself enough of an intention? Did I need another one to have really maximized my yoga class?
As I gave myself permission to just be and started to breathe again, it occurred to me that perhaps the most important intention of all is to show up; to just literally show up for those that we love, those we champion, and those we serve. To do that and do it well, we also need to show up for ourselves.
My angst on the mat suggests that I have much to learn in this department, and the intention I did finally get around to setting post-class is to consciously work on showing up for myself. I owe it to myself, and importantly, I also owe it to my family.
Children learn best from modeling, and a broad spectrum of statistics and studies show that teens in particular are struggling in a multitude of ways right now. Teaching through our actions that it's okay to say "enough" and okay to practice self-care are some of the most important lessons we can convey to them - but just telling them to do it isn't enough. WE have to show our work; we have to actually DO THE THING.
And so, today, whatever you are going through in this beautiful, messy experience that is life, I invite you to set an intention to let your own self matter, too. Take care of yourself. The people who rely on you need you in good shape, and the one person who can reliably give you what you need... is you.