Confession: I stopped following my aunt’s nutrition cleanse about a week ago. If you want to get technical, I never really started because one of the things on the avoid list was gluten and I don’t see any real health benefit to eliminating gluten if you don’t have an allergy.
Confession Pt. 2: I had cheese last week. That’s right, this vegan had cheese.
At this point you’re probably asking yourself, “What’s wrong with this girl? All of the things she said she wanted to do during this 40-day journey, she’s not doing.” I’m behind on my reading. I haven’t meditated in forever. I stopped following the cleanse. I don’t run as much as I used to.
I’m an all or nothing kind of person. What I mean is I either give one hundred percent or zero percent, there’s not much in between with me. And I think this driven-ness attitude is where a lot of my feelings of unsatisfactory and stress stem from.
This morning I decided to practice “non-striving”. I woke up and decided to go for a run before work (because my 10K is now five days away). When I run in the morning it’s usually still dark outside. I consider the city that I live in to be safe; there usually aren’t too many cars or people out, but I have been spooked a few times by people out walking or guys who have stopped to ask me bizarre questions. So, this morning instead of grabbing my earbuds like I normally do, I left them behind so that I could be more aware of my surroundings. My mom would be proud.
I also thought it would be a good opportunity to do a little sound meditation – the sound of my feet hitting the pavement, my breath, the birds chirping, the sound of the wind blowing against the trash bags, the flag clinking against the flag pole, the thunder. And because I didn’t have my earbuds I couldn’t hear my running app tell me how fast I was going or how far I had gone. I didn’t have a goal. I wasn’t trying to achieve anything or push myself to reach a certain pace; I was just running and listening to whether my body was tired. Nothing else mattered and it was refreshing.
This feeling aligns with something that I read this evening:
It doesn’t matter because, basically, it is the promise of reclaiming your life, or more accurately, of giving your life back to yourself again. That can happen at any age, and in any moment. Now is always the right time because it is the only time. Just check your watch or clock. – Mindfulness for Beginners by John Kabat-Zinn
That first line accurately describes my goal for this journey. I started this journey (and blog) to gain a better understanding of the person that I was before I started living for everyone else. At the end of this forty day journey, I probably still won’t have the answer. But I do know more about myself today than I did last month, last week, or even yesterday. Everyday won’t be easy, I’ve already experienced that, but now is always the right time to try again. What’s the worst thing that can happen? I fail and restart tomorrow.