“Slow Down” 6×6, oil on canvas Buy Now
As I mentioned before, I’ve been joined in this 31 day challenge by some truly wonderful souls, one of whom inspired the yoga series I started the first week. Since then I’ve been writing about yoga as though I actually do it. The truth is I do it occasionally. Rarely. What I mostly do is go for long runs with either a quick calf stretch or no stretching at all. I always feel like I’m in a hurry. Which is why I’m proud to say that because of fellow 31er, Cece, I’m now on day 6 (in a row!) of a morning yoga routine via some great videos on youtube. I know I need to take better care of my body, but I have trouble slowing down. Stretching feels tedious and time consuming when I could so easily get my heart rate soaring with a run. Slowing down my mind feels even more burdensome, as though its the noise and static that make up the skeleton of the this thrilling life and when quieted, the whole thing will collapse.
But when I actually do it, begrudgingly at first, when I pause my constant hustle mindset, I create space. In my back and hamstrings. In my attitude and in my hopes. I give myself space to explore rather than quest, adventure rather than seek.
I started today’s painting yesterday in my typical rush-through-it fashion. It was me treating myself to a bluebird after a month of a lot of less familiar subjects. I almost photographed it yesterday to get it ready for today’s post, but instead urged myself to slow down, let it sit over night and give myself the opportunity to work on it some more today should my fresh eyes feel the need. They did. Today I slowly added some strokes. I tried to look at it harder between the applications of paint. I tried to enjoy the process and not just rush to the finish.
I’m not going to be reformed over night, but I’m learning, slowly, so slowly, how to be a little slower. The bird reminds me of my son– his expression, “Mom, not another picture!”. And my repeated reply: Just one more. Just one more. Always.