I know it’s been a while since I’ve written. I guess you could say I’ve been adjusting. Adjusting to this growing life inside me. Adjusting to my changing body. Adjusting to what feels like a much slower-functioning brain. Adjusting to shifting responsibilities at the studio as I prepare for this little one. Adjusting to the discrepancies between my expectations for this time in my life and the reality. In truth, the last few months have felt a bit like one big adjustment. And, I know this is just preparation for one of the biggest adjustment of all.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept of adjustment and how little room we really give ourselves to settle into a situation, be with what is truly there and find our place in it. I know I’m often very impatient with myself, setting high expectations and feeling frustration, doubt, and self-judgment when I fail to meet them in the way I’d hoped.
The funny thing is, when I think about it, the most fulfilling and meaningful release and realization occurs when I do let myself adjust. Take an example on the mat. One of my favorite poses- pigeon. When I first come to pigeon, my belly is usually tense, it’s hard for me to let my hips go and my shoulders are typically pretty hunched as they help my arms hold me up. But, as I hold the pose longer, and let my breath deepen, my stomach relaxes, I can slowly walk my hands out and let my shoulders release and my hips sink closer to the floor. The thing is, in my mind, pigeon is always a pose I’m going to give myself a few minutes in. There is an understanding with myself that the adjusting is part of the pose, so I make allowances for it and consequently, often experience a profound letting go, making it one of my favorite poses.
This is as opposed to something like Warrior II. Even though I often hold Warrior II for several breaths, I find that there is an expectation that I should find my alignment immediately, which of course, I rarely, if ever do. My hips need time to adjust and release. But, instead of being patient and enjoying the process, I usually feel a little frustrated and self-doubt at the immediate awkwardness and discomfort that is my early Warrior II.
So, what’s my point? We all have expectations for how we think life should be, both on and off the mat. Sometimes we are gentle with ourselves, we build in time and energy for adjusting and other times we are impatient and rigid. Something looks “easy” from the outside so we compare ourselves to others without really being with where we are.
Going through years of infertility, I viewed pregnancy as such a gift. It seemed like if I could just get to that second trimester, it would all be rainbows and butterflies. And, of course it is an amazing gift. I’m constantly in awe that this is my reality. I’m overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. But, it has also been challenging physically, emotionally, and mentally. Each day requires a new adjustment, because each day is different.
What I realize now is that, the need to adjust is inevitable. It has always been inevitable. And, once this baby comes, it will certainly continue to be inevitable. Suffering because of it is not. I can choose the juicy, rewarding, gratifying, releasing experience like that I find in pigeon or I can stick to expectations that have nothing to do with my reality, but only with my unfounded judgments of what should be of my awkward Warrior II’s. I think I’ll choose pigeon. And, maybe I’ll shift my Warrior II’s in the process :).