It’s Friday once again and the end of the first official week of summer! I hope everyone has been kicking back and enjoying these dog days as much as I have. I’m hoping to avoid using my car as much as possible over the next few months and instead just paddle and bike everywhere. When Matt and I moved to Hull, we had one bike, and in a beach town that just won’t do. Well, I got a bike for Christmas when I was about 12 that I almost never rode – it just wasn’t cool anymore by that age. Luckily I haven’t grown since the 4th grade, and to no great surprise my parents still had that bike in the basement, 20 years later. Well, said bike is now living its second life, cruising the streets of Hull on a regular basis. I also took out the paddle board for the first time! Unfortunately, I failed to inflate her all the way, so I couldn’t actually stand on it, but I did a little knee paddle around the harbor and it was total bliss! I even threw in a downward facing dog! I’m stoked to get back out there at the appropriate PSI and take on a full yoga practice!
Over the past couple months, I’ve wanted to do so much. Obviously, the universe had alternate plans for us all, but I still wanted to do as much as I could given the circumstances. I have been brainstorming how to teach more classes, how to find more students and what hobby I could turn into a side hustle. I’ve just been trying to turn this dream to teach yoga into something sustainable over the long term.
Yoga attendance has been dwindling for the past few months. People are tired of Zoom, and one of my favorite aspects of yoga is feeling the energy in the room when you practice in a public space. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’m craving that feeling in my own yoga practice, and to be honest, the only class I’ve personally attended in weeks was yoga on the beach with real humans. As numbers have dropped, I’ve started to panic, considering it will be a while before I can really get back into studios, and it’s just been disheartening. Even though numbers have been dropping for all my teacher friends that I’ve talked to, it still makes you second guess yourself. I want to feel like I’m making a difference and doing something important, but some days it feels like I’m running out of steam.
This week I decided that I was just going to let myself relax. I always make sure to sprinkle in things that I love during the week, but this week I wasn’t going to focus on job searching or marketing myself. I was just going to play it all by ear and do whatever the heck I felt like at any point. I wanted to give myself the chance to be creative without forcing myself to sit at my craft table uninspired. On Monday, I really wanted to try to cook something with the rhubarb I got in my CSA box, so I whipped up some compote like it was no big deal. I also finally decided that it was time for our bathroom to be green instead of blue, something I began in October and finally continued working on this week. I read a magazine in the middle of the day. I used my paddle board for the first time even though it’s been in the shed for a month. I made homemade watermelon popsicles. I took a nap. I took a few sunset walks with Matt and Molly. I gave myself the chance to relax and do things just because I felt like doing them, and I suddenly feel my creativity bubbling back up. It’s like yoga – when you force yourself into a pose, your whole body tenses up and you really don’t get anywhere. If you give yourself space to ease into it, you allow the body to open up and gradually move deeper into the pose.
Creativity doesn’t always have to look a certain way. My best ideas come when I’m feeling my best. I feel my best when I’m doing something that really lights me up. I can be creative by trying a new recipe. I can be creative just by taking a bike ride down a route I’ve never been before. I can be creative when I’m repotting my dozens of plants. If you’re stuck and need some inspiration just find it in the things you love the most. Take more time to sit on the porch and listen to the birds chirp. Take a dip in the ocean or a lake in the middle of the day when you have a break. This summer many of you are working from home, and you may not have that chance again, so squeeze in that extra hammock time whenever you can. Nobody decides what you’re supposed to be doing except for you, and if you let yourself unwind, you may just find that spark you’re looking for. Just go with the flow, and enjoy the ride.