Quarantine Lessons

Happy Friday, friends! How are you doing this week? Things are picking up over here in Hull with a few new teaching gigs, more frequent neighborly porch chats allowing us some pleasant human interaction and the addition of bi-weekly breakfast bike excursions to my personal schedule. What have you been doing that lights you up? I’ve seen a lot of your gardens really coming to life, and I love following your outdoor adventures, continued experiments in baking and baby/puppy/plant photos, so keep it all coming! It makes me happy to see you happy!

I wanted to drop a few things here that I thought you might enjoy. They are completely unrelated, but all very cool. 

The New York Times Mini Crossword – I’ve become addicted to this and complete it every single day. It only takes about a minute, but it’s such a fun little coffee activity! 

Paris Then and Now – Clearly I’ve been poking around a lot on the NYT site, but this piece is really neat. A century ago, a photographer captured the city of Paris through his lens during the morning hours when streets were quiet. During quarantine, a modern photographer decided to do the same while no one was leaving their homes. It’s amazing to see how little has changed in some of the photographs, even with 100 years in between.

The Ickabog – J.K. Rowling just released her latest children’s book online for free! It’s definitely meant for a younger crowd than the Harry Potter fans out there, so check it out if you’ve got little ones at home.

Walk The Distance – This app brings the National Parks to you. You can virtually hike the entire Appalacian Trail, Arches National Park and many others, using your step count to track your progress. The downside is that it is only compatible with Apple Health, so it only counts the steps you take while carrying your iPhone. Otherwise, it’s a pretty cool concept!

Last week’s reflection got me thinking about what my own life has taught me lately, not necessarily just in my yoga training. Over the past few months I’ve had a lot of time to myself – time to work on goals I’d set, time to improve my teaching, time to do those things I’d been putting off for so long. You may not have learned how to bake bread or knit an afghan, but chances are that you’ve discovered something about yourself – maybe something totally new or maybe something you’ve been trying to ignore. A combination of both have come up for me, and I’m learning to be honest with myself about those things. They aren’t good or bad. They are just a reflection of my personality and my values. 

I will eat far too much bread if given the opportunity. – No further explanation needed.

I often like the idea of something, but I don’t actually enjoy the action of doing it. – I’ve used lack of time as an excuse a million times, as I’m sure we all have, but now that I’ve had more time than I could have thought possible, I still am not doing some of those things that were on my list. I have to sit back and be realistic about whether I’m doing something because it sounds good or whether I actually want to do it. There are so many DIY projects that I have come to realize look really great, but my version would probably come out as a Pinterest fail and I wouldn’t enjoy getting there. Simply, it’s made me figure out what I really enjoy and what I don’t. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this in one way or another.

I really enjoy writing. – I was always a good writer in high school, but it’s not something I ever kept up when I went to college. I know I’m not next in line for the pulitzer prize, but one thing that has been a priority of mine over the last few weeks is this newsletter. Sure, some weeks it’s Thursday afternoon and I stress out because I haven’t written a thing, but I still make the time to do it every single week. I’ve always had a hard time getting myself to journal – I mean really journal, like take 30 minutes just to write my thoughts – but if I actually commit to it, it really helps me process what I’m feeling. I’ve got a lot to say, and I didn’t even realize it!

I’m always chasing new knowledge instead of really letting old teachings sink in. – I’ve realized that for years I’ve been jumping into classes and workshops, longing to instantly become an expert on every wellness trend and yoga technique out there. My teacher, Jacqui, always says, “The difference between knowledge and wisdom is how long you sit with something.” That finally hit home for me this spring when I realized that I don’t take the time to really study a topic before I move on to the next one. I’ve learned a variety of things at the surface level, but I now understand that I need to work with one thing at a time, have more patience and allow myself to fully digest the information before adding another layer. I basically need to re-read the post I wrote last week and listen to my own advice. Quality over quantity.  

Take a look at your last few months. What were you forced to change in your life? What questions did those changes bring about, and what were your answers? Maybe you’ve uncovered strengths, weaknesses, fears, suppressed dreams, or any number of other things. The more you know yourself, the better you can strategize your next move. There’s no one here to judge you, so be honest with yourself, but more importantly, have some compassion. You’re doing the very best you can every damn day.

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