This morning icy road conditions found me at home with coffee and a pen in hand, rather than headed to teach yoga for the morning. Although I love sharing yoga with moms and their children, it's also nice to slow time down a bit and savor the warmth of being at home.
Yesterday we stayed home all day, baking cookies, watching documentaries, and playing games. It was a much needed re-connection after a busy week. And today we have the opportunity to do it again! We need this guarded time as much as we need time for social interaction, exercise, and sleep.
I watched an episode of a documentary yesterday called "Brain Games" which basically proved that humans are not designed to multitask. Ninety percent (or more) of the population cannot successfully focus on more than one thing at a time, regardless of what our iPhones can do. In a time where there is so much pulling for our attention at a really fast pace, it's easy to feel distracted, scattered, frazzled, and overwhelmed.
It's true that as a mother, wife, homemaker, teacher, admin assistant, sister, daughter, friend...in all the roles I play there will be times when I will have to divide my attention in two or more places at the same time. Talking on the phone while preparing lunch. Planning an activity or lesson plan while sweeping the floor. Helping my child find their gloves while gathering my things before walking out the door.
But, what if I purposefully tried to simplify my life to where I could focus on one thing at a time more often than not?
One of my teachers who has two young children says she practices mindfulness throughout her days by repeatedly asking herself this question: "How can I simplify this?" When driving the car, she turns off the radio and just drives. When playing with her children, she puts away her tablet or phone and just plays. I would imagine that as a skilled teacher and yogi scholar, when preparing for a training or reading or practicing yoga, her intention is that she is focused on doing just that.
It sounds so liberating, doesn't it? And perhaps a bit scary... If I don't do 2-3 things all at once, how will I get everything done?!? I wonder... does it all really have to get done? Or, if we cut out distractions and focus on the task at hand, will we be able to get it done more thoroughly and efficiently? What do we have to lose by giving it a try?
Today my challenge to myself, and to you if you are willing to try, is to focus on simplicity. "How can I simplify this?" What can I let go of in order to create space for more presence, more mindfulness, more connection, and more peace? If this speaks to you, I'd love for you to join me. Let me know what comes up in the process. It might be pleasant and a big relief. It might also bring up feelings of inadequacy, fear, or restlessness that has been lying below the surface. All are okay and valid. Take time to explore any of these feelings and approach them with curiosity and loving care.
By releasing the hold of "busy" and "distracted", we have the potential to heal and tap into our Divine Wholeness.
Much love to you on your journey towards simplicity,