This past week I've had a "reading week" for my genetics elective because a) there's apparently a whole lot I don't know about genetics and b) my attending went out of town on vacation with his kids. I have definitely read a whole lot about genetics, but I have also tried to use this week as a restorative week. A week I could have traveled to visit friends or family (I did a little of this), a week I could have spent doing all the life errands I had to do (I did do a little of this), I chose to instead take my focus inward and try to reset my own internal balance, which has shifted drastically over the past year of clerkships with travelling, starting a new thing every 6 weeks, and not having a community to root into. Plus, I start a month of night float this Monday night so I won't have too much of a life outside of the hospital for a little while - making me nervous that I'll be unbalanced even more.
So my skeletal structure of the week included a goal of coming to my mat and doing yoga every day for a whole week, starting last Saturday (my first day "off"). I'm not sure what I expected - a few days of feeling like I was getting more flexible, stronger maybe? But instead I've been feeling more peaceful - well, up until yesterday's practice when I think I had a yoga breakdown. About 40 minutes into one of my favorite podcasts, in the middle of a heart opener half-moon pose, I just started crying. Not because I was sad or in pain, but I think (still processing) because I really opened something up. Not just my ribcage, but like an emotional drawer that I had locked and barricaded over the course of this year, as I spent more time alone driving than ever before, as I witnessed people dying, futile attempts to try to prevent the inevitable, families grieving, babies being born, intimate never before asked questions - had opened. I continued my practice for a few more poses, then I turned the podcast off and just flowed by myself through poses that I realized I had been craving, and by the time I got to the final pose, I was entirely spent. Not renewed or refreshed or regenerated, just totally spent. But I'm going for it again today and tomorrow - because now I'm curious. What else might come up? Here's a poem that was read at a yoga class I went to this week that just felt.so.right.
Some thoughts to consider:
What have you done lately that has been outside of your comfort zone?
How do you reset your own internal balance?
Allow by Danna Faulds
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightening bolt
containing a tornado.
Dam a stream and it will create
a new channel. Resist, and
the tide will sweep you off your
feet. Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground.
The only safety lies in
letting it all in -
the wild and the weak,
fear, fantasies, failures, and
success. When loss rips off hte
doors of the heart, or sadness veils
your vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your known
way of being, the whole world is revealed
to your new eyes.