It wasn’t until I started doing yoga that I realized breathing can take work. The instructor would tell us inhale here and exhale there. You’d think breathing would come naturally to someone who’d done it, oh, every single day of her entire life. Not so: it took effort to do it the right way. I could focus on the yoga moves, or I could focus on breathing right, but it was not easy to do both (let alone, do them well). When I finally got the hang of it, it helped my entire yoga practice, and it’s becoming more natural to me.
In my post on discipline a few days ago, I neglected to mention one of the more important aspects of discipline: rest. Much like yoga breathing, you’d think it would come naturally to us, but this isn’t always the case. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the goals we set and think the only way to accomplish them is to actively do something. Sometimes, though, the best thing for our work is to take a break from it, and come back refreshed the next day. I see this often in my writing, where ideas benefit from a day to deepen their roots without my interference.
Discipline is not just about knowing when to work hard. It’s also about knowing when to rest, and letting yourself breathe. It’s also about getting back to work after a wonderful day off.
Yesterday was a day of rest for me. Except for a pounding headache that plagued me most of the day, it was relaxing and fun. I spent the morning chatting over coffee with a good friend who recently returned from a three-week European trek. I didn’t focus much on my novel, except for telling my friend about all I’ve been working on. I didn’t do the Shred, but I actually wanted to do it! After eight straight days of doing that video, I certainly didn’t want to skip a day…but my headache told me no.
Yesterday was a good day for rest, because it was our two-year anniversary! My husband brought me flowers and took me to dinner at one of our favorite Italian restaurants. He also took me to a spa, where he’d made reservations for us to each have an hour-long massage. Ahhhhh! I have the best husband in the world. He’s that wonderful every day.
Yvonne, my massage therapist, said she was glad I came in, since my neck and shoulders were extremely tight. I can’t imagine why that would be – I’ve only been sitting at a desk every day, working on my novel, and for over a week now, pounding my muscles to pieces with good ol’ Jillian. Yvonne even managed to massage away my throbbing headache. She just won herself a return customer, ladies and gentlemen.
Needless to say, I feel great this morning. I’m refreshed and motivated; ready to write, ready to edit, and ready (gulp) to do the workout video. Deep breath; now, off to work!
PS – If you’ve seen the new Harry Potter, please don’t spoil anything for me. We don’t get to see it until Friday. Even though I’ve read all the books, I’m trying to avoid talk about the movie so I’ll still be somewhat surprised!