Back in January (which feels like years ago now), I read a post on Ali Edwards’ blog about her New Year’s getaway to Cancun. It was full of gorgeous photos – Ali’s posts always are. But the thing that grabbed me was a little throwaway paragraph about yoga.
Ali linked to a yoga app she’d recently downloaded, and said, “My goal is really just to do something […] I’ve had an all-or-nothing mentality for way too long.”
I couldn’t get those two lines out of my head.
A couple of weeks later, I went back to Monday night yoga for the first time in months. And then, when the blizzards began and I couldn’t make it back to the studio, I downloaded that same yoga app. I’ve been making an effort to unroll my green yoga mat in my dining room, a couple of times a week, ever since. Just do something.
The all-or-nothing mentality is a killer, isn’t it? For so long, I thought I couldn’t do yoga (or take up any other form of exercise) unless I did it every day. I worried (sometimes still worry) that I’m not a real writer unless I write every day. After a few unhealthy meals (like Saturday’s dinner of all the fried things from the local clam shack), I sometimes start to panic that my diet is going off the rails.
And then I remember: it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. A small change – even a tiny effort in the right direction – can pull me back toward balance.
I’m not doing yoga every day – not even close. The past couple of weeks, I’ve only managed my Monday night class and one short session at home. But it’s something. It feels good to make that effort. I’m not writing every single day, but I am writing most days – and that’s something, too. When I end up on the mat (or come back to the page or cook a dinner involving vegetables), I feel healthier, balanced, more whole.
Just do something. In the spirit of being gentle with myself this year, that’s what I’m going for.
Does the all-or-nothing mentality trip you up, too? What are your tricks for subverting it?