Saturday, August 18, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday! NOW.... Get Back on your Mat

Photo of the month:

4 Years Old! 

Quote of the month:
Get back on your mat!
 - KB

This month marks four years of Simply Spirituality. I say this every year, but it is still hard for me to believe another year has passed. When I began, there were about 5 or 6 posts floating around in my mind and now, some 50 posts later, it still feels as though I've barely scratched the surface.

This past year has been one of the most successful years of the blog with many new people signing up and/or following by other means - Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thank you to all of you, both those that have supported the blog since the beginning and those that have joined us on this journey along the way! 

Many of you know that this last year has been one of the most challenging of my life.  There is a further explanation in the January 2012 post, but briefly, our family suffered a very significant loss this year. This has challenged me in every way imaginable - emotionally, mentally, financially, as a parent, even physically at times and also spiritually.   I even considered if I had it in me to continue the blog when so much of the rest of my life felt chaotic. I am happy to report that I plan to continue posting as long as the Universe continues to send me the words!

A recent visit with a dear friend of mine gave me the quote of the month above, "Get back on your mat." (As in yoga mat.) This Simple phrase that she shared with me has been my mantra for the last several weeks and has especially helped during this trying time in my life.  
In May 2011, the post titled, Life as a Marathon was written.  In this post I talked about the many steps involved in a long distance move and compared it to the many physical steps taken in running a marathon. My suggestion was to focus on the one step one is taking at the moment. 

This is exactly the essence of "get back on your mat."  When doing yoga, one generally uses a mat.......
Get back on your mat!

BUT - - ones mind often is anywhere but the mat. It may be on what you are cooking for dinner, the stop you need to make at the grocery store on the way home from yoga class, the call you forgot to make before leaving work or on your neighbor, on their mat, who seems to be doing a better downward dog than you judge yourself to be doing. NONE OF THESE are your own mat. To do yoga successfully - ones mind must be where the body is and that is on the mat! : ) This simple practice can be applied to nearly anything else in life. Being mindful of where one is and focusing attention on what one is doing rather than the one hundred or one thousand other things floating through ones mind at any given time will help accomplish the one step someone is taking at that moment.

After yoga class, when one stops at the grocery store on the way home, is your mind with you in the store as you choose your apple (for more on "choosing apples,"  see the June 2009 post on Intuition) or is the mind back in the yoga class rehashing what you did incorrectly on your downward dog pose..... or is it STILL thinking about the call you forgot to make earlier?  Another related post was in August 2009, called "The Voice" that talks about the incessant voice in our head that constantly draws us off our mat.  

When I was little, I was taught that someone could only do one thing at a time and do it well. Today we are encouraged to seek multi-tasking as a goal. My personal experience is that less may actually be accomplished by multi-tasking. Mistakes are made or attention not given to detail.... I never tell anyone what they "should" do on this blog, but simply share what has worked for me. "Get back on your mat" reminds me to focus on what I am doing, where I am, and what is in front of me at this particular moment.  

This Simple phrase has helped me get back on my own "writing" mat!  In this birthday month of the blog.... I will especially remind myself of this and invite you to do the same!

Until next month....
Keep it simple!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I saw the title "Get back on your mat", I thought the post would be about children in preschool napping on mats. I had a hard time being still on my mat during nap time, and was often admonished to "get back on your mat." Life is full circle. Instead of being an overactive 4-year-old, I am an overactive adult (will not disclose age, but I am as old as Penelope's mom). I still have to get back on my mat. Thanks for reminding me.