This last week, I’ve had to learn that it really is okay to slow down. I am talking about laying aside the habits of a life working, doing and making up for lost time. Lots of women feel this way from what they tell me. We lay aside the things we want because of caring responsibilities, fear of failure or fear of not fitting in. Annabel Crabb (Australian journalist and host of ABC TV’s Ms Represented) and Caitlan Moran (English journalist and author of How To Be A Woman) agree with me so it must be true.
I’d decided that, if I can’t go to the Northern Lights for my upcoming 60th birthday because of the uncertainities around international borders opening, I need to do something new. Something big! I need to overcompensate. For coming to the party late. For not being enough.
I decided I was going to walk on my hands. Now for someone who has always been frightened of being upside down and has a permanently dislocated wrist, this was a big step up. I figured I’d be okay as I’d been able to kick up into handstand – just for a few seconds – in a couple of recent yoga lessons. So I went at it in my usual way. Jumped into handstand every time I got the chance. Within a few days I wound up with a permanent earache and constant discomfort in my neck and shoulders.
Instead of doing what I usually do and pushing on through, I stopped. I did some online research and discovered that ear pain can be associated with neck and shoulder tightness. Hmmm. Then I went to the physio to get the elbow pain I’d developed, checked out. Both of these things led me to reconsider the standing on my hands thing. Not the goal, just the way I got there.
I want it to be fun. I want to share it with other women who also might have been afraid to do new things. With their bodies, their art, their job. So, I’m going to keep seeing the physio to sort out my elbow. I am also going to act as if I have all the time in the world and build up to handstand. There are a heap of poses that will help. Dolphin, scorpion, plank. So, I’m going to do those, get good at them and enjoy them.
Going hard to get what you want is often the right thing. But not for everything, all the time. I’m going to go hard and then I’m going to rest making time to observe what I’m doing and learning along the way. Seeing things from another perspective, as well as taking the time to develop it, really is okay.