Impermanence, Presence, and Peanut Butter & Jelly

I’m on Day 16 of a 30 Day (online) Yoga Camp.

This isn’t the first time I’ve committed to a daily yoga practice. I think the longest I did was 90 days or so. Every time I commit to sustained daily practice, I learn something new. Yoga tends to meet you where you are. Which is why I like it so much. It’s a moving spiritual practice–and I find that I’m constantly applying what I learn on the mat in my everyday, walkabout life.

Today, I was thinking about presence & impermanence. Simultaneously. Because I was running. Running which is like meditation for me. If mediation involved 1001 creative ways to say fuck.

Today’s run was kicking my ass for no discernible reason. At about 1K, I seriously considered laying down on the sidewalk for a quick nap. But I kept on. Because I persevere like that. Anyway, at about 4K, I’m feeling better. Perky even. But now I’m trying to decide how far I want to go. A 5K? 4 miles? (I like to switch up my systems of measurement whenever possible. You know, just to keep things interesting).

I’m trying to decide on a goal distance. But I’m also focused on staying present. Just being where my feet are. But presently, I’m running up a hill. And that hill feels pretty steep. Then my thoughts start wandering to the idea of running more than 3.12 miles. And that makes me tired just thinking about it. So, I pull myself to the present again, but presently I’m still running up that damn hill.

But then I think … impermanence. I mean, this hill isn’t going to last forever. This moment isn’t going to last beyond, well, this moment.

And then my mind melts because I’m both present and impermanent. But my feet are still moving. And so I settle deeper into this moment, not striving or pushing. Just being and letting my feet move me forward.

And then I remember that the Yoga Camp mantra for today is “I enjoy.” And I think what my present impermanent self is going to enjoy most is the brief walk home after this 5K.

Which was true. I always relish the afterglow of a run. It’s pretty spectacular.

But the walk also gave me some time to contemplate why I’m so disconnected from my own energy. I felt that way all weekend really. This vague sense of malaise. Unsettled.

It could’ve been the full moon.

But I was looking for something I could exert a little more control over. The moon tends to be pretty intractable. So I settled on food. And my mindfulness–or complete lack thereof–around food.

I’ve never been a particularly mindful eater. And if I get too hungry–watch your appendages. Nobody is safe. I’ll grab whatever is there & eat WAY too much of it. I seriously got AFTER some trail mix yesterday, in an unfortunate combination of slightly hungry, bored, and grumpy as hell. But y’all, I showed that trail mix who’s BOSS. Yup.

But for real, I’m a speed eater. Even when I’m eating a Little Debbie (there are SO many Little Debbies consumed in this house, and we make zero apologies for our behavior), I throw it back like it’s a race.

So, as I enjoyed my walk home (being both present & impermanent), I decided the goal for this week is to a) drink enough water so I know when I’m hungry and when I’m not, b) to eat more fresh fruits & veggies, c) to only eat when I’m hungry & until I’m full, and d) to be present while I’m eating. Which is going to have to involve more chewing than hoovering, I suppose.

And because I like to start on my goals right away (Virgo. Over-achiever), I had a handful of raspberries for a snack after my shower. I chewed each one individually. I noticed the tartness of one, the sweetness of another. And, for real, those things feel hella weird in your mouth. Not mushy, but not firm either. And you can FEEL each individual little bump on the raspberry on your tongue.

Each berry was dutifully contemplated and enjoyed. Very zen.

But y’all, I’m about to starve over here.

If you need me, I’ll be mindfully consuming a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (there’s fruit in jelly, y’all. That’s a fact).