En route to my goal of cultivating love and creativity this year I planned to spend the month of February listening and learning from myself and others.
A part of my plan of action was to listen to others with my full attention. So in February I slowed down in conversation. I stopped thinking about what I was going to say next and started to stop and listen. I practiced staying present in conversation even if it meant I didn’t have an immediate comeback.
This helped me learn to cultivate love in my relationships. Time flies and pauses when you are present. Being present added emotion that I would not have noticed in conversations. It gives me insight into the speaker that I would not have if I had only been thinking about myself and my reaction to the situation.
The second part of my listening was to listen to myself, my physical body in particular. Listening led me to more action than I thought it would. I ran almost 30 miles this last month. While this may seem like I was not respecting rest days or listening to my body I really changed my running habits. Twice a week I try to run at least 3 mile runs. During these runs instead of trying to maintain a steady pace I have found that my body reacts best to pace changes. I increase and decrease my speeds (never dropping below a 10 minute mile pace) for the duration of the run.I also took a couple days, unintentionally, off of yoga. This was a huuuuuge mistake. My body got sore from my runs much faster with the missing stretches.
By really listening to my body and adjusting to what its telling me I have began truly enjoying running. It feels like less of a chore now. I’ve learned that my body always hates the first mile and kills it on the third so I have learned to listen to it without giving into my first mile woes. I have also started eating a bit later in the afternoon to fuel these after work runs. My unintentional yoga break taught me that I respond best to cardio and stretching, so I need to be sure to work yoga in almost everyday. I also discovered that since my best moods of the day are after working out I need to start my day with a bit of movement and get a jump on the day. Another month is done and 2017 is flying by! How are you holding up on your resolutions?
I have opinions about EVERYTHING and I love making them known. Due to this chatty Cathy lifestyle of mine, I can be a pretty shitty listener. With my intentions to cultivate love and creativity this year, I’ve decided that February will be about listening.
By listening to the world around us, the people around me and my body I will continue to build the foundation for the loving, confident, creative woman I want to be.
I was inspired to begin listening externally by the 2016 election results and the stories shared at the historic fan-fucking-tastic Women’s March on DC event that took place on January 21st. I was inspired to begin listening to my body through my yoga practice.
It is obvious to me that a large portion of this country has felt ignored by current politics. These are people that I originally wrote off as morons. I assumed that if you were able to vote for someone who believes in taking away the rights of my friends and myself that you were an idiot. While I do still believe that it takes someone with an inflated ego to think that their money is more important than the rights of others, I’ve decided that I have to listen to what the other side is thinking. To protect and defend my friends it is time to listen to what the opposition has to say, take in their concerns and see what a polite conversation can do for us.
On the other side of that coin it is time for me, as a white feminist, to listen to the stories of all the women of color, members of the LGBTQ community and other oppressed minorities. My story, or one similar to it has been shared thousands of times. It is time to check my white privilege, get off of my soapbox and learn about the struggles of minority women in our society. It is important for me to listen without asking those who are oppressed to educate me. I’m very excited about this journey and already have a couple ideas in mind for reaching this goal. I’m starting small by listening to feminist podcasts like “2 Dope Queens” and “Call Your Girlfriend”
I am also going to listen to my body. I am known for pushing myself to unhealthy limits from time to time. Instead of taking a rest day I will work in a quick set of squats. Instead of clocking out at 5, I am known to stay an extra half hour just to make things perfect. This results in my body hitting its breaking point and I pass out for 12 hours during the weekend. My Yoga with Adriene journey in January taught me a lot about listening to my body and breath as a team. I want to learn to listen to my body when it is tired and let it tell me when I’m overworking it without letting my brain take over and turn me into a lazy couch potato. While I’m still working towards a healthier mind and body with fervor, I intend to listen to my body and take that extra rest day when I need it. These are my intentions for February. A short but important month.
I will report back what I learn by listening. Stay tuned, my friends.