This was meant to be a relaxing summer. I dreamed of days spent in the garden, beneath the parasol, crocheting or drawing while the kids played on the slip and slide. We did that a lot last summer. But the summer has slipped away form me and it hasn’t been quite like that.
Three weeks away visiting family and friends, then one visitor after another over the last three weeks has meant that I’ve hardly had a chance to breathe. There certainly has been too little sitting under the parasol and not quite enough slip and slide. Blame the British climate for that one.
Though full of nice things, the days have indeed been full. Fuller than is good for us. Through it all, I have depended on my practice as a way of locating a quiet space within the mania. To find the emptiness within the fullness. The silence amidst the noise.
I want to say a little bit about my practice. Maybe you are imagining me in cute little yoga clothes, standing on my head in a pristine, clutter-free room. Maybe I’m sitting cross-legged, chanting my Oms and achieving a high state of enlightenment. Head over to my Instagram feed and you will see that this is not the case.
Most days I lie in bed thinking, “I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to get up. How about five more minutes?” Then I lie there for a while until I eventually manage to pull myself out of bed. I practise in my pjs, bleary eyed and yawning, a mound of laundry on one side of me and a pile of toys and books on the other. I use the side of my foot to clear a mat-shaped space, place each foot on the mat and begin.
It’s not a long practice. It’s not worthy of YouTube. No one is going to click the little heart on Instagram when they see what I’m doing. It’s simple. It’s not showy. But it’s what I need. I do it for no one else but me (though it might be argued that a lot of other people benefit because I make it a priority. Namely, my family.)
There have been times during these full days when I have needed to push everything aside with my foot (metaphorically speaking) to create a me-shaped space. Somewhere in the endless travelling, the changing of beds and making of meals for visitors, I lifted my head for a breath and realised I was lost.
So I am working to insert more practice into my day. I am making a me-shaped space.
I am aware that I am not alone in feeling this way, and as the beginning of the school year approaches I know that more and more people like me might find their me-shaped space disappearing. This is why I am offering short, free-of-charge breath awareness and mindfulness videos over on Periscope. Have a look at how Periscope works. These videos are LIVE, then only available for a few hours after broadcast. Thus far, my offerings have been only 2-4 minutes long. They offer a respite in the middle of a hustle bustle day. In fact, I make them as much for me as for you. (Yesterday I even listened to the replay and “talked myself into” the breathing practice. Weird, but true.)
I am working on other exciting projects and hope to reveal more about them in this space in the weeks and months to come. In the meantime, come see what I’m up to on Instagram (@lisahassanscott) or Periscope.
Copyright Lisa Hassan Scott 2015.