2/3/2019 - Wait Your Turn
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The word savasana must have been mistakenly wired into my innate language recognition software, because at the end of yoga class, all my brain hears is PARTY TIME!
Hi! This is Coach Sarah, and this is the Morning Mantra!
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Hi, my name is Sarah Axelrod. I'm a run coach and a lover of poetry, and I’m here to put the fun back in profundity. You don't have to be an athlete to be #coachedandloved, and if you need an anchor to hold onto as you move through a tough situation, you've come to the right place.
Hey everyone, welcome back to the Morning Mantra pod! Did you miss us? My brain sure missed you! While we were on hiatus, I could not stop myself from grabbing mantras out of thin air ALL THE TIME. Sermon in church? Mantra mantra mantra mantra. New book I’m reading to my daughter? Mantra mantra mantra mantra. Great British Bake-Off with my totally-obsessed husband? Mantra mantra mantra mantra! Morning guided meditation? Mantra mantra mantra mantra!
Actually, it’s this last one that both excites me and irritates me. I’ve been meditating regularly since the beginning of December, and it’s fantastic. I look forward to it each morning, and the 15-ish minute sessions really tend to fly by. Actually, that’s kind of the problem. So often, I find myself at the end of a meditation session realizing that I haven’t heard a single thing the meditation guide has said. I haven’t tuned into my breathing, I haven’t found awareness in my body, I haven’t really even been conscious of my thoughts - I’ve just been running away with them. What on earth is my brain doing?? It is thinking about upcoming podcast interviews. It is writing my weekly newsletter. It is plotting a run route in my head. It is deciding when I will broadcast the strength circuit for today. It is getting IDEAS about everything. Especially mantras. “Let your thoughts float overhead like clouds in the sky,” the meditation lady says, “without chasing them.” Ooh, that’s good, I think, as I go dashing off in pursuit.
It’s great, don’t get me wrong. But this very tendency - to let my inspiration and my ideas seep into every crack of my waking hours, without giving me a break - is the same one that can tear me to pieces when the thoughts that grip me are of a more negative kind. There’s a fine line between inspiration and obsession, and the meditation practice is, among other things, intended to help me set boundaries within my own brain, to help me learn to consider without dwelling and decide without ruminating. As I slide back into the habit of writing and recording mantras regularly, I know that my mantra generation machine will sometimes grab my attention at inopportune times, and that what I need to let go of is the fear that if I don’t drop everything and listen, I’ll lose something - I will be behind. This is the thinking I need to dismantle. I know that indulging my thoughts every time they knock without asking “is this helpful right now? Is this a good time for me?” isn’t the long-term healthiest thing for me.
My brain loves me and it’s just doing what brains do. Its way of operating isn’t good or bad - it’s part of who I am and how I work. I take comfort in planning and executing, and my brain has been trained for years to Always Be Planning.
So when it pulls at my sleeve as I breathe, plies me with suggestions and ideas and requests and distractions, I’m not saying no, I’m saying not right now. Wait your turn.
If I could grant myself and every single person listening to this one wish in 2020, it would be that we all trust ourselves just a little bit more. Trust that we’re not behind. Trust that we’re not lazy - that we have good reasons for every decision we make, whether we are conscious of them or not. Trust that we won’t lose everything if we say no to something that isn’t right for us. This idea is not the last idea I will ever have. My abilities will not evaporate if I take a day off. My brain will be fine if I let this thought pass me by for right now. Patiently, calmly, lovingly, you can say it: wait your turn. Then trust that while it waits, nothing will be lost.
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You are Coached. You are Loooved, and you ARE winning at life. And if you need MOAR reasons to believe that, follow @morningmantrapod on Instagram and subscribe to the Coached and Loved weekly newsletter!