The 3 & 5 Plan

To say that my self care has fallen off the map this semester is an understatement.

To say that I’ve said this before is also an understatement.

Such is life. Such is practice. Such is return. Renewal. Revision.

What I wish to re-see as I close out 2016 and move into a potentially more-filled semester than ever before (big things happening with all of my teaching, off the mat and on) is a steadfast commitment to myself.

It is beyond easy to say I don’t have time. To decide to watch crap online instead, or lose myself in social media after the kids go to bed. But considering how hollowed out I have felt the last couple weeks at the close of this semester, I just can’t. I can’t let distraction and excuses win. But I’ve got to have something tangible to keep me on track, so Mama Life to the rescue (ironic, I know).

In a classic “keep you on track” mom move, I am going to use a reward chart starting now and leading all the way up to my birthday in March, 2017. Not even kidding.

Here’s the back story:

Last week I had a super swirly night where I was not sleeping and super irritated about it, even though I know I haven’t been taking care of myself well as of late. So in my non-sleeping angst, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what I could do to get back to my practices – physical and meditation – that would be not just helpful but also feasible. And just like that, the numbers 3 & 5 popped into my mind.

I want to do a physical asana practice three times a week. I want to mediate five days a week. I don’t feel like those are out of reach (and it doesn’t have to be an hour every time, either), but when I think of the benefits, holy wow. Good stuff.

From there, I put together that I am turning 35 in March, so 3 & 5 really, really makes sense, and if I start now, I have close to 3.5 months to dedicate to this. When I go theme, I go big.

But just like when my kids potty train, I am going to make a sign to hang somewhere in our house – probably the kitchen instead of the bathroom – that I can see every day, so I can track how much progress I am making with these weekly goals. And since my kids will be able to see it, I fully expect them to help me stay on track, too.

To start everything off with an alignment of the stars and auspiciousness, I chose today as my jump start. It’s the Winter Solstice, and even though my regular mat practice has been pretty lame lately, I set up everything last night so I could get up at 5 this morning (skipped swimming yesterday, so I was ready for the early rising today) and get after it.

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Truth? It hurt. A lot. My left wrist started barking at me about halfway through and don’t even get me started on my hamstrings. I am going to need an epsom soak later, for sure. But I did it. 108 sun salutations, dedicated at the mantra I’ve been using for months and will carry through this 3 & 5 Plan – May I be Peace.

Progress updates to come, I’m sure, but for now – happy shortest day of the year and may the return of light bring whatever else you wish to welcome back into your own life!

Update: here’s how the plan went over the holiday weekend. 🙂

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