Today is Groundhog Day.
It’s the day when a hibernating animal sticks its nose out of its hole to assess the situation.
Should I go back to sleep? Or do I need to get up and start getting my shit together?
Shadow, no shadow, there are always six more weeks of winter, but that’s fine. It’s even good because my hibernation hole is kind of a mess and it’s going to take at least that long to get my shit together.
So in February, I start the process.
Gretchen Rubin calls it, Outer Order, Inner Calm.
That’s exactly how I feel.
When my place is tidy and clean, I can breathe. When it’s not, the walls start moving in and I feel suffocated.
The trouble is, all this creating order takes time,– time I don’t really have, especially given the state of this Chernobyl I’m facing.
This disaster could take days, weeks, even months to decontaminate, and I have other things I need to do now.
But tomorrow. I’ll definitely start tomorrow.
In the book, Days with Frog and Toad there’s this story called “Tomorrow.”
In it Toad has so much to do he feels overwhelmed and just pulls the covers over his head and stays in bed. He tells Frog he will do all the things on his to-do list tomorrow.
Frog points out that for Toad, tomorrow is surely going to be a bitch of a day. (He doesn’t say “bitch” but that’s what he means.)
But, if Toad washed his dishes today, Frog says, he wouldn’t have to do them tomorrow.
So Toad does his dishes.
And if Toad picked up his clothes today, he wouldn’t have to do it tomorrow.
So Toad picks up his clothes.
And it goes on in this way, until task by task, he completes all the things he was going to do tomorrow, and is now free to go and have fun with Frog.
The moral of the story is that you can overcome procrastination by doing one small thing at a time. Don’t look at the whole job. Just do one thing. Then do another thing. And keep going.
It’s the perfect story for February.
And the perfect yoga practice for February.
In February the light starts to slant through your filthy windows in a way that makes you think spring might be just around the corner.
In February you start to see your space in this new light.
You crave that outer order that will bring that inner calm.
You need to create more space.
So here’s what I suggest.
For the month of February practice The Yoga of Creating Space.
First, take a breath. Then pick up one thing and put it where it belongs. Then take another breath and pick up another thing.
Keep going like this for an hour. Use a timer.
Then take savasana. (This is the most important part. Don’t skip it.)
Lie down, or sit down in a chair, close your eyes and become very still.
Feel the echo of what you just did in your body.
Quiet your mind.
Befriend the present moment.
After 10 minutes, get up, put your palms together and touch your forehead, lips, and heart, then move on into your day.
Repeat this every day in February.
This is your February practice.
If you practice The Yoga of Creating Space in February, I guarantee March will find you much calmer, and you might even have time to go out and have some fun with a friend.