I am taking time today to contemplate the New Year. I get excited about this, in fact, those who know me might say I get a little over excited. My goals list usually looks something like: I will meditate daily, I will write daily, I will workout daily and on top of that, I'll create this new program for the studio, teach in this location... and the list goes on and on. It's always impossibly long and ridiculously ambitious. It somehow inspires me to be in the moment, yet just weeks into the process I generally find myself feeling weary and daunted so that eventually I give up.
As I look at my list this year, I hear the phrase "LEAN IN" ringing in my ears. Since my little girl was born 9 months ago, it seems like "lean in" has been everywhere. I first heard it in my Listening Mother's group (which we'll be hosting at the studio in January), as in, "can you lean into your partner, especially when you don't want to?" Next I read it somewhere, and then suddenly, it seemed to be everywhere. Like a refrain from on high, "Michel, can you lean into this?"
This has never been my forte. I'm kind of an all or nothing gal. If I can't go big, I tend to go home. A few weekends ago I went out to ski with the intention of skiing "hard" for the first time since I broke my leg almost two years ago. I was promptly put in my place. There would be no skiing hard just yet. The pain of absorbing each turn was nearly unbearable. Part of me wondered why I was doing this to myself and was ready to go home. But deep down there was that sweet refrain - lean in, lean in. Don't push, don't struggle, don't try to be who you used to be, or who you think you are, but lean in now. Each turn became an opportunity to simply lean into the experience on the ground, literally.
While I love big - big mountains, big backpacking trips, big classes both to take and to teach, big realizations - I'm clear that I don't have the energy for big right now. No, I won't start 2013 with a big cleanse, a big workout plan, or big commitment to overhaul my life. What I can do is lean into what I really want. Lean into balance.
Reviewing my list of new goals and possibilities for 2013, I feel a new sense of ease. I've taken each area of my life - health, career, family, play - and dialed them back. No, I won't workout 1.5 hours a day, but I will commit to something that feels healthy and life-giving. Right now, that's 1 hour 4 times per week. No, I won't commit to writing for 8 hours per week, but will commit to 3. I will lean in, and therefore maybe I will actually accomplish what is important to me with a sense of balance and achievement.
Yes, I commit to lean in, lean in so that I can be two feet into 2013 for the long haul, not the sprint.