The last few months have been trying. Lots of juggling, no new experiments, just keeping my head above water.
That’s because I have a life and it takes priority. That doesn’t mean I ignore diabetes, far from it. It means I work extra hard to keep an even keel. I double down and get laser focused. This means sticking to routines, keeping up with my yoga practice and making sure I don’t get caught out with a scary low or uncontrollable high.
But still amidst all that, it’s been frustrating. I’ve been wanting to take a longer hike to test out newly acquired info about how to drip feed myself to prevent ongoing hypos or try a Fusilli pasta dish again to see if I need to change the ratio for my split dose.
I’ve been asking myself how can I be adventurous and try new tacts and still be present for all the tasks I need to accomplish?
Zoom in…. and Zoom out
Zooming in means focussing on one thing each day that’s fun or challenging or testing me beyond what I would habitually do. It might be; a new food combination, adding a food I haven’t tried before. Splitting my dose a different way or making sure I snack almost an hour before I generally start to hypo. It might even be challenging myself to walk an extra ten minutes deeper into the forest and being willing to treat the hypo without chastising myself for not snacking before we left. Whatever the task, just making little changes and facing small challenges means there’s progress. The effect is cumulative.
It’s the same in yoga practice, like when you commit to holding a pose a little longer each day to build your strength. Or stretching an area of the body like the hamstrings even when you know that’s your tightest area and you’d rather not.
Slowly and over time repetition creates lasting change. It’s taken years to accept my body and its limitations. I’ve had to learn to trust the process. Yoga practice and what happens to the body is not a continuum. In fact, what once was free and open at the age of 19 is now much more restricted due to hormonal changes and the aging process. I’ve had to learn to modify postures and accept my limitations.
Which leads me to step 2: Zoom out
Zooming out means accepting the fact that over my 35-year career as a yoga teacher and practitioner what I’d hoped to achieve and what I’ve actually mastered are very different. As a young yogi I zoomed in on acing a drop back or a handstand. Now I could care less if I master any pose. I am more interested in my overall wellbeing. Am I able to respond rather than react to challenges, am I compassionate and caring towards others and myself?
Studying the deeper teachings of yoga called Atma Vidya has shown me that zooming out is not just about achieving outcomes in the world. It’s about understanding the nature of who I am. That no matter what changes go on in the relative physical world, awareness, consciousness which is the nature of who I am, does not change. The awareness gazing through the eyes at 19 is the same at 56. The only thing that has changed is the recognition that the body has a shelf life and keeping the body well and balanced throughout the lifespan means maximum enjoyment no matter what is going on.
Living with chronic illness definitely highlights the hard knocks and road blocks, but zooming out gives me perspective and develops self-compassion. Asking questions like; overall in the last few months, am I more in range? Are the highs and lows washing over me more? Am I able to take the wins and forget the rest? Do I feel more daring and freer in my daily life?
And the big question I’ve been honing in on lately? Am I more prepared than I was a year ago to take risks and try new things.
The resounding answer is YES! Through zooming in I’ve made incremental changes and through zooming out I’ve eased up and am truly enjoying life.
Here’s to that!
With great respect….