How to get a break from optimising yourself?
My birthday is around the corner and i have been thinking what i want as a present. Usually i am not short of wishes.
For the last years i have not carried a watch on my wrist. At some point in my life i decided to be less obsessed with time. So I simply stopped wearing a watch.
It made me a bit more relaxed and a bit less on time.
But lately i find myself getting frustrated trying to locate my mobile phone in the depths of my handbag (women's handbag!) to look at the clock. In the end i cannot really live without checking the time and doing so on a mobile phone is cumbersome.
So maybe it is time again i wear a watch. And why not one like everybody has now that tracks your activity and sleep level. Now that i am over 35 years i am realising that my post-35 body is nothing compared to my pre-35 body and i have to take action to get a bikini body. Maybe that watch would help with that goal.
But hang on? Do i really want to know how crappy i sleep (small kids ...)? Or that i do not do my supposed amount of steps (working from home …)? Or that I simply do not have enough time to exercise as much as i should? I am already feeling guilty when i do not buy biological meat or when i enjoy my second piece of cake (sugar!!!!).
Is this watch going to make me feel more guilty?
I recently read an interview with Barbara Ehreneich about her book “Natural Causes”. She mocks the current trend to optimise ourselves. Aren’t we indeed constantly aiming to upgrade our body and mind to a better version? We believe we will be happier if we ate healthier, meditate more, be more mindful, do more exercises?
Aren’t those watches feeding into our never ending struggle to be better?
Now, i wouldn’t have this website if i didn’t believe exercises and meditation will do us good. And i find myself often in the mode of trying to “improve myself”. But i also believe life needs to be enjoyed. It’s good to take charge of your own health. But let’s relax about this a little and don’t be too harsh on yourself.
Here is a meditative exercise that helps you to just be and to accept yourself the way your are right now.
The meditation activates the yin heel meridian. This is one of the eight extraordinary vessels. It governs sleep, connects us to yin energy and it helps you to connect to yourself and accept yourself.
Lie down. If you do this exercise in the evening you will also support a good night’s sleep.
Bring your attention to your ankles.
Inhale and move your attention from your ankles to your hips along the inside of your legs. Exhale and move your focus down from the hips to your ankles along the inside of your legs. Repeat 9-18 times
Now inhale and with your attention follow a line from your ankles along the inside of your legs, over your belly to your head. With an exhale follow that line down again from head, over belly and inside legs to your ankles. Repeat 5-10 times until you can feel the lines very good.
Then bring your attention to your lower belly, your hara or energy centrum. Collect your energy there and close the exercise.