Sadie (my two-year old) asked Drew (my husband) why he was taking a picture when he was looking at his phone. He told her he was reading his email. She said, “Your evil?” We had a good laugh about that.
More often than not, I think evil is the perfect way to describe my email inbox. And especially at this time of year. Even before the plates were cleared from Thanksgiving dinner, my inbox was filled with messages that haven’t stopped since then.
“Free Shipping Today Only!”
“25% Off Sale Just for You!”
“Don’t Miss These Great Deals!”
It’s basically a whole pile of junk mail telling me what to buy and from where, how to think, how much and what to eat, what experience I’m supposed to be having this holiday season.
The messages from social media, news media, even family and friends, the “outside” voices are so loud, so prolific, it feels easy for my voice inside to be overtaken. But really, all of that stuff is just spam. In fact, this is the spam-iest time of the year, as my friend Felicity says.
In the same way that I delete or unsubscribe or just ignore and delete those unwanted advertising emails, I have to keep reminding myself that I have the capacity to shut out those unwelcome and usually conflicting messages of the season. This time of year seems to demand that I be social and outgoing, shop and consume, celebrate and be joyful. But the truth is that sometimes I just don’t feel like that.
It feels like the whole season is one long, giant backbend. Now, I love a good heart opener as much as the next girl. (Actually, that’s not quite true. I often feel like of anxious and unsettled in backbends but that’s another story for another time.) Lots of times, especially as it is getting dark so early and colder outside, I have no desire to burst out in song and do a jig. I just want to curl up with a nice hot cup of tea, a book, and a purring kitty in my lap. When I come to my mat, I find myself lingering in the hip openers, the forward folds and long savasanas.
Yet even when I’m drawn to hide under the covers, literally and metaphorically, I always feel better when I get on my mat. Whether it is a warm flowy practice or a quiet savasana, whether I am alone or in a group, yoga resets the volume on all of those outside voices and messages. It’s like the trash icon for the spam, all of that “evil” email. I don’t want to be another person telling you what to experience at this time of year, but I will recommend that when you feel tired, overwhelmed, and like you’ve lost track of what you really need and want, yoga could be just the thing you need. So come see me on the mat now and then this month. And very best wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy end to your year, my friends!