Not Making Resolutions and Doing Nothing

New year soon/
Resolutions don’t work for me/
Not making any.

I’m aware of wanting something. Something I’ve wanted for years. Something I write new year’s resolutions about every year. Resolutions that sound like rules. Rules that might, once and forever, transform me into a new and better version of myself. Then I’ll finally get what it is I have wanted…being welcome in the world as I am.  
The personal work I’ve done over the last thirty years has been driven by my search for this better version of myself. The ever-constant cascade of thoughts happening in my head keep telling me I’m not there yet. I need to keep trying. I want to stop thinking. 
However, thinking isn’t going to stop. It’s what the brain likes to do and thinking is good for doing many things. But over-thinking? Everything? With thoughts that remind me I’m still not good enough or my life is really hard. It’s exhausting. 
Recently, though, something shifted in me. While looking for a way to soothe (fix?) my cranky right hip I discovered an article on working with a tight psoas muscle.  Do I have a tight psoas?  I don’t know. Maybe. Wouldn’t doubt it since the psoas muscle is the muscle that allows us to move – to walk, run, get up, and get down. Something I’ve been doing for 63 years.
Some people call the psoas the “trauma muscle.” It’s movement allows us to respond to challenging life situations with our fight/flight/faint/freeze responses. My massage therapist calls it the “sacred container muscle.” She says the psoas holds all of our life experiences – traumatic and not traumatic.  Everyone agrees it is the most overworked muscle and the way to work with it is to do nothing. Nothing at all.
How radical is that?  Doing nothing? Our culture is all about DOING! DOING more. DOING it all. DOING the best you can do. To simply lay on the floor, fifteen minutes a day, and do nothing is not something that fits into this DOING life we live.
Really? Could doing nothing help my hip? What did I have to lose?  It’s free. No doctors are involved. Floors are easy to come by. Finding fifteen minutes is doable. So I started laying on the floor. That was the easy part.
The hard part was DOING nothing. Because fifteen minutes of doing nothing left me drowning in my raging stream of cascading thoughts – about the life I have lived and haven’t lived; about the ways I’m still flawed, continue to be flawed, and what I need to DO to REALLY fix those flaws.
Here I was, caught in a dilemma. I was laying on the floor so my hips could unwind, but spending the fifteen minutes fighting my wound up head. Trying to save myself from drowning in my thoughts. No wonder my hips are tight.
After a few weeks of floor time I started noticing my right hip felt better.  The more I found my way to the floor, doing nothing but letting my hips unwind, the more curious I got about letting my mind unwind, too.  
If the floor could support my hip unwinding, what did I need to support my mind unwinding? I needed a container to hold the constant cascade of thoughts that lead me away from myself and take me to the usual loser outcome. Could I get curious about meeting those thoughts with equanimity? Really hear them and find a way to hold them before my shame kicked in.  
Haiku, a I mentioned in my last post, was a necessary creative adjustment I made when I lost sight in my right eye.  And it is also an amazing container for working with my cascading thoughts.  It allows my mind to unwind old thought patterns in a new way while the floor supports the unwinding of my hips.  I have more space for meeting myself and my life as it is.
And it didn’t come from making resolutions about all the things I should/could do or not do in my life to become a better me. No, it came from doing nothing but showing up for myself and finding fifteen minutes a day to lay on the floor and do nothing.

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One Response to Not Making Resolutions and Doing Nothing

  1. Lila Haris December 29, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    Can so relate to not feeling the resolutions, the fixing, the goals.. seeing how much I can let go of and feel down in .. Thanks for this Sarah.

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