Something occurred to me today and it is a theme that has come up before for me and likely for you as well. I thought to myself, “Am I creating my own barriers?” Let me back up a minute by describing what led to this question. In the last two months I started a part-time job at a bakery because I was motivated by the opportunity to get out and socialize and to earn a little extra money. It has taken me awhile to balance out my schedule and feel more settled in a new routine. As I said in a previous post, summer always seems to be a hectic time where there are more activities and obligations to juggle. This week I have worked many more hours than usual as a result of helping out here and there and agreeing to take extra shifts, therefore I have had less time to do the things I really want to be doing and in turn I was feeling dissatisfied with my situation.
When it comes to barriers, or constraints to leisure they can be extrinsic such as not having enough time, not having enough money, not having a group to participate with, etc. Barriers and constraints can also be internal, or intrinsic. This type of barrier is a little more tricky to pinpoint and change because it has something to do with our own perceptions about what is preventing or stopping us from doing a particular thing.
Today I had a day off from working my part-time job, but I also had a number of other responsibilities to attend to. I really wanted to go to a yoga class as well and for a moment I considered skipping yoga to do some work which led to the question, “Am I creating my own barriers?” Every day we have choices to make about how we spend our time. It can be extremely helpful to our sense of feeling free and our sense of empowerment if we can start jumping some of the hurdles that we very well may be putting up ourselves! If I really thought about it, what choice would ultimately be the most beneficial for me in this moment? Based on previous experience, I know that when I feel the most stressed and feel like I have the least amount of time, the best thing I can do to take care of myself is yoga. Time and time again this has proven to be true, but it is SO HARD to get myself to make that decision when I am at my height of stress. When there is a list of things to-do a mile long, unread emails in my inbox, and texts and phone calls to return it is pretty difficult to ignore them.
The key to getting over these hurdles is to acknowledge that they are there. When venting about some of my internal barriers my good friend Pete once told me, “Angela, think of it as traffic cone and go around it.”
Take care of yourself by turning off the internal to-do list and recharge your batteries by doing something that brings you joy, whatever that may be! Reading, calling your best friend to share a laugh, baking a pie, working on a sewing project, playing an instrument, whatever you choose, let your mind go and become totally absorbed by what you have chosen. When you are finished I think you’ll find it easier to go around your traffic cones.
I chose to go to yoga today.