The ebb and flow of mother nature is unfailing. She is constant, consistent, and even more dependable with her changes. Mother nature doesn’t “fall off the wagon” or “take a break.” She operates at a level all her own. It is her inconsistency that is consistent. She does so without thinking, but by just being.
We could take some inspiration from her in this regard. In contrast, as human beings, we consistently change and waver in our actions, not because it’s what we want to do, but because of the nature of our mind. This is where the gift (and some say curse) of being human challenges us and reveals itself often. What am I getting at here? What am I trying to say? Short and sweet: stop holding yourself to a rigid guideline for only one month every year where you feel a sudden urge to uphold strict guidelines because you indulged, you were gluttonous, and now you feel guilty. Why not accept that this probably happens every year, multiple times a year, and you have every right to fall out of rhythm. It’s the anticipation, or at least knowing, that this will happen that can help you get back into the swing of things after a holiday hiatus.
The motivation necessary to “get back on the wagon” exists prior to ever “falling off the wagon.” This means knowing that during specific times in one’s life, like the holidays, we may not be able to or willing to uphold the rhythms we held within our lives just weeks before. This surrender or “softening to what is” may be the key to then jumping back into our rhythm, however new and different, or similar to what was exercised before the break.
Now please understand that we are all different in the way we think, act, and relate to the world. This is largely in part due to our upbringing, our childhood traumas and programming, etc. Having said that, some of us are more prone to keeping strict regimens and schedules and can maintain a rhythm all year round without much deviation. It is this very archetype of person who might benefit from “falling off the wagon” from time to time. This is where true learning and growth in one’s life can occur.
For the person who often finds themselves shifting, changing, and “falling off,” committing to keeping a set routine during the holidays can be beneficial, but it is imperative that the undertaking is actually feasible and within reach. One cannot expect a parent of three with a full-time job to attend five classes per week if s/he is not in the fitness or health industry. Realistic goals prior to the “falling off” is a pretty good recipe for success. No guarantees, but it is one step closer to helping stay motivated in unmotivating times.
In brief, prepare for your fallout. Prepare for the lack of routine or schedule if that’s what happens every year for you. And if it is something you deem as not conducive to your life, then you’ve done a great job of understanding what it is that you don’t want in your life, or for your life. This is the beginning of implementing true change, should you want it to happen. Stop beating yourself up and start holding yourself accountable by being honest with yourself, and then holding space for the break should you need it. You know yourself better than anyone, if you choose to accept it.
Happy New Year, my fellow yogis and movers. Practice on.