If asked about my religion I will tell you that I was raised in a good Baptist home where the dancing only occurred in ballet class and the drinking only happened in the...never. Anyone who truly knows me, knows that I am at heart an old Italian catholic woman. Named Magdalena. With a shawl and orthopedic shoes. And maybe a mustache. Any way...the catholic in me has nothing to do with religion (I'm not religious). No, Magdalena is born of guilt and the need for confession. She may also have something to do with my need for ritual (OCD), which is why I try to participate in Lent every year. It's a tradition started in grad school when Tiffany introduced us to King cakes with hidden plastic baby jesuses inside. I've given up soda, chocolate, all kinds of candy, coffee, and other things I can't remember. Usually Lent is about giving up something that I enjoy. Last year, instead of giving up something, I added something to my life. I did forty days of creative journaling and forty days of being an active listener. The journaling was easy. The active listening was a challenge. I noticed that there were times that I'd become resentful of people who demanded my attention RIGHT. THIS. MINUTE. I didn't learn to say something like "can you give me a second to finish up this text or email or picture?" Instead, I felt like I had to set whatever I was doing aside to pay attention to the person talking to me, even if it was an interruption. I do not regret the active listening challenge, but if I do decide to do this again (which I'm thinking about), I will need to set up some doormat rules for myself. Yes, what you are saying to me is important, but I am or what I am doing at the moment is equally important. Let's meet in the middle here.
This year I'm devoting 40 days to my yoga mat. I talk about getting on my mat a lot, but talk is not action. There are weeks when the only time I get my mat out is for Wednesday class. Last week I can remember rolling out my mat twice. Now there are some weeks I do really well and I get in a good hour of yoga every day up until Friday. Friday, everything falls to pieces and I don't see my mat again until Monday. I lack follow through (seriously...Michael and I made up all those homeless care kits and it was almost three weeks before they made into my car and I have yet to give one out). Well, I'm making an effort to actually follow through with something. When I mentioned this at lunch yesterday, one of my coworkers asked me if I'd be interested in teaching a few classes a week. He's a tennis player and is looking for a way to stretch. I told him "maybe" and then started researching yoga and tennis and now I'm developing yoga classes for a tennis player in my brain. I've gone to "I might" to "yeah...I'm totally teaching this class". But I'm also hoping this is one of the things that helps me with my 40 days of yoga.
What about you? What are you doing or not doing for Lent this year?