The Great Escape
Escaping (a necessity)
It was soft, like silk, slipping through my fingers.
It was tough, chipping away at hardened clay, bit by bit, day after day.
It was sticky, relentless, step by trying step.
It was calculating, blueprint after blueprint.
It was patient, arduous, slow.
But each time it melted into my soul, a sweet elixir of freedom;
And I drank it all; and I intend to continue to do so, again and again.
My prisons, I learned, are states of mind.
And the ambrosia I sought wasn't flourishing on Mt. Olympus; it was buried deep within my heart, waiting for me to make a move, to take my escape.
When you hear the word escape, what generally comes to mind is someone leaving an adverse situation or someone making a flee for freedom, regardless of the context of their said prison (obviously not literal; but rather, the conditions we set around our lives; jobs, families, partners, societal expectations, our own expectations, etc.).
In art, escapism is a theme where the artist creates some beautiful, mystical or even magical landscape or image, to serve as pure entertainment and a brief break (from the harsh reality of our often mundane or challenging lives) for the viewer. The hope is that by escaping, briefly, we can offer ourselves rest, rejuvenation and a change in perspective.
The practice of yoga, meditation, movement, art and many more are sacred forms of escape; a time for us to just BE in space; breathe in space; move in space; open up in space.
Maybe you can bring to mind one thing you need an escape from (free from judgement), regardless of the perceived intensity you may place on said thing. (I can already hear: "I can't escape my kids" -- read on). Is it your job? Your partner? Your own expectations? Some responsibility?
After your identify what has become "too much," I'm asking you to abandon any idea that you cannot escape it -- all the reasons you tell yourself you JUST CAN'T - don't have the time (make the time); feel guilty (navigate the guilt, it will subside); don't want to deal with the conflict (better learn sometime; or you'll stay living a half life; or a life for someone else...)."
I just can't" is an illusion you tell yourself so you won't have to make the escape and deal with the after effects or hard decisions/feelings -- or maybe be in a new situation that isn't what you're used to.
Keep in mind, it may not be easy... it may require an "escape plan" and having some difficult emotions. Sometimes it's as simple as saying no to something you don't want to do (and being okay with disappointing someone else) OR always making your favorite yoga class. Other times it feels like digging your way out of a very large hole with a spoon -- like leaving jobs or relationships well beyond their expiration date. Regardless, there is a way. There is always a way.
Start small. Take extra time to relax. Create a self-care plan. Find something you do FOR you and make promises (and keep them) to yourself. Go on a vacation. Do a solo activity. Go to your fav. yoga class. Skip the workout one day. Call out sick. Leave the unhealthy relationship. Take a new job, in that random city... big or small, you decide. Generally, nothing is so critical that it cannot be fixed at a later date (this is fear - telling us we MIGHT MAKE THE WRONG DECISION - Who out there has made the wrong decision? You probably did okay recovering from it... for the most part). Of course, we want to make calculated and smart decisions but we should not allow fear to keep us frozen forever in prisons where we feel unfulfilled, less than or unhappy.
Relish in the time you give yourself. It is the greatest gift you can give, to the most important person in your life, yourself.
Are you ready to make the great escape?