"As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death." - Leonardo da Vinci
A few days ago I sat down and in one session wrote down 100 important questions in life -- a practice suggested by Michael J. Gelb in his workbook, How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci. This kind of exercises I've found to be useful only when applied to a daily life. I find myself constantly falling short of embodying my potential. But that, I believe, is the point -- acknowledging the shortcomings. What is a well spent day anyway? I have no idea, but at the end of a day I can tell you how tired I am and in the morning I can tell you how well I just slept. I try to show up fully for the present moment as I acknowledge that more can be improved in health, wealth, and relationship at their broadest terms. Sleeping well is the combination of tiring out from trying to live well and expecting the next day to be OK or perhaps even better.
Your shortcoming is also your personal expansion. It is the combination of having the ability to move toward the edge of your comfort circle, learning to be OK on edge, go back to the center of the comfort zone to rest, then revisit the edge over and over, and each time edge out a little further. You widen the range of motion by increasing the threshold of discomfort and lowering the threshold for releasing tension and agitation. Do this in yoga and in your well spent day. To grow the body tissue you have to pump the blood into the muscle by pumping and moving the muscles around the joints in aerobic fashion. But that's not all. Your muscle can only grow stronger after you rest in between working out. Otherwise, the body tissue becomes tight, dry, brittle and weak. To keep the body supple--strong and flexible you need both yang work-out and yin work-in.
Go to the edge of your yang workout, rest well, then come back and increase the load a little more. After a well spent day, go to the edge of your yin by relaxing the muscle completely as you stretch the joints, sleep well, then wake up and do it again. To expand, I challenge myself with more in-depth teaching. In addition to the weekly classes which I continue to refine I'm teaching eight hours on average each month in workshops and trainings. As my body ages I'm feeling the physical wear and tear. At the end of a day, I give my body long delicious yin stretches. Know how much your container can take in and let out. Learn to retrieve in order to expand. Know your physical limitation so you can be the best vehicle for your soul. And what a well spent day if it isn't delightful? "When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." - Rumi
Give your heart the room to beat--fast and slow.
Give your blood the path to flow--to the surface and to the viscera.
Give your body the current to move--anti-gravity and pro-gravity.
Give your mind the field to welcome wisdom--external and internal.
Give your love the day to care for and the night to be loved and cared for.