I consider myself a lucky gal.
As I could never quite manage the conventional 9 to 5 work-life, I find myself in the “out-of-the-box” world of yoga-land.
How wonderful! And it is, really.
However, having lived many years persisting through relative poverty (you know the type, still lucky with a roof over my head, but at the same time, making regular phone calls to Mom or Dad because I could not afford to pay rent, buy food or pay for car repairs; I felt increasingly ashamed the older I became.)
Nearing the end of my 29th year, tears gushing out my eyeballs, yet another desperate plea for a bailout; it was my rock bottom.
Bank letters demanding debt-repayments, a failed business venture, a car I could not afford to keep running, living with a kind woman who took me in because I had nowhere else to go. What the hell happened to my life?!
Well, we all know what happens after rock-bottom.
We build ourselves back up, and that’s what I did. By 30, everything changed. The “failed” business was a blessing in disguise. My business partner who walked out essentially freed me to pursue independent success. Overnight I had multiple private clients, became resident yoga girl at two health retreats, ran busy classes at thriving studio—money was-a-flowin’!
I couldn’t quite believe it. Finally, years of visualizing and writing affirmations were paying off; it was happening now!
Flash-forward two years. I have my own place, a lovely new fella in my life, and I am paying bills with gratitude in my heart, driving a brand new car on finance—sorta feels like I’ve arrived, right?
Well, not quite.
Because buried deep down inside there lived a little niggling fear of lack, of dropping the ball, of losing it all. Bottom line: I couldn’t stop.
I kept saying yes and this meant having no time off. I was tired. I could feel the life force being squeezed out of me, and for someone guiding people in meditation and relaxation and yoga poses, this really is not good (plus it is not good for any of us).
Something had to change.
As miracles would have it, I’ve had a really good friend living in Cambodia for the last two years, whom I’d promised a visit. It was enough of an excuse in my still “rigid-work-mode-mind” to book a trip—I was gone the whole of December.
It took a week for me to remember how to relax, how to do nothing and enjoy it.
I didn’t bring my computer, mainly because it was too heavy, so I was left with a deck of cards, my journal and a book. Oh, and beaches, temples, friends and a yoga mat.
As we settled into our travel holiday, I remembered just how wonderful life is: that it is not just about saying, “yeah, yeah I’m grateful,” it’s about waking up every day, taking a deep breath, throwing hands up in the air and rejoicing for being alive.
I started to feel it, overwhelmingly beautiful, present moment aliveness. How could I forget this?
Our daily distractions can easily pull us off track. Even a little stress, worry or fatigue means we are not relaxed and when we are not relaxed, our life force is not flowing as strong as it could be. Our potential is much greater when we chill out!
Not sweating the small stuff, trusting that everything will always work out for the best and taking good long breaks whenever possible. It is so important!
Now, well, I can’t quite believe how good I feel. I feel inspired, charged up, engaging—I am enjoying every minute of life. Waking up that little bit earlier, because I cannot wait to live another day!
Coming from where I’ve come, it sounds rather corny, but I don’t care, because our goodness, our happiness is so worth sharing. And I am ridiculously thankful that I have learned this lesson:
That when you start to feel burdened, when you start to feel like paying bills is more important than taking a break; take the break and know that after the break life will take care of itself, the bills will get paid and more work will be there for the taking.
And remind yourself, “the more I relax, the healthier I am.”
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Assistant Editor: Jes Wright / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo Credit: Lizz Condon/Pixoto