For a long time I pushed the envelope.
And I pushed my body way beyond what it was constitutionally capable of.
I worked ridiculous hours in a vacuous industry, unconsciously motivated by an inner drive to prove myself and show others just how great I (and my work) really was.
Every day provided another invitation to engage with the quagmire of competitiveness, callousness and inauthentic connections in order to stay on top of my game, at the top of the pack, and in the face and mind of the all powerful client who was ultimately viewed as god. If the client didn’t like you, you weren’t hired. If the client didn’t like the job you did, you were never hired again. If the client wanted to run rings around you on the day for reasons known only to them and treat you like a doormat, you had to comply or kiss your hard earned reputation goodbye.
I spent 17 years being a people pleaser in a work environment where pleasure and power (still) well out weigh truth and authenticity. I woke at some godforsaken hours where even the nocturnal wildlife gave me quizzical WTF expressions and I traveled to some of the remotest locations in all types of weather patterns, to ensure the beautiful people stayed beautiful, that my clients stayed ‘my’ clients and that ‘me’, the product, was preserved another day.
But nothing is ever ‘yours’, there is no ‘me’ and nothing is forever as we know.
No wonder the universe stepped in on my behalf and ‘gifted’ me a car accident to wake me up and take me out of the industry so I could finally get onto my true path. It was so worth the initial shock, inconvenience and pay cut however because during the 6 months post-prang that I spent recuperating, seeing physios, osteopaths, RESTING and contemplating my navel and my entire life stream basically, I found YOGA.
And whilst yoga has been a godsend for me as it has for many many teachers – in fact I would go so far to say that pretty much every teacher I know has come to yoga through personal injury/catharsis/breakdown/breakthrough in some form – after 16 years of teaching, I sense myself pushing that envelope again to try and keep up with another ‘industry’, albeit it a healthier one.
I embraced the truth years ago that I am here to do great work for the planet and to guide others to finding their truth, path and purpose, and accepted that would mean I would be more susceptible and vulnerable to changing communal energies once in a while. That translated internally to a knowing that I will need to give to myself more often in order to keep holding that space and say no to things that in the past I would have volunteered for in a heart beat. If more recognition and accolade is to come at the expense of my health on all levels, I am not willing to sacrifice myself any longer. I don’t need that kind of publicity lol. I KNOW who I AM.
I believe as (yoga) teachers we really need to watch this one. I see so much burnout among my peers and so many living in denial of who they really are and want to be because the mind/ego ‘excuse’ of “daily living stress makes it impossible to be any other way”, appears to be winning. Money appears to be more important than mattering.
Right now we are all being recalibrated and we are all going through massive shifts and changes; emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually and energetically. We NEED to practice more SELF CARE and we need to start doing it TODAY.
Despite being a smart sausage, it’s taken me a long time to get this one! When you’re a natural giver, a healer, it often takes longer to remember that you also need to GIVE TO YOURSELF. We are ‘trained’ to give because we have this incredible ability to do so, but are not often reminded that there must be a balance and that the healer must heal thyself first. The irony is however, if you don’t look after yourself first, you just deplete your own ojas and then you’re no good to anyone! I encourage you – don’t waste as much time as I did and as many others are still doing, coming to this realization. Act now, today, and surrender to what you feel in your heart right now, not what your head or ego is telling you to feel.
If you worry about letting people down, losing that job to another teacher, missing out on getting your article published or your workshop/retreat promoted, being left out of the latest festival or left off the ‘worlds top 5’ list (which we know is media baloney anyway), then you will only delay your journey as a soul traveler and at some point in the future, it will catch up with you. You KNOW the universe will step in if you don’t step up.
Learn how to STOP. Learn how to say NO. Learn how to LET GO.
If you’re sick, you’re sick! If you’re tired, you’re tired! If you’re pissed off and couldn’t be bothered, ALLOW that! You can’t meditate away being human, but you can bring yourself back into conscious alignment by practicing to be in what IS, in each moment, if you choose.
So yes, you probably guessed, today I am in bed. ALL DAY. I am giving to myself, without pressure, without guilt and without a care in the world, other than self care and the intention of serving and honoring my beautiful, giving, powerful, conscious SELF.
Tomorrow is another day. It can wait till tomorrow.
Love to all. Hope some of this resonates and helps some of you.