Day 4…

I said: what about my eyes?
God said: Keep them on the road.
I said: what about my passion?
God said: Keep it burning.
I said: what about my heart?
God said: Tell me what you hold inside it?
I said: pain and sorrow?
He said: ..stay with it.
The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

~ Rumi

Day 4 of 40 Days of Yoga.

It was hot again today, and I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. On these kinds of days, a chilled out yoga session is not hard to do, and is actually quite reviving. So over I went to my yoga room, followed by the Fairy Queen.

Laying back in the first supported back bend, I heard something…a muttering; a  little voice of doubt and discontent. I was expecting a visitor of this kind, although I must confess to a little bit of disappointment with the conversation.

Okay, fair enough, you’ve made the commitment to 40 days of yoga. But do you have to blog everyday too? It’s a bit of a luxury isn’t it? I mean, what are you achieving exactly?  Who would be interested in reading about you doing yoga? Who else do you know gets to do stuff they like all day? It’s a bit unfair don’t you think? And maybe a bit selfish too. I dunno. It’s not as if there are any tangible results from yoga and writing is there? And what about all the things that aren’t getting done while you sit there indulging yourself…and so on.

Yep. It was the ‘Do I really deserve this’ soliloquy. It happens quite often I am ashamed to admit. On the massage table, on a night out, watching a movie during the day – any time I am not being ‘productive’, the little voice starts.

Get this. I feel guilty for enjoying my life too much! What a freak. Oh there are sanctioned activities where I can have fun, for sure. But if the fun is just for me, and nobody else is benefiting, you better believe that voice will soon be piping up, sowing seeds of worry and grind.

So, while I was at cricket practice with my son (being a bad, neglectful mother apparently) I did a little mud map of my life, just to check that I wasn’t neglecting anybody or anything with this outrageously selfish commitment of mine (does anybody else worry about being selfish, or is it just me?):

  • Children – well, I am writing this at my son’s cricket practice, after having spent 1 1/2 hours at his school listening to the kids read. They also appear to be well fed, happy and well adjusted (mostly).
  • Partner – the poor man is probably feeling the most neglected, but he is very supportive of what I am doing and happy for my successes. I could probably direct a little more love and care his way though.
  • Friends and family – if the people I love  need me, or even just want me, I can always find time. That isn’t going to stop now, that’s for sure.
  • Domestic Duties – look, domestic goddess I will never be. I just don’t want to spend my precious time on such an unrewarding activity! Still, I am not sitting in piles of my own filth surrounded by 50 of my favourite cats either. The washing, tidying and vacuuming still gets done, and good meals still get prepared.
  • Study – If I spent as much of my time on study as I do on writing, yoga and social media, I would be going through it a lot faster. True!
  • Work – the project I have been working on has just finished, and there is a break of at least a month before anything significant begins.
  • Community – apart from unexpectedly becoming the secretary of a local anti-mining group, my other activities are winding up at this time of year.

In the 40 Days of Yoga, Kara-Leah gives the reader lots of tools to combat the kind of things I have just been talking about. One of the tools is preparing a list of Very Important Reasons Why I Want to Have a Regular Yoga Practice. Here’s what I wrote, word for word:

  1. Discipline – because when I am disciplined, I will achieve much more with my time and energy. I will feel worthy.
  2. Peace – when I am peaceful, I feel more able to cope with life.
  3. Flow – when I am flowing, I feel love and trust in abundance.
  4. Presence – when I am present, I feel alive, alert, calm and wise.

So listen to me voice of worry and grind:

I love to do yoga. I love everything about it.

I love to write. I love everything about it.

I am a better, more disciplined, peaceful, flowing, present person when I do yoga and write.

So there 🙂

To be the first to know when 40 Days of Yoga – Breaking Down the Barriers to a Home Practice will be released – and to go into the draw to win a free copy, click here to register.

11 comments

  1. I love this!! I will reblog it and also share on FB…yesterday, all I had time for was a yoga stretch sequence to waken the body, which is probably “cheating” (mostly myself, I know). I LOVE your daily yoga blogs already and find them very inspiring. But if a day goes by and you can’t get to it, that is completely understandable too! Here is another great book for you…”The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer, recommended to me by The Spiritual World Traveler. It’s first chapter talks about that little voice to which we give WAY too much power and influence. I can’t wait for Chapter Two of the book and Day 5 of your blog…;)

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    • Rufina, you are delightful :). Really, your support makes all the difference! There is no cheating in yoga I don’t believe. You did yoga, and it counts! Thank you for that book recommendation – I will look it up.

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      • I feel your support across the oceans and it is much appreciated! How lovely that you are doing the moon salutations as well. I have put the book on my amazon wishlist, ready for my kindle that is coming for Christmas 🙂

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  2. I go through the ‘do I deserve this’ stage from time to time too, especially if I’m not being particularly productive. But you’re right in that if we do things we love, we’ll be in a better place emotionally and spiritually than if we didn’t take the time off to do those things. I’m really enjoying your yoga posts so rest assured someone is definitely interested! 🙂

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    • Thank you Lillian – there seems quite a lot of people interested! I have never had so many visitors 🙂 I want to challenge this idea that we must be perpetually productive! Starting with me.

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  3. Oh Sara, I LOVE this! It’s so wonderful, on so many levels. I got chills when I read your list of Very Important Reasons Why I Want to Have a Regular Yoga Practice.

    I too struggle with feeling guilty at times because I love my life. I feel guilty when I write, and when I practice yoga… like I’m meant to be doing something more “productive”. Hence writing this book! I can write about yoga, help other people, and therefore be productive too.

    So why do we do it to ourselves? Why do we feel guilty about enjoying our lives? There’s probably a whole book in that alone!

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    • There’s definitely a book in there, that’s for sure! Look, I don’t know exactly where it comes from, this need to be super-productive, or at least suffering in some way 😉 to be considered useful. Probably there is a religious background to it, you know, the protestant work ethic and all that. Next year’s project perhaps? 🙂

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  4. Reblogged this on Being Rufina and commented:
    Currently loving Sara Foley’s blog “Smells Good Feels Good” and she has inspired me to do another countdown towards “40 Days of Yoga”. I wanted to re-blog her Day 4 post, first because any post that starts with Rumi grabs my attention, and second because it is a gentle reminder to us all that the real you is quiet and observant. So, this quiet time of my blog has been a chance for me to quietly reflect; I hope you all enjoy Sara’s post as much as I did!

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