Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
~ Howard Thurman
Day 5 of 40 Days of Yoga.
The Fairy Queen went to big school with her brother today, for her first kindergarten trial day. It was a bit special :). The end of an era is fast approaching – for 8 years I have been at home with children under 5. I am ready to move on to the next part of my life, no doubt; but there is a part of me that whispers take heed, this will never come again.
There was still a push-me pull-you feel to this day, between the voice of worry and grind (obligations, tasks, chores, deadlines) and the song of creativity (writing, yoga, joy, freedom).
As Kara-Leah said on Day 4, there is a book to be written on why we feel so guilty about enjoying our lives, expressing ourselves creatively and not having productivity and earning potential as top of the list priorities. This will be an issue I will probably have to spend some time working through in my 40 days of yoga – fine! I look forward to doing battle with you, voice of worry and grind :).
There are moments when one has to choose between living
one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some
false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy
demands. You have that moment now. Choose!
~ Oscar Wilde
At 9:30 this morning, though, with the Fairy Queen safely across the road at school, I wasn’t thinking about any of that. I was thinking this: I have 1 1/2 hours to myself – should I study, or do yoga? Hmmm. Lets’s see: Media Law or uninterrupted yoga?
Quick as a flash, I was in my yoga room, on my mat, warming up with Sun Salutations :). I am back to a more active practice, as my cycle has moved on. It was nice, feeling my body stretch and bend, flex and arch. I was careful to stay in each posture long enough to fall through the layers of stretch and resistance. My mind floated here and there; keeping focused and present is a constant monitoring act.
It has been an interesting realisation that it was not, as I originally thought, a lack of discipline that was stopping me from having a regular yoga practice; but a feeling that putting myself first is selfish, and that self-development is somehow unproductive. What stops me more often from getting on the mat is not ‘I can’t be bothered’, but ‘I don’t deserve this, there are other things that I could be doing that are more important/worthy’. This is not a comfortable realisation by any means.
Part of this process will be using my considerable qualities of discipline and commitment to push through those feelings, and prove to myself that productivity and creativity are not mutually incompatible. In fact, each is needed to boost the performance of the other.
Driving home from a meeting tonight, I was thinking about the areas I identified in Day 4 as needing more attention ie. my partner and my study. And I decided that there is only one way to keep that voice of worry and grind quiet, and that is to be more disciplined and effective with my time, so that I can achieve that balance of productivity and creativity.
- Write to-do lists at the beginning of each day.
- Limit social media to half an hour in the morning and half an hour at night. This is a massive suck-hole of my time.
- Think very carefully about how, where and what I am choosing to do with my time and energy. If something doesn’t feel right, drop it. I do not need to go out of my way to experience aggravation and stress!
On this 5th day of practice, yoga is leaking out of the yoga room and into my life. It’s all a bit tumultuous and confusing, with insights galore, ‘a-ha’ moments and a bit of discomfort as well. On the other hand, I don’t feel that any of this is beyond me, and in the midst of the chaos, I can still feel the quiet part of myself that is always peaceful, harmonious and present, calling me back.
The energy around 40 Days of Yoga is really high. People are interested in what I am doing and enormously encouraging and supportive. The flow of life is pulling at me and I have no choice but to go with it. To do anything else would be counter-intuitive – and yes, counter-productive :).
Blessings to you, and thank you for reading.
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.