I’m in Adelaide now. Home for Christmas. Having lived in Melbourne now for 1.5 years, I forgot how laid back and sleepy Adelaide is. I just love this city.
It’s been a busy week as usual and I’m now trying to get prepared for Christmas. We talk about balance in yoga, and it turns out I need more balance with work and my personal life. Let’s just say I haven’t done a whole lot with regards to planning for Christmas day… eek! Nothing like last minute Christmas shopping, among all the other frantic shoppers in the city.
In between Christmas bustle and managing the studio from afar, I’ve taken some time to reflect upon life. Not just my own life, but life as a concept. Christmas is always a reminder of how fleeting the years are, and every year it seems to come around quicker and quicker. A harsh reminder that life is finite. That it will not always be for each and every one of us. Many people have asked where I found the courage to take some of the risks I do. From backpacking through Europe alone to traveling to India annually, to relinquishing my career. My answer is simple. “Life is short, so why not make the most of it? If you’re not happy, do something about it.”
I believe it is helpful to turn our lives into chapters. Every new or unique experience is a new chapter. And I believe life and the pace of life can be better understood by looking at each chapter. For example, have you ever been on holidays and each day feels five times longer than a normal day back home. The amount of activities you’ve managed to squeeze into the 18 or so hours of the day is incredible. Hiking, painting, swimming, breakfasts, lunches, candle lit dinners followed by dancing at the local disco. The day is memorable. Energy levels are high and we feel we could just keep going. This is because you are inspired by the new and unusual surroundings, experiences and opportunities.
Conversely, there are the repetitive days that might look a little like this: 6.00am alarm, morning jog, breakfast, 8.00am train to work, usual work day performing the same tasks you’ve been performing for the past 10 years, lunch in the same café next door to your office, train home, walk the dog, dinner, maybe some TV, shower, bed. The day, the routine, has become monotonous and uninspiring. The days roll into one, the weeks become months, months become years. And before we know it, ten years have gone by and none of it was done doing what we love, what excites us. Trust me, I know. Those New Year resolutions have become a bit of a joke as they’re never fulfilled, but still we are hopeful at the time of making them. We hope we’ll find the energy to finally see this year’s resolution through, only to be disappointed by February as we’ve already fallen back into old habits.
We’ve all experienced loss and yet there is still this mentality that that fateful moment will never happen to us. That we have an infinite amount of time to be, do, have what we desire in this life. Truth is, we don’t. And the naivety about our mortality is extremely damaging and what I believe leads to a life full of unfulfilled potential and desires.
Each and every one of us has the potential to live as we dream to live. You are a powerful human being and a happy life is not destined for those people “out there”, it is available for you too.
This is not to say living a life by design is easy. It takes work, hard work. It takes passion, desire and will for things to be different. For you to be different. When we wake up and accept that we can’t change anything out there, that change comes from within, suddenly opportunities will appear that we never knew existed. And I know if you want something enough, it can be yours. Anything in this life. Anything at all. I truly believe this.
Personally, 2016 has been the first year of my life where I’ve completely taken control of my life – and it’s been extremely challenging. Physically, financially, spiritually and emotionally. Yet despite the immense challenges, it is the first year where I feel proud of what I’ve achieved and excited about what 2017 holds. And this is only because I took that leap of faith. Because I believed in myself and followed my heart. I decided to listen to intuition more than logic (and my accountant much to his terror…) because at the end of the day, even if I don’t succeed (in building the donation studio model as I dream), at least I’ve tried. The possibilities are endless in this lifetime, we just need to find the courage and self-belief to go seek them out and go with it.
My advice for those of you who are looking for more in life:
1) Start. Do something, anything that is aligned with the life you dream of. If you want to travel, book the flight. Worry about spending money later. Trust me, you will find the money when push comes to shove. If you have a business idea you’ve been putting on hold, or the novel you’ve always wanted to write – just begin. Write one word, make a phone call, find your first potential client. It all begins with action.
2) When everything gets tough – because it will – keep going! On the other side of every challenge is astonishing growth, opportunity and change. Never give up. You’ve got this.
3) Breathe. When you decide to step out of the usual routine and follow your dreams, you will doubt yourself, others will doubt you and the desire to run away and return to the easier well-trodden life will grow. Don’t give into this. Rather, in those moments, take long and deep breaths, remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and trust it will all be ok.
Remember, there is no time like the present. Life is happening now. Not tomorrow. So be here. Believe in yourself and do what excites you. Life is too short for anything less. Moments are precious, so use them wisely.
Forgive, laugh at yourself more, be kind and take risks. There is power in this place.
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone. Be safe, be happy, be present.