Life. Don't let it pass you by.

 
 

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.

Sending hugs,

Jessica xx

 

A few too many ‘fluctuations’ for my liking

Ribs hurt. Back hurts. Knees hurt. Breathing hurts. Body’s shaking. Emotions are all over the place…. But I couldn’t be happier with myself. With my situation. That pretty much sums up today.

Ok - I will break it down into a little more detail but it’s one of those nights where I am so exhausted, my mind is mush and therefore subheadings are a necessity.

A little lopsided

This morning we practiced a new Kriya (cleansing technique) called Uddiyana. This is to pull the stomach up. Take a look at this short YouTube clip to see what this looks like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcfvWctsRxU

So, whilst doing this technique I noticed my belly only tucks in properly on the right side. The left doesn’t seem to tuck as far. I asked Bharath why my belly is lopsided and he said it’s nothing to do with my belly. It’s the Scoliosis in my back. Gently he explained my alignment (in my back) is quite off and he can see it quite obviously in my Sirsasana (head stand). This explains why I have to work that much harder to find my balance in this asana. He tapped me on my shoulder as if to say it’s ok, assured it can be fixed and gently smiled at me before walking away.

I’m not sure what it was that Bharath said, or if it was how he said it, but I had to hold back the tears as he walked away. Never before has the Scoliosis upset me like that before. I’m not sure if I felt as though someone felt true empathy and compassion for me, or if I just felt immensely safe with this man in that moment? Or quite possibly that I was letting him down in some way by not having this perfect back (which is absolutely not the case - I’m talking from a deeper level here that I can’t even seem to explain to myself!). All I know is the way he spoke, the kind eyes he looked at me with combined with the most gentle but assuring touch really moved me. Even writing this now I have tears in my eyes and I’m still not sure why. (Owen has this problem with me often…). I must be going through one of those “fluctuations” Bharath always warns us about! They are meant to become more intense during this part of the course so that’s quite possibly going on under the surface.

Do the Chakrasana Walk!

Not only is the Shala becoming a sauna the more Mysore heats up, but our training is heating up also. I love our evening classes. Bharath calls the evening classes an “Innovation Series”. Essentially this is the time to learn the more advanced asanas like Pincha Mayurasana (which I spoke about late last week). As we have been working with Chakrasana (back bend / wheel) for sometime now, Bharath offered for those who were comfortable to bring their practice to the next level by walking the length of the Shala in Chakrasana. Only myself and one other girl attempted this. With legs already shaking from the 2 repetitions we had already completed on our mats just moments before, I went to the wall at the back of the class and prepared to walk. My legs are getting very strong the more I work here. In Chakrasana in particular I am becoming quite sturdy. I lifted myself off the ground and after a few steps to get the rhythm, I relatively quickly walked on my hands and feet from one wall to another and then back again, using the lines of the tiles as my guide for where to go. I swear the room quadrupled in size whilst I was doing this! It was quite an achievement I thought. Toward the end of the walk my arms and legs were shaking and my breathing was becoming louder and harsher. I wanted to give up about mid-way on the return, but in my head I just kept repeating, “keep going, do not give up, you’re nearly there, this will be an awesome achievement, focus, breathe, almost there.” So far I am the only person in the class who can do this (not that that means anything - just awesome to be able to do it).

We’ve also moved into our handstands. Bharath said I was very good at these. My problem is I don’t know how to leave the wall, but Bharath assured that is coming. By this point, in tonight’s class, my arms were turning to jelly. I was exhausted -  as I am now.

So, after a cold shower (not by choice) I’m in bed and praying to sleep through for once. I have more work to do with my thesis, but the plan is an early night. I’m unusually tired at the moment so i need to listen to my body and rest it well. I also need to try and manage these ‘fluctuations’ - God knows I don’t need anymore of these!!

Namaste xx


Some pictures from my day. I always take time to try and ‘see’

Why not?

Coconut anyone?

Yummy but not before class again…