You need the struggle

 
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We’ve all had those dark days. Those days when we wonder if it’s all worth it. What’s the point? I find myself going through existential crisis most days.

Life is not easy. I don’t believe it was ever meant to be. The greatest lessons any of us can learn are those given through adversity. Through pain and suffering. All too often we are quick to judge and compare our lives to those of others. We live in a world whereby magazines and even more immediate, social media, depicts these perfect lives of the rich and famous. But let me tell you my friends, the rich and  famous have problems too. Money does not equate to happiness. Fame does not guarantee happiness either. Just because people know your name is not a measure of a successful life. Far from it. Just look at the number of suicides, drug overdoses and broken families within Hollywood and you’ll see this is no lie.

Whilst going through difficult times are not fun, and of course we’d rather more happy times than sad, the reality is, these experiences, these lessons, are part of your journey. And you must go through them. Not only will they make you stronger and wiser, they will also help you to become a more understanding, empathetic person.

I do not teach what I do not know or have not been through. I have seen people hit rock bottom and rise again; I have also seen others never recover and give in to the forces around them. I’ve personally been through heartache, breakdowns, anxiety and physical pain I would never wish upon a worst enemy.  But through a stubborn will to keep going, and a belief that my life means something and that I have something to share that could be of value to others, I continue to pick myself up and keep going. Because let’s face it, what choice do I have! What choice do you have?

Struggle is a given. Life was not meant to be easy. Not only would it be extremely boring if it were, but where would the sense of achievement be if everything came easily? Achievements would no longer be achievements. Relationships will be of little value and happiness would dwindle. We need the challenges to live meaningful lives.

It is because I accept that life is challenging that I appreciate the ‘easier’ moments, the calm days, the cups of tea, the drives to the hills and walks along the beach. It’s because I’ve been through MANY challenges that I can guide my students from a genuine place of love and compassion.

Reflecting on my life, I wouldn’t change a thing. My path is my path. Just as your path is yours. It shapes who we are and who we choose to be in every moment of every day.

Life is a gift. Adversity and pain is a gift. If you can shift your perception to truly believe this, then suddenly your world will begin to open. 

Sending compassionate hugs,

Jessica xx

In pursuit of a kinder world

 
Jessica Dewar Yoga
 

Kindness. What does it mean to be kind? What does it mean to be kind to ourselves? What does kindness look like when bestowed upon others? These are important questions I believe we could all take a moment to sit and reflect upon.

Many people have asked why I’ve chosen to open a studio that operates solely on the generosity of the students who come to practice there. Who come to be a part of this community. My answer, is a “dream for a kinder world.” I’ve always liked to believe people are innately good. Whilst some say this is a naïve belief, I like to think it is true. My career in Rehabilitation introduced me to a very negative, angry world, an experience I am truly grateful for as it has very much contributed to the person I am today. I found through my work, that judging others for poor behavior, harmful words or actions was never going to lead to a successful result for the client or myself as their Consultant. Instead I sought to understand. I wanted to look beyond the behavior or words to learn why someone was behaving in such a harmful way (to themselves mostly). When I took the time to get to know people and learn of the difficulties in their lives, I saw the human. The soul. The heart that had been covered in stress, worry and pain. This is who they truly were/are – not their words or poor actions.

Now, to be clear here, seeking to understand a person’s underlying motives does not excuse bad behavior, but this attitude to my work helped me to connect with people as I was genuinely empathetic to their situation.

I found people often just needed a soft place to land. When life is stressful, we can act out. We become defensive, aggressive and feel hopeless. The light at the end of the tunnel becomes a mere flicker if it exists at all. But when someone is there to remind us of the possibilities we are capable of, to encourage us to get up every time we fall, to help us feel we are enough when everything in our being makes us feel worthless – then I believe a kinder, more compassionate world can exist.

My mission with Jessica Dewar Yoga is to make the studio this soft place for people to land, especially when they are facing challenging times in their lives. I want people to feel like it is OK not to have their shit together. To feel accepted and enough, just as they are. We are so hard on ourselves nowadays, always feeling like we’re not doing a good enough job – parents feeling like they’re terrible parents, students worry their grades are not good enough, business owners fear taking a coffee break will see their business collapse. We all need to have space to take a step back, breathe deeply and just slow down – and for that to be ok.

At the end of the day, we are all fighting the same battle. Life is tough. But life is also beautiful. Through cultivating a community committed to supporting one another along this journey, regardless of how vastly different it may look from one person to the next, then I believe that kinder world will exist – purely through increased awareness, a more relaxed state of mind and healthier outlook upon self-love. Happiness is not a destination. It is a state of mind and if I can do anything to help others feel that little bit happier in their lives, then I consider my work, my cause to be a success.

Do you feel life is just that little bit too much at times? What do you do to try and manage the daily stressors of life? I would love to hear from you and by sharing your story your healing others to realize they too are not alone. We’re in this together.

Sending huge hugs and love,

Jessica