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,


Passport - check! Visa..... near check!!

It’s official - it’s all happening. Yesterday my new passport arrived (i’m still in shock by how much older i look compared with my old passport) and today I submitted my India Visa application!

I’ve never manually applied for a Visa and I now know why! It’s quite involved. I called the help desk of the Indian Consulate about 4 times to make sure I was filling everything in correctly - but I got there in the end. Flight Centre in Norwood recommended I do the application myself as it would save money. About 50% infact compared to what I would have paid had i asked the travel agent to do this on my behalf.

Owen laughed at me when told him I answered the question of “Verification Mark” as freckles on my arms. He was quick to remind me i had a tattoo. Oops. Totally forgot about that one!! It’s on my back so its an honest mistake lol.

I’m on my lunch break now and just submitted my application for processing. I’m a little nervous as they have a) taken my passport and b) wont have a response for about 3 weeks! The week before Christmas - and they shut down over Christmas so this is cutting it fine! I asked if I should hold off on purchasing my flights and the response was “yes”. A little frustrating as I would love to get this all sorted now - but really, i don’t care. So long as I’m sitting in class on my mat at 5.00am on the 1st of Feb 2015 in Mysore, India - then i’m not fussed.

With regards to my work, rather than thinking about work I find myself (at my desk) completely focused on the journey which lies ahead. I realised so long ago that a life spent sitting in meetings to plan other meetings is not my idea of fun, and offers little meaning. I often find myself standing by the printer, waiting for my documents to come out, thinking “what the hell am I doing with my life”. But now - although I am still stuck there for the next few weeks - I can’t help but feel a sense of freedom. This is a feeling I have not experienced before. Even with all my other travels, I have always known they would end with a return to a job, and life, which didn’t inspire me. Knowing now that I am choosing my path, that i am beginning a life which brings absolute joy, is the most exhilarating thing I have ever done. And i wonder why I haven’t done this sooner…

Sitting here now, I am trying to remember the feeling of terror I experienced every time I thought about this “dream” - but it’s not there anymore. It’s as though i have come too far now to feel terror anymore. To worry. And it’s not as though I am a lone ranger with no responsibilities in my life. I have a lot to be nervous about; for one I am leaving my partner Owen (my world) and my pug (my other world) behind for 3 months, and two I have a lot of debt under my belt by having a property portfolio (all in my name). So there is a lot to worry about - and yet, I’m not. I was! Absolutely I was. But not now. The calm is almost eerie for someone like me. All i know is, I have made the best possible decision I could have for my life at this time. And I am I so excited about what is to come.

India here i come!! (pending Visa lol)