One of my words of the year for 2019 and just like all good resolutions, 10 days in and I’m questioning the whole damn thing. Somehow I’ve gotten myself all caught up in the idea that I need to work non-stop in order to be productive, prove my worth etc.. AGAIN! You’d think at some point I’d learn my lesson, but there they are, the ugly samskaras of my ego and self-worth craftily disguised as workaholism. For me, 2018 was a roller coaster ride. It began with my feeling completely overwhelmed yet unfulfilled. Knowing that I needed to make changes in my professional life but afraid to unravel the knots. Afraid for how I would support myself without a steady paycheck, who I would be without my fancy job title. And then I did it, I took the leap and it was one of the best things I ever did. This led to the opportunity for a very long rest and holiday that was desperately needed and dare I say it, very much deserved. To coming back home in the fall ready to take on my next adventure, rebuilding my work life.
In the yoga/fitness industry, it is up to you to get things going. Your perseverance, your tenacity and yes of course – your hustle to make it. Making the connections, building up your brand and then being 100% present for your students and clients. 8 years ago when I started to transition from being a full time fitness instructor to more office based work, I remember this sort of confusion in my body to having finished a full work day and not being tired. I was someone who was used to the day being over when I was pretty much dragging myself home for food, a hot shower and bed. But that’s how I measured a day, and how I knew that I had done all I could to get myself ahead that day. So, what did I do? I began treating my office work the same way as my physical job and working longer hours so I would feel that same sense of exhaustion at the end of the day, or what I labelled completion, or what most people would label idiotic. I’m sure you can see where this is going with multiple levels and layers of burnout.
So here I am. The start of 2019 trying to make sense of the whole thing. I’ve spent the last couple months reading all the inspiring business books I could find, which was super helpful – until it wasn’t, essentially landing on the last two in direct opposition to each other. I started to feel like I needed to once again fill my calendar to the brim to find a sense of fulfillment, except the opposite started to happen. Why am I pushing myself so hard again? For money, notoriety, ego, purpose? Because I’m a woman or feel like I need to prove myself. I have to do it – I have to call bullshit. I also have to own this life I’m living, slow down enough to hear the whispers in my heart and be true to me. To also honour the pitta side of me that loves the hustle without breaking my back and my heart over it. My other two words for the year: focus and breathe. Which means exercising my ability to say both yes and no interchangeably when I need to without lament. To work hard sure, but to also rest and enjoy my life outside of work too. This will be a process, but hopefully with enough post-it notes surrounding me I’ll stay true to what’s important: me, my family, my friends, my passions without compromise, without jeopardizing one for the other. A delicate balance that only staying in the present moment will allow me to do. Namasté.