Many of us sit and reflect upon what has been over the last twelve months and
go about making new goals and resolutions to be better and do more of the things we love. For me I often do much the same with a little twist, I like to look at and reflect upon what I’ve learnt over the year. Using this as motivation to consider what I may learn in the future and to really see how much I’ve grown.
2015 for me was an EPIC year of growth and learning. They say “if you want to learn something about yourself?, go into business for yourself!!”. I find this statement so very true. In starting Clear Water Yoga and embracing the journey I’m on, I’ve learnt so much about myself, other people, business, Yoga and Life.
With that I decided to share some of these learnings with you, with the intention that from this you may learn something or even just have a little laugh me about some of the challenges. Some of these learnings are about business, some are about people and relationships and then of course some are about Yoga. They are all great learnings and to rank them would be an injustice, so they are just as they come to mind.
Yes you hear this all the time in class in a mired of ways…”JUST BREATHE WITH THE TENSION”, “RELAX AND ALLOW THE BREATH TO HELP YOU SOFTEN”, “FOLLOW THE BREATH, IN AND OUT”….etc. We as teachers use them all, for good reason too ;).
Many that know me will understand I’m and advocate of “Taking a step back and Breathing” when it comes to life challenges too. This year took this notion to a new level. For this year I faced some of my biggest challenges to date, concurred some of my own fears and stood tall for MYSELF. The last part of standing tall for myself was probably the hardest part. In the past I’ve always been strong and willing to support others on their adventure and if they were willing to commit then I would happily stand by them, often at the expense of my values or opinions.
You may be asking, “What does that have to do with BREATHE?”. In my opinion, EVERYTHING!! Standing tall for myself, facing the challenges and concurring my fears meant I had to STAY when I wanted to run. What do we say in Yoga when you reach that point that you want to RUN…”TAKE ONE MORE BREATHE….ALLOW THE CHANGE TO OCCUR”. So thats exactly what I did…took ONE MORE BREATHE!! And you know what….I DIDNT DIE!!!
Looking back this was a philosophy I carried for a long time, in 2015 I truly experienced what I believed. It was tough, I felt like breathing was impossible and my world was going to crumble. ONE BIG BREATHE IN….STAY FOR THE EXHALE…and look I’m still here, unharmed, breathing and living.
Now when I feel that anxiousness, I’m faced with a new challenge or am pushing myself to concur a fear…first thing I do…ONE BIG BREATHE IN….STAY FOR THE EXHALE…then GO!
Was once approached by someone at a seminar and they kept expressing how “INTUITIVE” I was and they could feel a great deal of empathy within me. At the time I had an idea that I was intuitive and was aware of my empathy, though found it strange how a complete stranger could see this in me.
This year I understood what they could see. Becoming a Yoga Teacher and spending more time connecting with people, on a much deeper level, lead me to feel more of what was happening around me. To better understand the way my body reacted to situation, comments and stories. I learnt to embrace these feelings, the good and the bad, to sit with them and allow them to flow through me. This allowed me to acknowledge these feelings and emotions and to see them without judgement. Once I was able to reframe from judging, I was able to LET GO.
This learning also crossed into my physical practice, or asana. Found that I was able to sit in stillness and FEEL the tension release, feel my body soften, or feel it open up. I began to relax in posses that once feared. A great example of this is the photo that goes with this blog. After two knee operations leaving some tender hamstrings, forward folds always hurt. I would heat up and start sweating, even on the coolest of days, and simply resist the entire time.
Twelve months ago my hands would reach my feet though my head and chest would still be a good six inches from my leg. Now I am an advocate for theory that we all have our limitations and wether you can get your head on your knee or not is irrelevant. Must also acknowledge that getting my chin to my shin is a massive achievement. An achievement reached all because I was able to sit, feel and relax.
Whilst I’m a very trusting person, some say too trusting, this year taught me much about TRUST. Personally I have been know to be rather trusting and believe that people will be true to there word and that if you do right by someone they will do right by you. Look I’m still a subscriber to this philosophy, with a little more reserve now. When I say reserve, its more in the sense of acceptance that if that trust is broken it will be ok.
Yes in 2015 I put a lot of trust in people and was hurt or challenged by them and then let down, you may say. What I learnt from this is that most of that had to do with them and nothing to do with me. Which leads me to the more positive aspect of TRUST, I learnt to trust myself.
For years I’ve spent too much time second guessing my thoughts, decisions and actions. This often lead to taking to long to act on a decision or failing to make a decision and act at all. When you are in Business yourself and the responsibility ends with you, you have to make decisions, you have to act and at times without to much thought. With that I learnt to trust my intuition and act on my feelings towards things. To understand these feelings and trust they my deeper consciousness has the answers.
Something else I learnt about trust is that when you truly believe and trust the universe it will provide all you ask for. This comes with a WARNING sign, often missed. The warning being that the universe will provide you with exactly what you ask for, even when it doesn’t look like what you THOUGHT you asked for…it is.
In facing some of the challenges this year and feeling close to suffocating I put a few things out to the universe. All of them have come through and some not how I was expecting. That is also one of the beautiful things about the universe, when you TRUST her, she will provide. So with that I learnt to value all that is and to TRUST that everything is happening for a reason.
BREATHE, FEEL and TRUST…
As a combination these fall hand in hand quite well. They also express exactly what I learnt about Yoga, Life and Business in 2015. When things get real and challenges come up, take one big Breathe, Feel whats coming up and go with your intuition, and finally Trust in the universe and yourself.