Those of you who know me or who have perhaps read a couple of these blogs can see that I can often be a no-nonsense cynical kind of soul but one who has (hopefully) mellowed a tad since taking up yoga and finding a softer side. I think I’m now a cross between a geek and a hippy – a geppy or a heek (nope, I can see neither will catch on…) what with my hiking boots and my nose piercing, oh, and the chanting and meditating under trees… But there’s a spectrum with Yoga and I still consider myself to be at the relatively ‘sensible’ end. I am Northern after all.
A yogic lifestyle includes devotional practice (Bhakti yoga) which could mean, for example, dedicating your yoga practice to your teachers, a particular Hindu God/Goddess or to the Earth or the Universe. Some people have shrines and provide offerings, wear charms, chant mantras for specific Gods/Goddesses and go ‘all out’ on this side of things. I admit that I have a rose quartz crystal (for self-love and healing) and my mantelpiece is slowly stocking up with fat laughing buddhas, dreamcatchers, Ganesha artefacts and elephants for prosperity (yep – hippy) but I don’t (at the moment) actively pray to a particular God/Goddess or include it frequently in my day to day practice. That said, I do always light a candle before beginning my yoga practice each morning (fire is a symbol of transformation and of letting go) and I often thank my teachers for their guidance and ask the Universe (in a rather loose sense) to continue to guide me.
The reason I mention this is because it does appear someone or something is watching me or just snooping in my journal…
The other night I took a moment to write in my journal, something I am only getting to every couple of months, and the last entry was back in May on the night before my 33rd birthday. I won’t bore you with the detail (trust me – the unedited workings of my mind are rather mundane) but at the end I had made a little list of things I would like my 34th year to bring. The list included ‘food and yoga’, fuller classes, a ‘home’ to teach in and a little romance. I flipped back and in February I’d done the same thing – that list included time to cook more creatively and to find local friends on my heek/geppy wavelength. Outside of my journaling I have also, over many months, been expressing my dismay to my father about the limited recycling facilities for our block of flats as we can currently only recycle plastic and cardboard. In my rather exercised state I had even threatened to write to the Council about it!
Anyway, the weeks have rolled on and I gave no real thought to the requests I had put out there in my journal and the rants in my kitchen and I failed to get around to writing to the Council! But upon review the other night I appear to have checked off quite a lot of the list! I am in the process of moving to a new fixed ‘yoga home’ in Southport (more on that to come), I have entered the delicate dance of dating openly and honestly, I co-hosted an Indian Summer Satsang in June (food and yoga) and I have found a spiritual group where I can stand with like-minded people under trees. To top it off, my dad has also received a letter from the Council confirming that better recycling facilities are being introduced! Thank you Universe.
Being a rational Northerner I believe that new opportunities have come my way because I have been making effort in the right places, building up my business, marketing and coming up with creative opportunities. But I’ve also been working on letting some emotional baggage go and I have created space in my life so that change can come. Time wise, I spend less of it watching TV and I turn my phone onto airplane mode at night so that I can do my yoga practice the next morning without any real external noise getting into my brain first. Whilst I do sometimes find myself at a loss of how to fill that unusual silence (which was filled by Game of Thrones or checking Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – social media is said to be helpful for a fledging business), I do think that using my time differently, with slightly more nourishing time for myself, along with Yoga, has helped shift things and paved the way for what has been a dizzying degree of change in the last 12 months. This time last year I was in Malaysia debating whether to leave my job and I had no clue what would follow if I did.
Don’t mistake me, the Universe has not sent me everything that I want but I am learning to see that it is sending me what I need, for now. I am learning how to step back from certain situations to see the bigger picture, to try and accept the present moment for what it is rather than getting carried away with what it could be. I know that things will go wrong, be challenging, and that there will be disappointments along the way. Life is hard and bad things happen to good people without rhyme or reason but I do think a more positive mind-set, and setting realistic intentions for what I’d like to achieve on a short term basis (leaving aside World Peace, marrying Ryan Gosling/Daniel Craig, reversing the EU referendum vote and developing longer legs) is something for you to try as well.