So, at the start of the month my husband and I moved house. We’ve taken the plunge and bought our first home together.
It’s been a busy time. The prospect of and preparation for moving, as I’ve previously written about (Lessons in Letting Go ), focuses your mind on the sheer amount of stuff you accumulate through life; and forces you to focus on what you need, what you only think your need, and – most interestingly – what you’re holding on to for no meaningful reason at all…
The next challenge
But now I have a new challenge.
The move means I’m further away from the location of my day job and of my yoga classes. I no longer have the freedom and flexibility of being able to walk to work and to teach yoga. I’m relying on lifts from my husband and public transport (where a journey which takes 15 mins in the car takes an hour by bus…)
This is leading me to face up to two issues which have suddenly become a real issue for me: time management and energy management.
Yes, I know I’ve previously written “We have all the time in the world” and I still stand by that. E.g. on my bus journeys I will practise deep yogic breath; attend to my posture; practice mindfulness by watching emotions and thoughts arise (e.g. frustration at the length of the journey!) or paying attention to the surroundings along the route.
But now I find myself in a period of adjustment. I’m getting up earlier and getting home later and I’m noticing my energy levels are flagging – I’ve been feeling wiped out by the time I get home from work.
I don’t have as much time as I did but I still want to do all the things I did before.
I’ve been finding myself getting frustrated that I haven’t had the time practice as much yoga on my mat, or to blog, or to write my newsletter, or to study yoga texts…
Energy down the drain
It’s felt like my time’s being stolen away from my yoga teaching and yoga practice. I’ve been feeling frustrated and impatient – grrr!!!
That’s such an energy-stealer!
And to be honest, even if I’d felt I had the time to write, I didn’t feel the inspiration to know what to write about anyway! Getting caught up in thoughts and emotions like this drains away our creativity.
But, yoga to the rescue! In the form of practising gentle stretching and twisting postures to release this tension and tiredness from my body. And, in practising mindfulness.
Learning the lesson
There is always a lesson in life’s challenges.
This one is reflecting back to me my tendency to rush, be impatient and want to do everything at the same time, NOW! And, that I set very high expectations for myself and get annoyed with circumstances when I feel they’re preventing me from achieving them. And that this all wears me out!
My yoga practice has helped me to notice this. And to name it.
Go on then, I’ll literally name it: “I am Stella, and I am impatient” 😉
I could change the emphasis and say “I am Stella and I’m noticing I’m feeling impatient.”
Notice the difference?
By saying “I am impatient” I fully identify with it – it sounds like that is the way I am and I can’t change; I’m attached to being impatient.
However, by noticing the feeling (and the thoughts and behaviours which come with it) I become an observer of that quality of impatience and can stop judging it. I can create a pause between stimulus (perceived lack of time) and reaction (getting annoyed, tired and fed-up).
This creates a space where acceptance and compassion can enter.
So, OK, I haven’t blogged or what seems like ages. OK, I haven’t written my June newsletter. OK, I’ve suspended my study of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras…
OK, yes I would have liked to have done these things but the fact is, I’ve moved house. I’ve been working hard unpacking. I’ve been getting used to a new pattern in my daily life.
So it’s OK that I haven’t been studying or writing, because I’ve been creating something else – a new home.
Change affects us deeply – we have to give ourselves space to let things settle. I need to give myself space and time to let things settle.
Space and time to move my body to release frustrations. Space and time to breathe. Space and time to see what are the most beneficial actions I can take right now. Space and time not to worry about what I think I should be doing.
Space and time to be patient and compassionate with myself.
Space and time to write this post…
Stella Tomlinson teaches Dru yoga in Southampton, UK. Dru yoga is a flowing and therapeutic style of yoga, characterised by graceful movements, directed breathing, relaxation techniques and working with affirmations and visualisations. Connect with Stella via Facebook and Twitter.