There comes a point in your life when you realise that you are not the same person you once were. Whether this is when you are in your twenties, thirties, forties or what not, you come to this point where you know something either has to change or something has changed. It might be your attitude, your physical being, your mental health, your financial situation, or your relationships.
Studies say that our physical body changes cells every seven years, that means that you are literally a different person than you were seven years ago. So then, why would you hold onto issues that are more than seven years old? Aside from permanent physical and mental illness, there’s so much more that you can do with your life.
I have come to believe that stagnation is killer. Sitting for hours at a time has become proven to kill you faster than heart disease. It’s the lack of movement that gets to you. It’s like you are causing atrophy of your body by not moving it. I am sure you have heard of bedsores from lying down too much in a bed. The same thing happens when you sit for too long only the pains are in your legs and back. The only real cure for it is movement. You need to get up and go, even if it’s taking breaks to walk around the office or home. My fitness tracker now has a mode where it will tell you to move in an hour and then give you a little spinal twist to do. This is super helpful for me because I work in an office for 8 hours a day.
So what if you are standing all day? The number one injury from standing all day is lower back and knees. Do you want to know what’s causing that to happen? It’s the way you’re holding weight. Most people lock their knees in order to stand longer but that’s putting all of your weight into your knees. Your joins aren’t meant to hold that kind of weight, they are there to facilitate moment. The best thing to do is bend your knees and use your muscles to hold you up. I know, a novel concept, use your muscle structure to hold you up.
Movement and using your muscles to hold you is only helpful for your physical body, what about your mental health? One could talk at length about the issues with mental health in our society, there’s a lot of complicating factors around it, so I will only talk about issues that affect people not diagnosed with clinical depression.
Have you found yourself unhappy with your life?
Do you have dreams and aspirations you have put aside for the sake of financial stability?
Of course you have, we all have. I can speak from personal experience that following your bliss is hard to do but not impossible. Yes, I have had to keep a job that I am slowing losing my passion for in order to follow my dream of being a full time yoga teacher. These last few years have been really hard on me because for the most part, I have had no direction. I will admit that my own lack of organization has been a contributing factor in this. I have had to learn to budget, keep track of finances, manage my time, and create opportunities for myself. I think the worst thing I have had to go through is a serious case of job dissatisfaction. I have had to come up with a list of pros and cons for my job to help keep my perspective in check. I had to pull back and realise that I can’t pursue a promotion at my job because it won’t make me happy. I have found that having my passion kept outside my office is what keeps me happy in my job. Yes, I have become a “don’t quit your day job” kind of person.
Truly though, don’t quit your day job. You have needs that need to be covered and if you are building something from the ground up, you will be better off for not taking out a massive loan to pay for it. That will cause you stress in the long run. I know that if I want to build my own studio someday, I will need to take that leap but right now, I am just working on being the best teach I can be and that really costs me nothing at all, just time and energy.
Time and energy are two materials you need to build anything for yourself. Whether you are starting a new enterprise or polishing your skill base for your craft, you need time and energy. You need to give yourself the space to have the time and energy to do it. Sometimes that means you need to schedule that time and give yourself room for it. Yeah, it might mean that you say no to watching TV after dinner or coming home early from a party so that you can get a few hours of work done before bed but I promise you that it’s worth it.
The universe will not just provide for you, you have to go out and pull it to you. Yes, keeping the day job pays the bills and yes, having a passion to follow will give you purpose. Yes, you will suffer from burnout from trying to do all of this at once. That happened to me this spring. I had too many clients going on at once and I didn’t have time to work on my own yoga practice. The foundation to all yoga teachers is your own practice. So I took time out for a month and came back with a more organized plan to manage my time. I am at capacity for new students and that’s fine. I figured that it will be worth it to focus on the ones I currently have rather than try to do more, more, more and sacrificing my own practice.
I have never been an advocate for working harder, I prefer to work smarter. I am constantly looking for the best ways to improve what I am currently doing without losing the quality. The best job is the one you only have to do once. I would like to say that works all the time but there are some things that it doesn’t work for. For example, my websites.I never thought that I would enjoy messing around with design and font so much. I love seeing the overall look of the site come together in a pretty and uniquely me fashion.
All in all, I have had to become a more introspective person in the last little while. I had to take a good hard look at my life, my relationships, and my health. What I found was that I was not happy in my life, my relationships, or my health. As a result, I had to cut out parts of my life that no longer serve me, I had to end a terrible relationship, and I had to start exercising. While it has only been a month since I made all these changes to my life, I am more happy now, then I have been in the last year.
I am ready to take on new challenges, new opportunities, and new adventures with an open and willing heart!