Life is a balancing act nowadays. Trying to juggle work, family, friends & social activities, cleaning, exercise & eating well, these in itself can be challenge.
I've been thinking about it a lot on and off for a quite a few years now after discovering that you can reach burn out quite easily when you let the fire (the do-er, always on the go-er) take over. Now I feel the signs, a burning in my throat, too much fire (or later as I discovered pita *ayurvedic principles) must be balanced with water.
Todays society seems to encourage a 'go go go', 'can't stop now', 'I can't get ill, I've got too much to do', 'take pain killers' lifestyle. Whereby taking time off or out is seen as being weak, unproductive or even lazy. We seem to care so much what our colleagues think about us being ill or having time out, if we'll be 'letting everyone down'. I'm wondering where this shift came from, pushing ourselves to mental and physical break downs, to the point where we make ourselves ill and still feel wrong to stop. If you are never taught when to say no, when to take time for yourself and how to meditate, is it any wonder the hospitals are full?
Today I'm going to share my story with you.
You can imagine how I felt when I realised I couldn't cope with working full time, after what felt like years of time and effort into trying to get a job where I got to utilise my skills, and degree. Since a young age I had an underlying struggle with anxiety and depression. I could feel the tension raising in my body, it had gone into my face, into my jaw. When I looked in the mirror, I didn't recognise the person who was looking back at me, and I didn't feel like myself. I felt guilty if I needed to take a day off because my mental health was at risk and I was slipping into darkness.
My days consisted of: getting up at 6.30am to practice yoga, shower, make breakfast and packed lunch, go to work, walk with Nicky during lunchbreak, leave work at 5pm, get changed, rush out to a yoga class, get home, make dinner, bed. And repeat...except on Tuesdays when I taught yoga in the evenings, so I went straight to the gym after work. I tried to mix things up by walking or running to work (7 miles there and back). The sitting down got to me, BIG TIME. Despite my best efforts, I didn't always get to do yoga every morning, which didn't help the stiffness in my body and mind.
I was still struggling. The routine, the boredom of the work, the stress of my fellow colleagues, trapped at a desk, wasting my time... I wondered what was wrong with me, I had my design job, surely I should be happy. I had a stable income, I had/have a wonderful partner, I had a lovely room that I was renting. Why couldn't I be like everyone else and joke about trashy tv, shopping on the weekends and planning for the next holiday. I always felt off balance, 'living on the edge', never enough time to fulfil my dreams and ambitions.
Needless to say I stopped asking why and starting thinking how am I going to change this. I eventually plucked up the courage to ask to reduce my hours, my yoga class on sunday was doing well, I could do both? The proposal was rejected. I had told myself that if it had been rejected I would have to quit. So I handed my notice in before I went to India as the idea of coming back to the job in January was not an option. I took a leap of faith. Finally fully realising my happiness is my responsibility, I couldn't keep blaming the job. The universe was pushing me out, thats why my proposal wasn't accepted, I had to stop playing the marta and make the change. “If I always work for someone, thats all I'll ever know how to do” I know I needed to reprogram the way I thought about money and how I would evolve my lifestlye around it, it working for me, rather than me working for it. Defiantly I'm still figuring this one out, and learning. I don't feel financially stable and have to be a lot more careful with what I spend, which can seem strange. Right now though, in my life, I'm not stressed. My body thanks me everyday for not putting it through that, my mind is clearer and I get to do what I love doing nearly everyday. I am the master of my own life and I've come to realise that relying on any solo thing isn't healthy. Before I was reliant on the design job, now I am on the yoga, I am learning to diversifier my income and combat my self doubt and put myself out there, and how to manifest what I need and desire.
My friend said to me with such simplicity, 'you are far too ethereal for 9-5', now thats all I need to know. This blog was about finding balance, how I found mine.