I’ve been wondering a great deal about where I’m headed. For a long time I’ve been focused on making my business an actual business. Experimenting with doing what I love, what excites me and, balancing it with what is needed out there in the real world, in order to make it profitable and fulfilling. When you start over, everything is exciting: the possibilities, the potential, creating a website, claiming your place in the arena. In the beginning money is not an issue, because for me, there was none. I relied for a long time on my work in Psychology; working 4 days a week, while dedicating Monday, evenings and weekends to building my dream. I had the luxury of taking risks and experimenting without the financial pressure hanging over my head. When I finally took the leap and quit my job, it was because my yoga teaching was covering my living expenses and I was willing to make massive cuts in my spending while I built the coaching side of my business. It took over a year to get to a place where I felt safe(r) and could support my life, and that in my experience was fast.
The summer is always a time for reflection for me. I remember last summer, writing to you from the exact same spot; talking about my upcoming Bliss Sessions and updating my coaching packages. The past 12 months I’ve transformed the way I work, how I spend my time and where my energy goes through simply doing what intuitively felt right and although I didn’t always get it right, I learned a lot.
⍙ I’ve learnt that sometimes you have to let go of ideas and projects that you love, simply because they don’t work.
⍙ I’ve learnt that it’s ok not to start something straight away, just because you have the idea now.
⍙ I’ve learnt the process of creation is far more complex than the action of translating ideas into tangible products/concepts.
⍙ I’ve learnt that I need much more idea gestation time than I allow for.
⍙ I’ve learnt that execution and delivery requires much more effort and consistency than my natural skill at dreaming up ideas.
⍙ I’ve realised that I avoid certain aspects of my work and I resist growing in certain directions.
⍙ I’ve learnt I need to create structures in order to be free.
⍙ I’ve noticed how challenging it feels to keep expanding and how, as an introvert, I need space and time away before I can take on the leader role again.
⍙ I observed how I struggle to reach out to people and how this year my relationships (with the exception of my marriage) have suffered as a result.
⍙ Above all, I’ve learnt how self compassion and a soft, kind attitude towards myself is the only way through.
It is impossible for things to remain the same. The moment you reach a sense of balance, something undoubtedly tips and you need to shuffle to find your feet. Sometimes it’s a tiny adjustment, barely noticeable, but others, the blow is significant. I’ve come to understand that for me balance is not a constant. It’s an ever-evolving relationship with ourselves. Balance is learning again and again that what we need inevitably shifts and it’s about knowing to adjust our sails to satisfy those needs. Balance is recognising perfection is a fallacy; a shiny, slippery state that if you keep yearning for, you risk never feeling settled. Balance is trusting yourself enough to make mistakes and to have the space within to allow for those mistakes not to define you. Balance is a state of movement, of constant negotiation of priorities, yet of a deep sense of grounding in yourself. Balance is never about equality, perfection or staying still. I believe feeling balanced is an inner state, which is rarely reflected in your external circumstances.
So stop reaching for balance and start paying attention to how you feel in each area of your life. Notice the way you speak to yourself when you are stressed, busy or overwhelmed. Do you blame yourself? Do you blame others for what is happening to you? Do you keep trying to fit everything in? Do you worry that others will judge you if you act differently? Do feel obliged to follow a pre-set path? And if you recognise self doubt, fear or even vulnerability (because you will and that’s a good thing), how do you respond?
Ask yourself, if self compassion was my priority, how would I do things differently? If the secret to success was nurturing, what area in my life do I need to nurture?
Image from the BYCA Paris Inspiration Day Panel Discussion/ Photography by Fi Mims