“the time we take… is the only time we have”
We are all so often afraid of ‘the known’ coming to an end, or transforming into something new… and often times for many of us, life can surprise us with the unexpected bringing weight to the importance of tuning into ourselves, and asking the tough questions, resulting in our willingness and courage to change our situation, in order to take care of ourselves better.
If you’re like me, sharing your story can be a daunting, and it is certainly stepping out of my comfort zone, however recently I feel surrounded by friends who are facing scary changes in their lives, or otherwise sacrificing their health for their work and their struggle for balance, which right now for me is very close to home.
For many years now, I’ve been living a life which has lost its balance. I traded my personal reality for a role that required all of my energy both physically and mentally to run my business, and like any business, it required my full attention and love, which in some ways was easy, because I loved what I did, and believed wholeheartedly in it. On the other side of that however, I was sacrificing my happiness and health to maintain it because the responsibilities of running my own yoga studio extended for me, far beyond the business itself, and somehow along the way, I lost myself between not only the pressures and expectations I placed upon myself, which have always been high, but additionally living up to what I perceived my studios teachers and community expected from me in being the owner of the business.
Like so many of us, these pressures resulted in me operating in survival mode, which is supposed to be a phase to save your life, it’s not meant to be how we live. Over the years I nursed many signs that I was living a life which had lost balance challenging my health, but it wasn’t until my most recent health scare that I was forced to wake up and realise that it was time to accept that sometimes despite how much we hold on really hard, there’s no choice but to let it go. That moment we are all afraid of, ‘the known’ coming to an end. This decision for me, although a long time coming, was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, and it wasn’t until circumstances demanded me to, that I found myself closing my beautiful studio, and with a heavy heart letting down the teachers and community I genuinely cared so much for.
For me, it’s taken a lot of courage to have the strength to start over, to change direction, and make life more simple, which hasn’t meant to stop having ambition or working really hard, its just meant lightening the load I carried outside of myself, so that I could move and flex, finding my health and happiness again, and figuring out ways of putting the pieces back together, in a life that can maintain a better balance.
So often we all get caught up fighting to hold on then, we fight to let go… the process of letting life happen and unfold without any guarantee or assurances is scary for most of us. But, life is a work in progress, some chapters must end for new chapters to begin, and often if you are prepared to put in the work you come to realise that a new chapter is an amazing opportunity redesign and figure out a new recipe for what makes you happy. We have all heard a thousand times that, “one door closes and another will open”… and this is true, I have been gracefully surprised by this, and if you remain open to the possibilities of your life, and be willing to step out and create it and work for it. To believe, create and then achieve is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.
People are facing life changes every day, it is a part of life, so check in with yourself regularly, ask yourself the important questions, what makes you feel happy, positive and good, and is life creating a balance of all these emotions for you… if not, change it.... the most important moment of life is NOW and achieving a healthy balance of all it’s components is a vital part of enjoying it.
I always come back to yoga, but yoga truly is a remarkable teacher, it has taught me so much over the years, it allows the opportunity to accept where we are now, and we can direct our thoughts to consciously remind ourselves to tune in, touch down, and feel grounded, as best we can. When we are faced with big life changes, it helps to embrace each day as a new one. Through asana practice, we discover the importance of embracing change, yoga doesn't care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you're becoming, and meaningful change is a process, it can be uncomfortable, however afraid we are of change, the question we must ultimately answer is; are we taking care of ourselves first so that we can fully show up for the rest of the world.
- Kate Lillian Burford -