So long 2018…
My final blog for the year.
I didn’t write one for my Christmas class, you might have noticed, truth is I was too busy and I keep getting told to ‘relax’ and ‘slow down’ so I thought I’d leave that final blog off my to do list and save it for when I had less to do.
So with the parents back on their way back home, building work all done, no more working in London for a while, no Christmas decorations to put up, presents to buy or food to cook, I find myself for the first time in a very long time with… TIME!
Today I breathed, like really breathed. I breathed a sigh of relief, I took a deep breath in – I breathed in relaxation, breathed out tension – and relaxed.
I realised something – it’s been a very long time since I had peace and quiet, a long time since I had nothing serious, pressing or urgent to do, a long time since I wasn’t worrying about something.
In fact I worked out I haven’t felt this chilled since before January 2017 – for reasons I won’t bore you with.
But this year specifically has been the year of working my absolute ass off.
In January I started building the EmPower yoga dream.
I spent months researching venues, designing a logo, thinking of a tagline, building a website, building social media channels, promoting my classes, planning the look and feel, writing out my first eight classes in advance, researching each theme, buying kit, spending money on promotions, picking my launch date… all this while still in a full time job, still doing my yoga teacher training and also moonlighting as a freelance digital marketer on the side in an attempt to build up that business.
On 8th, International Women’s Day, I launched EmPower yoga and taught my first classes. Each class I rehearsed religiously, wrote a blog to go with them, created social media posts to compliment them, pushed the marketing, promoted the brand, and again all around a now four day a week job, a digital marketing freelance business and my yoga teacher training on the side.
From March to May I then added more training on top of my 200 hour training, as a kids yoga teacher and teen yoga teacher, then set up kids classes, and began to teach privates and corporate classes…. still all around a the four day a week job, a digital marketing freelance business and the training and the teaching and the blogs and the social media…
The day I qualified as a yoga teacher I had my first meeting with my builder and my architect – it was now time to create huge upheaval in my home, at exactly the same time I took the leap of faith and quit my job to become fully self employed… and exactly the same time when I had to put in triple the amount of leg work into my marketing business to make that work under self employment.
I didn’t stop working, I haven’t stopped working.
There hasn’t been a weekend this year that I haven’t worked.
There hasn’t been a holiday this year where I haven’t needed to write a class, post on someone else’s social media, or add to my own catalogue of photographs for my own brand promotion.
I cannot even count the number of days this year that I started work at 6am and didn’t finish until 10pm.
And I won’t even begin to talk about the ones where I woke up at 3am with a mind so busy that I just decided ‘I may as well just start work now then, as sleep is just a nuisance right now’.
I am ‘always working’, ‘always busy’, always saying ‘yes’ to more.
To add to that, emotionally, the first six months of this year were spent mending the scars left by the actions of a close family member in 2017. After piecing our family back together my father had a heart attack on his 40th wedding anniversary and my Godfather has been severely ill in hospital with Bone Marrow Cancer for the last year. In August my uncle died, two weeks later my best friend lost her dad in the most shocking way, and in November my brother’s best friend committed suicide… Three days after I’d had the shock of being diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis.
A year of emotional suffering and emotional shock… and all I do to get through it is carry on working…
This year has been full of some of the best personal highs and the very worst shared lows.
This year has been completely sh*t and amazingly brilliant at the same time.
But the one thing I know is that I haven’t stopped.
And now it is time to stop.
To stop, and think, and reflect.
I’m not going to bore you with the things I am going to reflect on personally, because it generally would be boring, but what I am going to tell you is HOW I am going to reflect: through the analogy of the lotus flower.
Growing deep in the muddy waters, far away from the sun, the Lotus reaches the light and transforms into a beautiful flower.
It is seen as a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth.
It draws nourishment from the murky waters to present a beautiful flower.
It shows that the potential for the bloom lies hidden deep within the core of the plant – well before it starts to unfold.
The lotus characteristics are a perfect metaphor for the human condition, for the seed of potential that we have within our hearts.
We all know what it feels like to be stuck in the mud at times in life. The lotus reminds us that even in situations that are a bit muddy, we have the freedom to choose how we view those experiences. Our view of a situation gives us enormous power. Suddenly, we can pull something from every experience – the toughest challenges, can help us to grow. Obstacles can be looked at, accepted and changed into new opportunities and openings.
If there is no mud we would not have the experiences necessary for our own growth.
That is absolutely the most important thing to remember in this life.
Experiences, good or bad, help us grow as a person.
When we open up to the idea that we create our own reality based on how we view the world, we choose to grow and reach towards the light – and BLOOM.
We become the light.
I don’t need to tell you that I’ve been stuck in the mud lately… well now it’s time to be the light.
And if you’re feeling the same, because I know I’m not the only one with problems, all I ask is that you to be the light too.
So we can shine bright together and BLOOM.