Updated: May 28, 2020
Hooray, it looks like we're starting to come out of the chaos! There's uncertainty in the air, but a feeling of reopening and slowly uncurling. We're starting to awaken out of our hibernation each week. As our schedules begin filling up again, it's damn tempting to start hustling just like before. Well to that I say, hell no.
But First, A Story
Laying on my mat, doing some movement with my legs (can't recall what), I can remember the frustration. "I gotta do this pose, then I should target my abs... oh shit I better explore this type of sequence while I'm at it." The feeling of 'to-do listing' my yoga practice was quietly tightening and constricting me, creating anxious upper chest breathing and back-and-forth thinking. Over the last few weeks, as my calendar has begun filling again, I've noticed my mind jumping into this 'task-oriented' mindset.
On the mat, I was more than aware of my thought process. So much so that it was annoying me as I resisted what my mind was doing. I didn't want to be making my practice a chore in my mind. Fuck, I wanted to bloody f l o w right?
Then came a realisation (yoga's good for that). It didn't matter what I was thinking, because, in the end, I was still showing up on my mat doing my practice as intended. Indeed, this diving into our relationship with our mind IS the practice. Then came the game-changer, I accepted it.
It was like a gentle wave of silk had been laid across my body, and a hunky human was delicately sliding it across my skin. Okay, weird simile, but that's how it felt. Relief slowly spread through me as I no longer had to fight my thought patterns. I had surrendered... and it felt damn good.
I want to flag something here. My thoughts didn't just evaporate, and my to-do listing of the practice didn't vanish into happy enlightenment land. My relationship with those persistent thoughts changed. All of a sudden, it was okay to let the mind do what it was doing, and I could observe from a neutral place, no longer attached to it, and continue in my practice. This neutral place, this place of the observer as I've written about before, is where your soul lives: your inner compass. It's beyond the mind.
So what does this have to do with Covid19?
Everything. The world is slowly coming out of this weird a.f time. Even though we've got limits on the number of people allowed in a cafe and we're still physical distancing, things are coming back. With that, comes the reawakening of the hustle monster just beckoning us back into doing all the time, instead of being. Doing's great. Doing and I have no severe beef. But when all we're doing is doing, then there's no space for our true nature, that soul state, to come through. We're keeping ourselves busy and distracted.
"Stop fighting your resistance. Accept those thoughts, good-or-bad, so that you can surrender into your inner-compass. From this quiet place, we are ready to step back into the world, courageously standing for what is truly aligned to what we want in our lives."
Here's the beauty. Most of us (granted, certainly not all of us, particularly those whose workload increased due to Covid19) have been able to experience a little bit more downtime over the last few months. We've had more time to be, to focus on things we want to focus on, or indeed, to not focus on things that deep down we knew never quite worked for us.
Now is the perfect time to stay present with that inner compass. It's likely going to come up as resistance. Areas of your pre-covid life may start feeling constricting and draining as they reappear. Just like my yoga practice, instead of fighting these feelings, it's time to accept them and act in the wisdom they provide. If that means reducing your workload, re-prioritising what you actually want to jump back into, or god-forbid saying no so that you can proclaim fuck yes to what you actually want, then please listen to that inner compass.
If I'm honest, I don't think it's going to be straight forward. It's probably going to be awkward and uncomfortable. There will likely be evaluations and re-evaluation as we slowly creep back into active life.
I've been working again for a few weeks now. Already the alarm bells are ringing in places which zap my energy. Before Covid19 you betcha I would've hustled through and just accepted that "Tuesday is my crazy busy day". No, thank you. A re-evaluation of my work hours and a re-jig of my commitments to something more aligned was in order. It became apparent very quickly as my energy levels plummeted. I imagine things like this will continue to come up for us as we draw back the curtains and step into the world more and more each week moving forward.*
If there's one takeaway, it's this. Stop fighting your resistance. Accept those thoughts, good-or-bad, so that you can surrender into your inner-compass. From this quiet place, we are ready to step back into the world, courageously standing for what is truly aligned to what we want in our lives. Cultivating the space that we need, so that we can embrace the world in a more purposeful, intentional way. Then, we can stop hustling and start fucking being.
Thinking about some at-home yoga you can do whenever you want? Well hey.
*A quick note - I know that some reading this may have been put into financial distress due to Covid19 and at this point are focussing solely on rebuilding their business, etc. Do what you need to do. May you still tune into your inner knowing and allow space as you rebuild, to truly lean into building what is in alignment for you.