We have been begging for a break, a pause, a rest from the relentless chaos crowding our conscience. Complaining about the unfair, high demands of the hours we must spend working to afford the luxury cost of life. We (as a collective) have been praying for relief from the modern reality of praising labour.
We invite you to explore a deep reflection on the current situation prepared by a Yoga Teacher Kayla, which can serve a as a wake up call for your soul.
5 minutes to read. A while to ponder.
The initial hit of this new reality felt heavy. I walked around my house in circles honestly not sure what to do with myself or how to channel my anxious energy. I was heartbroken for the state of the world but that has always been the case, well before learning the current news. It has only sparked my curiosity for change even more so. The hard truth of the matter is that these are the cards we’ve been dealt and I can’t help but ask what lesson are we here to learn? I believe it is to realign with Mother Earth.
I am devastated by recent events, not only feeling sorry for myself but also feeling the heartache of all humanity. I have been called to deep work because as beautiful as I believe life to be, I’ve always felt a dull sensation of suffering amongst the human experience. Always craving to find calm in the storm and sweetness in the suffering. It is my life’s work to shed light in the dark and connect the dots of ironic wisdom.
I have a deep knowing of the need for radical change, a wake up call to come back to our roots. Shake our heads, rub our eyes and reopen them with a polished lens. I could never have imagined something as tragic as this and somehow I’m not completely surprised. Of course something beyond fathom would have to occur to really get our undivided attention.
I hear so clearly that the old must be released so that the new can enter. By any means necessary. We are being stripped naked of the reality we created, with our discomfort we wished it away. We asked for a shift - never like this but we don’t get to choose the details.
This is shocking yet expected, we are on lock down, yet liberating. Equal parts crisis & opportunity. A pendulum finding divine balance in all that exists. This is inherently horrific yet with this transition, we can take the TIME to reprogram, re-evaluate and reconsider all that is off kilter while reimagining how we would honestly like things to be in place.
All we can do is choose how to live each day we are given.
We can plan, prevent, panic and prepare. We can clean, organize and prioritize. I’ve done it all. Eventually we will grow tired of out-dated patterns to stay busy to feel satisfied. Eventually the restless energy will settle, the storm will pass and what will remain is what you chose to give your attention to.
Have you ever wondered and wished for a better world but are too busy trying to survive and grind to fully embrace those desires? What would happen if you suddenly had time and space to focus your attention on self care rather than having a constant “ocupado” sign on your back?
How would you fill your precious time?
My answer has always been to create. But my excuse is that I’m so exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally from hustling so hard to stay afloat. I found it difficult to have enough mental space or extra time to dive into my art. As grateful as I have been to have job security, I’ve hoped for a day where I can wake up with no alarm, putter around with no sense or urgency and eventually - when the house is clean and in order, pick up my paintbrush. You might know how hard it is to find space to study or express when your surroundings are cluttered, there are a lot of steps to simply sitting down and being still long enough to receive a download and let ideas flow.
Being free of obligations is a blessing. Being cooped up in a cave with the love of my life, endless time for my infinite ideas, having enough stillness to answer to these ideas is a gift. It is the silver lining.
Stripped of a job, income, appointments and play dates. No rush to get anywhere and nowhere to go. What if we were severely reminded that our time is sacred. Would you suddenly cherish each breath, every ounce of health? The abilities you possess to the joy from a dazzling flash of light or rainbow reflection. Or do you not even notice the light shining all around and within you?
The irony I find in the current position we are in is that it lines up with ancient rituals of lent. Essentially to give up the things we love - job security and simple things like coffee with a friend. Instead time was devoted to introspection and self-examination. Lent is a time for renewal to practice discipline in the form of deprivation. After this period they would be baptized as the sun rises signalling a new day, a new era.
How can we relate to this? We are being asked to reflect on our dreams folded and fulfilled, our beliefs and what truly drives us in life.
Deviating from the work that generally consumes you by re-orienting your everyday activities to activities that help make change in your wellbeing rather than draining energy. It’s time to dive into the ancient yogic practice of Svadhyaya – self-study with relentless grace and open up to the possible shifts stirring in and around you
We are sacrificing the regular comforts of food from dining in to instead stay home and make a meal from scratch. We are so blessed to still have a generous amount of food to nourish ourselves with. Can you support local businesses and find foods that are available within your area? This shift will bring you back to a natural cycle that is aligned with the cycles of the seasons. It will lead to less consumption and dependency on external sources.
The best way to do this is to grow your own produce. You will reduce your environmental impact and waste, save money, spend more time outside, ground yourself by putting your hands in the earth while working with plants as medicine. With that comes a sense of pride by being rewarded directly for your attention and efforts! Observe as you care for your plants how you inevitably care for yourself.
Weeding the garden of your mind is a daily practice. The brain runs on thought patterns that keep popping up (like a weed.) We all deal with neuroses, experience levels of pain and discomfort in our physical and emotional bodies. If these are neglected the weeds take over your being - your garden. If you let the weeds go too long they really do consume the other plants trying to grow. It sounds a little scary but I promise there is hope! If you do the daily pruning, skimming of the surface, the weeds don’t have the chance to fully take over and your garden will flourish! Your mind will be liberated and your harvest will be rich!
Let’s get back to basics, go inward and find out what your essence is eager to explore. All of this is uncertain, uncharted and confusing but it’s equally an opportunity for growth.
A beautiful question I learned to ask is “How can I do the most good in the least amount of time?” This will give you the gratification of being productive while allowing grace for stillness.
Still struggling? Try asking “how would this feel without resistance?” From doing chores to creating a masterpiece, we all have roadblocks and procrastinate. When a wave of inspiration arises, ride it without resistance and you’ll feel a deeper sense of joy in all that you do. A lightness that comes from the ability to soften into your instincts and let your intuition get louder.
In each moment you can decide what will best serve you. Is it rest? Are you restless and need to move stagnant energy? Question yourself constantly! You are clever and capable. Allowing yourself to move moment to moment will build your trust muscle and give you the confidence to make decisions for yourself with ease.
It helps to make lists to simplify goals. Mine looks something like this:
- Spend time in nature, go for a walk/hike
- Practice types of breathwork
- Care for houseplants/garden
- Cleanse inside and out - mindful eating/floss/Netty pot/shakti mat/superfoods/drink water
- Practice yoga/movement/meditation
- Food prep
- Make meals with wholesome ingredients
- Act of self care
- Make your own facemask
- Foot/hand massage
- Cater to art projects - draw/paint/craft/sew/
- Make a playlist of favourite songs and dance to it (Spotify is the bomb for finding new tunes)
- Clean places overlooked
- Practice Spanish
- Purge closet - practice non attachment (Aparigraha)
- Gratitude journal- What are you grateful for? Break it down to every fiber of thankfulness. Add to it daily and witness your gratitude grow. What positives can you find within your current situation?
- Write poetry or a song and sing it
- Send love letters when someone crosses your mind
- Act of kindness
- Listen to a podcast - I recommend Aubrey Marcus, Joe Rogan and Lacy Phillips
- Research topics of interest and take notes
- Recite Mantras/Chant
- Study deeper layers of yoga and find ways to integrate them into your daily life.
When you find waves where you are unmotivated, know that it’s ok to simply rest. I had to remind myself of this and later added:
Watch a movie, take a nap, do nothing.
When I feel stuck I get back to pen and paper, gathering information to help get clear on my purpose.
What have you always been really good at? What comes naturally to you that you enjoy doing? What lights you up? How can you channel anxious energy towards fuel for your inner fire? Revise often.
If you have no clue – Slow down, get quiet, deepen your breath, realize your body and remind yourself of all its glory. Feeling your lungs, notice the ebb and flow of all that is.
Take a moment to weed the garden of your mind. You can even imagine your hands pulling out the roots so you can get back to yours. Come back to gratitude for all the times before this when things were so simple, so easy but there was still something unsatisfied. Be in the present moment and acknowledge the abundance within and around you.
You were not born to work your life away. You were not created to stay in one city. You are not here to give up your true nature just to survive and then one day die. You were born to thrive!
“ATHA YOGA NUSASANAM” Is the first chapter in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali’s (a philosophical roadmap for yogis to help guide them on the path to their highest self) It translates to “Be here now.” In this present moment, from which all other moments have brought us. Surrender to slowing down, calming the fluctuations of the mind and receiving the wisdom that stems from your soul. Act accordingly.
What systems can you set in place and practice that would realign you to a mindset that feels happy and free? What arrangements can you make to shift for the better and become the best version of you?
Kayla teaches yoga in Kelowna, the heart of the Okanagan. She is passionate about creative expression and inspired to illuminate the community through her love of art and movement. Her life’s mission is to ignite and embody highest potential in herself and others through connecting back to our true nature and celebrating our infinite brilliance. Connect with Kayla on her Instagram @kaivalya.creations