Updated: Jan 30
Today is my 35th birthday and with that comes honest reflection, that some people go all out and celebrate with pub crawls and some people shiver at the thought that even at this age their friends and family would sing out loud in a public place. That we may dread getting older or we live by the words 'young at heart'.
Birthdays honour our time on earth, that we have lived and can celebrate a cycle around the sun... let's say that again, a . cycle . around . the . sun . Mad right?! Something that we may often take for-granted, that we don't even give a second thought, yet its something so powerful and can really put things into perspective.
Throughout the years, I have lived through true hermit chapters, Ive had severe social anxiety, would be terrified within large groups of people, would get over stimulated very quickly and would never like to be the centre of attention. But all of these things were manifested from the experiences I had previously been through and kept recycling within my mind. Now, looking back I know all of these moments have moulded me into the person I am now, even through the really tough, confusing, hard, unknown moments I accept that they have and will always play a big role in my life. We all need to welcome in being uncomfortable for true growth.
Much like New Year, I don't set resolutions, I don't really celebrate and you all know my concept of time (Aquarians, you hear me?). I believe that we live life hour to hour and days and weeks are just one big wild ride. So when my birthdays come around I'll meditate on it, I'll spend time with myself to process, reflect, learn and understand. I wont ever regret an experience or try and push things under the carpet, Im honouring and owning my life here on earth, and as each year goes by my authenticity into my character becomes stronger.
So....what have I learnt this year?
Lockdown has been a huge learning curve for us all, its either had a positive impact from the onset or we watched our whole lives change and found ourselves in the darkest places we have ever been in. Each of these experiences are valid, no one is better and we have to acknowledge that both can give us great strengths depending on the perspectives we look at them.
Lockdown for me was one of the most freeing times ever in my life, that suddenly the concept of routine, schedules and work were gone. That I had to think incredibly quickly how I was still going to teach, and I took all my classes online. I was in my own time and space, my own routine, no one to answer to, I was in love with home schooling, I spent uninterrupted time with my son and partner. It made me appreciate EVERYTHING so much more, that if you're thrown in the deep end with something you CAN create a solution and learn things you never considered before. My business thrived, my work life balance was incredible, I didn't have to travel, I cooked everyday, I wrote, I did yoga, I meditated, I walked, I was truly grounded. Did you know we find more freedom within life when we allow ourselves to be adaptable?
What have I taken from lockdown? That I will never compromise my time with my child, that I truly value my friendships, my family and have created a healthy boundaries. I also learn't many things about myself and maybe you did to... that being at home you didn't need to hide behind the hair, eyelashes or clothes. Well, I shaved my head, have never done my eyelashes and had the huge realisation that yoga isn't what you wear. Sure its nice to wear yoga leggings, matching sets and I still do, BUT to gain such a connection to yourself, to show up as exactly as you are is incredibly profound. That when we are locked in and suddenly our interactions with the big wide world are taken away from us, the facade, the boxes to fit in, the rules and all of the things we find unconsciously influencing us (Im talking about social media etc) don't have a hold of us anymore. We are STUCK with ourselves and have the opportunity to take a good hard look at how we are moving through life... and very often things are highlighted, that we may have lived our lives for the reactions, opinions, 'likes' from others. I can say Ive never been sucked into this but did recognise how easy it can be and now since out of lockdown, Im doing me, more than ever, my passion is what I share with you, not what I look like.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
Im not sure if you noticed but because we were leaving the house only for essentials during lockdown the necessity to fill our boots with everything and anything was out the window. This is something we are living by, to buy what we need and to not bulk buy. We have also realised that half the stuff we did have we didn't even need. I have sold pretty much all my 'stuff'... and I mean... everything from every room. Time is more valuable than the things I have and the process is still going strong! Christmas and Birthdays look very different as I placed new boundaries in Gus's interactions, that throughout lockdown children thrive on experiences, interaction, learning, being creative, do they get much from a toy? Maybe for a week. So we limited toys brought for occasions and its made the biggest difference, he has an understanding of his own money if he gets any for his birthday, he can spend it on what he wants, he might lose interest in the thing but he learns to have his own independence and responsibilities. Plus how kids expect everything (sometimes instantly) from their peers is beyond me, sorry, my own mom has called me an evil head teacher, but clear communication, boundaries and respect go along way in my book.. for children and adults! So my dears, LESS IS MORE.
WORKING ON YOUR OWN TERMS.
As I said above, time is more valuable than money, sure money is good and helps us get by and well, we cant function in the modern world without it. But let's simplify our tasks in hand, that life isn't just about. EAT. WORK. SLEEP. REPEAT. That we have to accept we are creatures of habit but we can implement great habits, great routines and so many things that make us feel good! That we must create a work/life balance as often as we can. Teaching online throughout lockdown I was living on my own clock, my own terms and it was the BEST, the concept of returning back to the studio really did make me re-evaluate many things. Did I want to go back to the studio? Did I need to? The answered changed from week to week, but I thrive on energy, people, personalities, real life human contact! I think as humans we cannot live without it, some of us enjoy and can cope in our own company, some of us find it difficult to be alone and thats absolutely okay. I could find myself getting anxious about returning back to the studio and the only reason why was because I would be 'back in the game', I would be back in a schedule and I would be working at someone else's convenience.
I allowed myself to be adaptable, to create change so that I could maintain my work life balance. I stayed online and returned back to the studio but the times and days suit my life. I have most recently given up my Saturday class at the studio to have weekends off to be with my boy, so its adventure Saturday when I have him and when I don't, I fill my Saturday morning with workshops!
What have I learnt from this?
To be adaptable, that very often when we find ourselves internally fighting something we are making our own resistance. Very often we do know best when it comes to decision making but we are good at making excuses and putting things off! We feel guilty for letting other people down, something Ive always strongly noticed, so over the years I have learnt to stop self sacrificing and being a people pleaser to put my own needs first, boundaries an all darlings. That some times we have to make the jump to allow something else to unfold, you'll get to the bit a little lower in this post where I mention 'life's too short' and it's the truth. What are we waiting for? Whats the worst that can happen?! If you fail you can at least say you tried. If it works it may bring something even better than you imagined.
Don't be afraid to create change and put yourself first.