I’ve been working with an intention for the last 3 weeks to not work so hard. I know I know! My work is on a freelance basis, therefore one needs to work really hard to make it happen (it’s ok mum, I’m doing great with work).. Getting places on time. Being in a committed relationship, this too requires work, and, personal development plays a big part in my life, always working hard to be the best I can be. Friendships require effort and attention, and so does physical yoga and Pilates practice, Meditation and studying a nutritionist diploma. Life can be hard work!
Any of that sound familiar?!
So here’s where things have started to shift for me and how not working so hard has been the ultimate blessing for my productivity and creativity.. I regularly go for 1:1 sessions with the wonderful Kate Ellis (look her up for amazingness in and around deep yoga journeying), and one thing she observed, which I now feel I observe in many around me, is the drive to work really hard! To be strong and make things happen!
I grew up with the mantra to work hard for what I wanted, be that physical achievements, work, studies or relationships. Reflecting, I’ve achieved really well from my degree, several decent jobs and many other qualifications now under my belt; I’ve been married for over 2 years and I feel I have a beautiful set of friends I love and appreciate. I worked F-ing hard to get to where I am now, sitting in my yoga dojo in my warm and lovely home; and I’m grateful for all my hard work and that of those around me to help me get to here. However, I’m now learning, there is a different way…
Downfalls of working excessively hard: Fatigue, tiredness, stress (leading to development of Crohn’s disease for me), control issues, sore and tight muscles and generally an absence of the lightness in life.
It doesn’t have to be this way..
So, this last 3 weeks experiment of not working so hard have been some of the hardest 3 weeks of my life to date! Learning to let go, properly let go of things, express what bothers me (rather than swallow it and tell myself I need to work harder to avoid certain feelings) be open to opportunities but stop trying to make so much work and happen all at once; being able to trust that I do have enough work, more is coming to me and that I teach awesome classes and am a great friend and wife without having to spend so much energy. Among the challenge and the bouts of major anxiety I can finally feel not working so hard working for me.. Life is unfolding in a much more natural way and my own practice and teaching have just spun off to a whole new level of awareness and spaciousness; holding a space rather than trying to fill it with the best solutions I could find. Friends and relationships will stay if they’re meant to be, meeting up with someone doesn’t need to be a chour but an easy meeting when and where paths are crossing and vibrations resonate.
Does any of this echo for you? Are you exhausted with life? Try taking a step back and let it come to you. Trust me, as a freelancer getting over an unhealthy relationship with money and self worth, it’s hard not chasing every lead; but relaxing, trusting and staying more open and focused to the now, has invited in more work and better clients than I could have found marching the streets of London for 10 years, wearing a body poster. Lol, funny but unnecessary image.
Watch, Listen and Learn from yourself. Stop forcing that yoga posture, stop forcing yourself to perform like a circus monkey. Be full present in Each and Every Moment. Honor your softer side in balance and harmony with your harder edge..
With love xxx
P.s. I don’t mean stop getting out of bed, turning up for work or calling your friends! Apply effort that feels nourishing. Be kind to you.