Oh that cheeky question most children ask, with the answers we provide never being quite satisfactory.
So, as adults how can we take this simple repetitive question and utilise it...
Some might use it to ‘drill down’ to find the truth, meaning and motivation behind our behaviours. I’ve been reflecting on this quite a bit recently, work has slowed a little as we head towards Christmas, after three exceptionally busy months.
So, why am I still hustling.
I think most people can relate to the feeling that to rest, sometimes carries with it feelings of guilt or resistance. But, (as always I try to share with integrity and honesty) I ask myself why? Why can’t I lean into December being mainly 1-2-1 bookings and slightly quieter events. Is worry, pushing and striving a default. Or is it a form of control. A distraction.
When we are holding on to everything, desperately trying to steer and force things, there is tension, there is tightness. I can feel it in my jaw and shoulders even as I write. I also reflect on the absence of trust and vulnerability here.
‘Satya’, in yogic teachings is truth. It underpins everything, and that’s the reason behind me asking, why? what is the truth. Because with the truth, even if it’s not pretty, or uncomfortable, comes freedom. ‘Brahmacharya’ is also something to draw upon. The right use of energy, where are we putting our energy and is it serving us, or blocking us.
You can employ the classic toddler approach and keep on asking it. Let me give you an example. (Oft, I'm going to try and share honestly here, be kind to my heart folks)
Josephine: 'I can't seem to relax into December being a little quieter'
Answers(there's many): 'I don't want to fail' 'I'm worried about money' 'I want to succeed' 'I want to help as many people as I can' 'I'm worried the business is failing' "I can't rest and take my eye off the ball' 'I have to be striving in order to succeed'
'I carry failure around with me' truth: really it's part fo life and learning and growing.
'I am always a bit worried about money, What if I have an awful month' truth: I've been self employed since I was 18, I've always survived. I've always been ok. ALSO, thinking about abundance mindset and calling upon led meditations to build new pathways and patterns of belief.
'If I rest then the business fails, I'll only have myself to blame' truth: I laughed at the utter madness of this, but it's my truth. If I rest, the business actually thrives, I can show up fully, I feel better, I can give more to those who come into the space to heal, I have more joy and feel better.
'I am defined by my work or level of success, I must prove myself' truth: this is a story we are told in the West. to push against it takes active energy. To sit and paint just for the hell of it. To drink a cup of tea and read a book. To sit around the dinner table with those you love and time flying through laughter and conversation.
I could go on, I could also dig deeper, looking at my work ethic being linked to my past failures in my 20's or how I managed at school. Also, busy-ness being a distraction for sadness, grief, struggles and loneliness. If we keep asking why, we often and always come back to our self worth, our real emotions, which I know I've talked about before.
I try to share in this blog, what is rattling through my brain. Different themes that come up. And this is where I am at, trying to be the best version of myself and not quite nailing it. Booking a fitness class, and then cancelling because I don't have time, then feeling guilty that I'm not 'doing better'. Looking at the booking system, and feeling anxious about numbers and the state of the economy, but then trying to exhale and trust, and letting myself have time off, moments of joy, gaps of 'non achieving' to nurture my heart, my being. Navigating new friendships, trying to cultivate community and connections, which at times feels really bloody hard, and I am left feeling a little alone and wondering why things like this feel so challenging...
So, Bhramacharya, where are we focusing our energy. I love this. I love the 8 limbs of yoga. It is such a beautiful way to come back to the essence of this life. without the noise and pressure of our immediate selves(ego) and the external world.
Where do I want to put my energy this December?
For me, the word love keeps coming up. I want to nurture the love I have for friends. I want to light up the connection and love I have with and for my family. And Also give myself permission to love without fear and restriction. For in this darker space that December gifts us, we can nestle, settle, reflect and warm the cockles of our hearts. By golly, I am not allowing this in enough, and I want to, so I shall sit and meditate everyday on this. I will focus on it.
For, when we nurture something through the winter, it's creating and planting a seed, that can bloom in Spring. If we keep pushing through every season, then when the air warms and the sun shines, the seeds we tried to plant won't take root, they might not be so full, or gift us much bounty.
So, this December. Grab a journal, ask yourself Why? You can apply it to everything and anything. 'Why do I react like that' 'Why am I choosing stress' 'Why can't I let go' etc etc... The ask for truth, step away from reaction. Then gather up that beautiful energy of yourself and put it where you TRULY want to. plant the seeds that your future self will thank you for.
Drawing in the forces of darkness, truth and love. Those who are brave enough to allow themselves to rest, to push against hustle culture, to give yourself a break. Even if it’s just an hour. To be seen. Be still. Exhale. Drop. Unfold. Release. Expand. It’s the season to slow down. To open your heart. To grow the seeds, to plant them, so in spring they can bloom.
SPECIAL WINTER SOUNDBATH
This Sunday, @thepavilionchichester 4-5pm.