Happy Tuesday my lovely friends! I can't believe it's been a whole week since my last blog post was published. Is it just me or is the time flying by really quickly? It's definitely why I love to take a moment to stop and breathe so I can feel like I'm slowing time down, even if it is only when I'm enjoying a cuppa!
This week I'm really focusing on being more courageous and tapping into the excitement I felt when I first left my corporate career to do what I'm doing now. It can be hard to find courage when we're feeling stressed out, anxious or depressed, and it's hard to even get out of bed never mind anything else! Sometimes just getting out of bed, going to work and making it through the day takes all the courage and energy we can muster, and you know what? That's okay because that's where we're at and that's what we have to work with.
It can be so easy to berate and punish ourselves for "being weak" but I've come to the realisation that when I felt my weakest; struggling with depression, psychological abuse, being bullied in the workplace, being so far away from the my family and feeling completely isolated, gathering all my strength to walk through the door at my place of work and say "good morning" to the very people who were bullying me, and the people who were choosing to turn a blind eye and act like it wasn't happening; I look back and I realise that's when I was actually at my strongest. Because that's when I didn't give up. I wanted to.
My GOD did I want to give up and I knew I only had a little more energy left within me before I literally would have given up and that would have been the end of that. Of me. But something small, the quietest voice deep inside me wouldn't let me. So even though I felt weak, even though I felt like I was nothing, like I was completely worthless and the world would be a much better place without me, something kept me going and I've had no idea what that was until I realised recently, that was courage.
This month has been tough financially for the vast majority of us and when financial anxiety sets in, it's really really hard to overcome it. It can chip away at our courage very quickly right? So this month I've been reading a book I love but haven't read in years to remind myself of all the things I have in my life to be thankful for and remind myself that although my disposable income isn't as much as I thought and there may be some bills I might struggle with next month; I've still been able to contribute towards our mortgage. I've still been able to buy food and pay towards our bills this month, and whilst next month may be a little harder, I have contingencies in place like cancelling Netflix for the month, for example. And actually, what a privileged position to be in that my contingencies are not having a luxury like Netflix for a month or two because I can still afford to put food on the table and I still have enough money to be able to contribute towards our bills and mortgage.
I appreciate The Magic, and The Secret might not be everyone's cup of tea and yes there is the argument that it's a load of pseudo-science. But for me all it really boils down to is the daily reminder to be grateful for what I do have; things like my health, my able body, a husband who I love and who is my equal, my family who support me, good friends who make me smile and who are there for me when I need them, my bulldogs and cats who are always happy to give me snuggles and whose love is completely unconditional and who always bring me boundless joy and happiness.
Thanks to reading The Magic again, I'm feeling really thankful about the things so many of us take for granted. Lets face it, I'm a white, able bodied, cis-gendered woman living in the west. I'm pretty damn privileged and whilst that doesn't invalidate previous trauma, it does give me a hell of a lot to be thankful for in this moment.
In all of my Yoga practices this week I'm encouraging my students to focus on their own sense of courage by taking them on an adventurous holiday as we move and breathe. I'm sharing with them my favourite aspects of my holiday last year in Barcelona and Tarifa; taking them kite-surfing with our Yoga blocks as the harness for the kite - you know I love my props! Enjoying some Cava (not for real, for real -crikey!) by being the bottle and pouring the Cava as we flow and finally learning how to Tango (super basic steps I learnt myself when in Barcelona!) before settling down on the hot sandy beach before we fly back home.
Yoga can be intimidating enough without adding in extreme sports or even dancing in front of other people. But when we find our courage, close our eyes and forget the people around us, we start to let go and that opens space for everyone else to do the same. A lot of us think everyone is looking at us when we're practicing Yoga in a class but the reality is that we're all too busy thinking about ourselves to even notice what the people around us are doing. But when we see someone else enjoying themselves and really letting go, I don't know about you but that makes me feel so happy and I feel safe doing the same. It's like that person has given me permission to let my hair down for a brief moment and really enjoy myself.
How empowering and courageous is that?!
I'm also tapping into my courage a little more by working on something I've known I wanted to do for a couple of years now but haven't known how to do it; how to express why it will help the people I want to help, and then last week I had a spark of inspiration and spent most of Sunday night scribbling all my ideas down and now I'm incredibly excited, scared, anxious, excited, nervous, EXCITED! Because what if I fail? What if no-one wants what I'm creating? What if I fail so badly that I have to, you know, "get a real job"? - heaven forbid! I know deep down I can't fail because this is precisely what I needed in my darkest days. This is precisely what would have helped me to feel a little more connected during a time when I felt so completely alone. So, I'm going all in because I keep coming back to this idea and if I don't do this now then I'll probably never do it because I'll keep talking myself out of it. And if the worst case scenario is that it fails then you know what? At least I tried.
This week as you move your body in your own Yoga practice or perhaps if you're more of a Pilates or Barre person, be courageous. As you go about your week, be a little more courageous. Try something a little different. Try that thing thing you've wanted to try but have felt too self-conscious to and see how you end up feeling. Maybe being courageous looks more like having the courage to say no and to give yourself some time, to put you first.
Whatever courage looks like for you, take the time to tap into it this week, and find your inner Goddess as you do, and if you feel like you need some help in that department then check out my next Yoga for Chronic-Stress in-person course taking place at Wagtail in Chichester. It starts on Thursday 3rd March, 7:15pm - 8:15pm and runs for 1 hour every week for 6 weeks, with a different focus where I can share with you the exact same things that helped me with my own chronic-stress, my own depression and my own anxiety. Breathing to bring about a sense of calm, mindful movement through Yoga to reconnect to our body, and meditation to focus on what it really is that brings joy and happiness into our lives.
I would love to hold this space for you, so click the link below to find out more about this course: