So, here we are…. 2021. After last year, who knows what this year will bring but I’m quite sure that we will continue to be challenged as we work through the challenges that Covid has brought, and continues to bring to us.
With that in mind, I decided that I wasn’t going to make any New Year resolutions this year and I’m definitely not going to put myself under pressure to lose weight, get fit, run a marathon, stop drinking for a month, eat vegan… or all the other things that I usually feel that I have to do because if I don’t I feel that I am somehow failing or not as good as those who manage to reinvent themselves. I am who I am and if last year taught me anything, it’s that the best I can do is to just be me.
I have always had a typical ‘monkey mind’ that jumps around and is constantly skittering between one thing and another without resting on anything for long. It can be tiring for me and especially tiring for those around me! As I’ve practiced yoga I’ve learnt that much of this jumping around was because I was constantly seeking to be better in some way and was dissatisfied with who I am. I wasn’t able to acknowledge what I truly wanted or needed because I was so busy trying to fulfil everyone else’s expectations.
My feelings of inadequacy – yes, I’ll finally admit to them! – prompted me to do strange things; from filling my days to the point of exhaustion to try to keep up with everyone else, to trying to go to the gym or keep fit class most days and also to worrying about what I look like. My jumpy monkey mind had no chance to accomplish anything of note or even to have time to figure out what was right and what was not right. With such a mind it’s hard to work with your body and with your consciousness.
However the time I spend on my mat allows my mind to quiet and to become harmonious with my body. I can now see myself for who I am and where I fit into the world and I find myself less critical and less uncomfortable. Instead I can take a lot more pleasure in simply ‘being’. I’m also finding that I am immensely more creative and that I can achieve more in less time because I’m better able to focus and to concentrate.
More than anything though I have accepted that I am more comfortable with me. Instead of trying to split myself into multiple pieces to please others, I can be me. As I’ve learnt this, our rescue dog (Rafiki) is also going through the same changes; moving from being scared of doing what he wants to becoming a more outgoing and inquisitive dog who takes pleasure in what he can do, from running madly around a field to leaping over rock pools.
So, I’m excited to see where this year takes me and what I can learn and how Rafiki also develops as he learns the same. One thing’s for sure though, I won’t be giving up my morning yoga practice as that is what gives me the peace, energy and a sense of complete whole-ness and nor will Rafi be giving up his place on the sofa – which is where he gains peace and contentment!