Mindfulness, the beginning...
I started an 8 week mindfulness course this week, which has already made me very aware that my life is far too busy!
But then it has been one of those weeks. Elijah has been suffering jet lag so that I was up with him until 12.30am, 1.30am, 2.30am, 12am, four nights/mornings on the run. Work was manically busy as I have 3 weeks of work to catch up on. Plus I was out every evening.
So trying to squeeze in 45 minutes mindfulness meditation (well body scan this week) was a touch testing. Which made me laugh a little because here I am trying to reduce my stress, release negative tendencies etc. through the mindfulness course and yet here I was feeling more stressed and more negative as a result of not having enough time to be mindful. Ah the joys of modern living!
Still this weekend has provided a much needed time out from the hectic pace of the last week, Elijah has been in bed by 8.30pm, I have managed to enjoy two very quick swims in the sea at Petit Bot and catch up on all the paperwork/study/washing. Oh yes because did I mention that I thought it a good time to advance my yoga studies by undertaking an advanced yoga teacher training course.
So you see that brings me back to the fact that I am very aware that I am doing too much. And as we all know, it should be less about the doing and more about the being! In fact I came across this beautiful extract from David Frawley in his book I was reading recently, which reads...
"Real yoga is about non-doing. Much of our unhappiness, and even disease, arises from the fact that we are already doing too much. We have no time, not even for ourselves, much less for our loved ones. We are constantly on the go and yet never seem to arrive at any place where we want to stay for very long. Yoga is about doing less and being more present wherever we are and with whatever we need to do. Yoga is not simply something new but a better way of using the faculties
and resources we already have. Yoga asanas are about moving the body more slowly, ultimately bringing it into stillness. Yogic meditation is about slowing down the mind and creating deep calm and unwavering inner peace that does not require any outer entertainment. A yogic lifestyle is about not bringing any harm or interference into the lives of others. Yoga is not as much a new achievement s a means of letting go and relaxing into the infinite. Yoga philosophy is a philosophy of being. You are all that you need to be. But to discover that, you must move aide the veils of the body, mind and sense and uncover the essence of your being" (David Frawley, "Yoga: The Greater Tradition).
So herewith the challenge. To slow down. To be more than to do. Which of course was the joy of our recent travels, because away from the hum drum of daily life, it is often so much easier to be. So perhaps the challenge therefore is to incorporate a little more of this into life here in Guernsey. We started that yesterday actually with a walk out in St Peter's, a parish we rarely visit, and we saw the gorgeous Guernsey goats and discovered that there are only 1,000 of these in the world. We ended up at Forest Stores buying some of their cheese, and it felt good to be supporting the local goats and doing something different!
It is funny though isn't it, how having a child changes your entire perception of life. For actually they do offer the opportunity for being and for being mindful and aware of the moment as you sit playing with them or washing them, or cleaning up after them, plus going to see goats etc, which we would not have done previously. But it also means that you are juggling even more balls than you may have been juggling previously, especially if you are working and trying to further yourself and develop other aspects of your being. But like everything it is a balance, figuring out the important bits and prioritising accordingly.
I as very aware of this when we were in Canada, in so much as I was very lucky that Ewan was happy to loo after Elijah while I went to yoga classes. I managed to get to a lot of yoga classes, but I did feel ever so slightly guilty about taking the time out for myself and yet was very aware that in taking the time for myself I was perhaps a bit of a better humoured mother and partner. And this was a healthy realisation as it has made me even more aware how much this time at yoga is sacred for so many of the students, and how grateful I am that they have prioritised that time in their life.
So on that note, I am going to take myself to my mat and make the most of some child-free time to practice, and body scan, and just be, what bliss, me, may mat, some candles and quite space. How the soul feels very happy about this!!
With love x