Monday, April 18, 2016

Setting boundaries

My recent yoga practices have revolved around a very consistent theme these past few weeks.


Boundaries mean different things to different people. Setting a line that you can't cross socially, such as telling someone you don't know at a tram stop that they need to floss, no matter how many visible cavities you can spot from two metres away. Knowing when to tell a friend to stop unloading all their personal problems onto you, because you soak their pain up like a sponge without any hope of squeezing it out later. Just learning to say no. 

There are many other boundary situations in life that you could probably think of, ones that are more relevant to you. My own boundary story is this... knowing when to stop. The truth is, I don't think I have an off switch. When I decide to do something, I'll be damned if I don't go through with it, and don't you dare stand in my way. If it's challenging, even better! 

All sounds good, until you start physically hurting yourself because you simply don't acknowledge your edge. Or when you start losing every semblance of having a life and forget to look after yourself due to work, relationship, and friendship commitments. I mean, really... when your dentist asks you if you're allright, and that you need to start looking after yourself just based on the condition of mouth splint (I cracked mine in 6 months), you may have a problem. 

We have this practice at work of stating weekly commitments, 1-3 per week so that they are achievable. The belief is that stating your commitments make you more accountable. While pondering how I can incorporate more of a focus on setting up these boundaries in my life, I came up with three commitments: 
  • Not working past 7pm (unless I really, really have to...) 
  • Taking at least an hour every day to dedicate to hobbies (not including yoga) 
  • Yoga for at least 30 minutes everyday 
These are my weekly commitments for the month of April and probably May. 

Before ending this post, I would like to take some time to spread some love for Fightmaster Yoga. I've been following the 90 day program to re-establish my yoga practice at home, and it's truly amazing. Lesley's free program is better than most of the paid yoga classes in my area, and it brought back so much love for the practice that I had lost when I left SomaChi Yoga. Please subscribe to her Youtube videos, or donate to her very worthy cause of bringing yoga to everyone and anyone.

Till next time spiritual warriors. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Finding Myself (and maybe Nemo)

It has been a while.

I guess you could call a period of time just under 2 years a while. Time is subjective after all, and to be honest, it only felt like yesterday that I had written my last post.

Sometime between this distant yesterday and today, it has felt like so many things, and yet nothing, has eventuated. If I try very hard to remember, I can recall turbulent times when my body felt its worst, when I was physically and mentally exhausted. There were happy times too, and times when I began doubting every decision I had made in the last 2 years. Was it the right choice to give up music teaching, knowing that I am good at it? Was it prudent to begin a brand new career path in a completely different industry, unsure of my own capabilities?

I guess in the end it doesn't matter, because I am here right now. When I stopped writing, I stopped doing many things. Running, yoga... it was partly because I was busy, partly because I had injured myself from running yet again. Then, the excuses started to build, and once the habits were lost, I couldn't get them back. All the questions I had about myself wouldn't leave so I chose to abandon myself.

I'm not sure when I changed my mind, but it was a thing that just happened. When I was a little girl, I would throw up every single night. No reason... it happened without fail, every night, for a few months. Then, one day, I walked up to my mom and said "Mom, I'm not going to throw up anymore." And I didn't. Ah, the mysteries of the human spirit!

In the same mystic fashion, I suddenly decided that I was going to begin rebuilding other aspects of my life again. I had begun the career that I was gunning for, but other parts of my life were still derelict with neglect. At first, it was a pledge to begin playing in a community orchestra... to honour my original intentions of swapping careers, which I had told myself was so that I could play more. I think I surprised myself when I began pulling through with this promise... I am possibly the laziest violinist I know. Then, began the yoga.

I owe my restored passion for yoga to Gretchen Rubin's book on habits, Better Than Before. When I began reading the book, I began to yoga once more. I remembered how amazing it felt at the end, how serene life is when you bow down at the end. And so, I started an almost-daily habit - wiser, stiffer, and humbler than before.

I believe there is a transition period in everyone's life when you grow from being a young adult into the next phase of adulthood. I think that was what the past couple of years was for me, discovering my edges and most importantly, learning the art of letting go.

Till the next time fellow spiritual warriors, whenever that may be.