The Important Things

I taught my first yoga class of 2014 this morning. With the beginning of a new moon and the new calendar year,  I set off to Brisbane’s YogaDen armed with some inspiration taken from a well loved book “Meditation for Living in balance

“We are such amazing creatures, we human beings. We get so busy so involved with the rush of living that all too often we spend our most productive years in the pursuit of things that are not really important to us. When one stands back and gets some perspective it seems quite foolish indeed. Yet, when we are in the middle of it, whatever “unimportant” activity we are investing our time and energy it seems quite legitimate. For some of us, it is only as we start to grow older that we realize that the important has been put aside for the expedient. No wonder our lives feel out of balance to us sometimes. We are not investing in our “important” and we are squandering our valuable days, weeks, and years on things that really don’t matter much to us. Luckily we always have the option to stop, back off, and to re-evaluate what is important for us.”

Anne Wilson Schaef

The new calendar presents us with a clean page in a new chapter of our short, sweet lives. It can become easy to lose sight of what matters most as the daily grind of life starts to take centre stage – pressures of work, being a good mother/father/ daughter/ son/ friend, balance social & home life, look good, feel good. The list goes on

Pressures of life can start building without us even noticing the effect it has on our body and mind; the pressure simply becomes part of who we are.  The stress of juggling multiple projects combined with the everyday worries of modern life; the mounting anxiety that arises can become something that we live with but can then release in other ways such as irritability or illness. If we’re lucky we might go on holiday or retreat and feel that sense of self returning.  By gaining some perspective it can enable us to get some balance back in our life.

Yoga offers the chance to connect back to that inner self – to listen to our body and calm our mind. Even if we don’t have time to get to class or even have a short home practice; if we can take a few moments to check in with ourselves each day  and notice our breath and  focus on what really matters to us; enabling the unimportant activities to come into focus and giving us the space to let them  slip away.

In July last year I went on retreat and after a hectic year  I entered 5 days of silence with a certain amount of anxiety. Worried about leaving my 3 year old child for without contact for a 5 days, concerned about what I’d find when I retreated into myself.

What I found amazed me – within hours of starting the silence I was physically aware of tightness in my chest dropping away.

I felt my body start to relax very quickly on a deeper level than I thought possible – like a wound up piece of string starting to loosen.

I was able to truly relax In the knowledge that I had nothing to do, no place to be and discovering that the world wasn’t going to fall apart without me! I didn’t even have to prepare food. As we sat down for delicious and nutritious food from the incredibly talented Leanne at #sustainablynourishing – to eat with the luxury of time andreally chew and taste each delicious bite without feeling the desire to be doing something else with someone else, somewhere else other than the here and now.

We had surrendered our phones so not having the desire to check technology was liberating; leaving time to listen to the birds & feel a sense of kinship with my fellow yogis but enjoying the beautiful connection without the need for words.

The retreat was a great time for reflection on what really matters to me – it was a milestone for helping me realise what was important. Realising that I don’t need the majority of things that I strive for or the trivial things that happen each day to achieve these “importants”.

So since returning back to everyday life now I take time out every now and again to have a day to just “be”, stay in pyjamas, turn off the phone,  hang out with my daughter & partner, listen to the birds & create space to stop getting carried away with all the “unimportants”

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    • Love and Friendship
    • Being present to now
    • Doing yoga
    • Doing more yoga
    • Enjoying nature
    • And not forgetting to breathe!