Well, for somebody who professes to enjoy writing, it’s taken me a while to get around to crafting this month’s blog and I never got around to last month’s at all – oh, the shame! What I’ve found out working for myself, is that there are no real deadlines to meet, only the ones set by me and, of course, they don’t count. : ) No deadlines met, no jobs get done – eeek! I’m going to have to re-think my work strategy somewhat, otherwise there will no marketing, no administration, no leaflets designed, no keeping my website updated. Just teaching yoga and running wellness sessions which I love, but without the former tasks completed there won’t be any clients attending, which all defeats the object somewhat.
In my, now, part-time academic job there are tasks and non-negotiable deadlines to meet, all of which keep me focused. Presently, in my business, it’s as though I’m expecting somebody to come around the corner and tell me what I need to be doing and by when. When I was in academia full-time, I was so busy I never had time to smell the roses, whereas now, I’m so busy smelling the roses and the coffee, that there’s no time for the actual day-to-day business administration work. In addition to teaching yoga and facilitating wellness workshops, I have my yoga practice, my meditation practice, my daily walks, yoga classes that I attend, my wild swimming, my own self-care appointments, meeting friends, going out with my partner and, of course, all the journaling, planning and gratitude lists I have to complete. I’m so busy, busy, sniffing every rose and cup of coffee there is, that I can’t possibly meet deadlines of my own making too. I’ve swapped the chop, chop, busy, busy, work, work, bang, bang of academic life, for the chop, chop, busy, busy, work, work, bang, bang of my own self-care and wellness. I’ve turned what should be complimentary activities that enhance my life into a full-time job!
I think it all comes down to living life in moderation and after years of my work/life balance weighing heavily on the work side, I’m now compensating for this by placing more emphasis on the life side. Which, whilst being great fun, refreshing and revitalising, doesn’t really feed into my dream of what I want from life. So, after a good few months of lazy mornings and meditative days, now is the time to bring back the balance to my life and work, and get some good strategies in place going forward.
The epiphany of all this came to me during the facilitation of a Day of Nurturing and Self-Care at Katham Yoga and Wellness last Sunday (April 16th), whereby 6 fabulous women came together for yoga, meditation, chanting, yoga nidra and various other activities including a lifestyle assessment. It was a gorgeous day and I received some lovely, heartening feedback. During the morning, we completed a lifestyle assessment form that I had devised, which examined the main areas of our lives and involved rating the amount of time and effort we put into these areas in order to assess how balanced our lives are. I discussed with the clients how to complete the assessment form, and then completed one alongside them, so we could discuss our findings and work out strategies to address any areas we felt were out of kilter. Someone mentioned that they wanted to start a daily yoga practice, so I discussed how I micro-dose on yoga throughout the day when I just can’t face getting on the mat. One of the women suggested that micro-dosing could be used for any good habit we want to create that we are procrastinating on. It wasn’t something I had considered before, but it made perfect sense. Little bits here and there, rather than one huge session.
As I want to include more structure in my day, I am going to start on the first of each month (can’t start straight away for goodness sake, need to do a bit more sniffing whilst I can!), writing down everything I want to achieve that month. Then I will put them into order of importance and divide them into weekly, then daily, tasks. Every morning, I will check my tasks and tick them off as I complete them throughout the day – simples. I’ll let you know how that goes by the end of next month!
On a completely different note, the phrases ‘smelling the roses’ and ‘smell the coffee’, always take me straight back to when my youngest daughter, Nancy, was about six years old. We lived in a little cul-de-sac and the children were allowed to play outside in the quiet street with their friends. At the end of the street, on the main road, was a Chinese Takeaway shop, separated from the entrance to the cul-de-sac by a low brick wall. The children were allowed to play up to this brick wall, but no further, they all knew the rules and stuck to them. I would often find little Nancy on her own, sat on the brick wall at the end of the street with her nose in the air “sniffing the chips”, as she used to call it. She was like a little Bisto kid, sat smelling the gorgeous aromas from the Takeaway shop – bless!