For a long time in my early adulthood, I was in a constant state of stress and tension. It may not have been visible to those around me – but looking back, I can see it was always there.
I didn’t have anything particularly dreadful happen to me. Certainly, from the outside, I was successful. A good job in a great company, living in a vibrant city and surrounded by friends. Later, I picked up a fabulous partner and helped to raise his two amazing teenage girls.
But on the inside, I was tired, aching, stressed, worried I wasn’t good enough. On some level, I knew I was on a path to becoming unwell, but I had no idea what to do about it.
Essentially, even though everything seemed hunky-dory, I was merely surviving.
But today, my life is completely different.
I wake up earlier (hours earlier!). Have more energy. Am much more able to cope with everyday stresses and strains.
I run a business (and support my husband in his) and have a fledgling YouTube channel. I look after my nephew and niece, and support my family.
More tangibly, I have less pain, and much less tension in my jaw.
In short, I am thriving.
How did I make this shift?
- Slowly. I left the corporate world ten years ago. It wasn’t like I woke up the next day, brimming with new energy (although it did feel pretty good!). I had to trust that being patient would pay off.
- Intentionally. I knew I needed to make a change, and even though I didn’t know exactly what it would look like, I knew what I wanted it to feel like. I’d done a little bit of yoga by this time, and new that I wanted more of that feeling…
- I started to take responsibility for my life. Before, when I had aches and pains, I would pay someone else to manipulate my body to make the pains go away. I refused to accept that anything I was doing was causing the pains, or that I was able to do anything to get rid of them. But gradually, I started to see that going to yoga was helping to prevent the aches and pains. The time between massage and osteopath appointments was increasing. And I was saving money – a yoga class is cheaper than a massage, after all 🙂
- I started to trust my intuition. I’ve always been intuitive, but two decades working in an office will bash that out of even the most determined psychic! However, with the time and space that came with escaping the corporate grind, I was able to rediscover this amazing superpower. I was slowly able to rebuild trust in myself, and make choices based on my feelings rather than my thoughts.
- I let go of worrying what other people thought of me. Initially, skipping out of the corporate world when almost everyone I knew was still there, I experienced a lot of guilt. It felt like I’d grabbed the key of the jail cell, and locked them all in behind me! But then I realised that a couple of people had actually escaped that jail cell before me (Sherrie, you know you’re one of them!). And each one of them had actually inspired me. So I figured maybe I was inspiring someone else*, probably without even realising it. So I let go of guilt and worry, and shifted into going with the flow.
Of course, there were a few detours, hiccups and challenges along the way. But each of those was a valuable lesson on this journey.
If you’d like to read more about my journey, you can do that here.
Or join me on the mat – whether at the studio or on YouTube – and see if you can take a little step away from just surviving and into thriving…
*Funnily enough, two of the people who inspired me had left their desk jobs to become yoga teachers (hey Debbie and Katie – thanks!). Lo and behold, all these years later, it turns out I have inspired other people to do the exact same thing – I’m looking at you Abi, Anja, Kath and Eva!