This year has been hard for all of us. I’m all for embracing uncertainty and impermanence, but jeeez, 2020 you really took the biscuit (what a funny English saying that is!) And still, on a daily basis I am blown away and inspired by so much kindness, resilience and amazing people who show up to give and receive support.
The emotional roller coaster has been WILD – I’ve had days of feeling upbeat, focused and hopeful, and within HOURS I’d be lying on the floor like a starfish, crying my beautiful, sore heart out – often without a clue as to why (other than there was a goddamn, global pandemic happening!).
So much loss, so much suffering, so much change. And it was all happening so quickly, there was barely time to process before yet another shift – another change – another adjustment and adaptation to a new and different reality. It was exhausting.
Maybe like me, having the momentum of your life paused in such a radical and collective way was one of the weirdest experiences you’ll ever have. Like EVER! Imagine that. Over 7.5bn people on the planet experiencing disruption and turmoil from the same cause at exactly the same time. Just Wow.
The observer in me was fascinated with this crazy, human experiment – wanting to take a ringside seat, grab some popcorn and watch this shit-show unfold. The human control freak in me….hmmm, not so much!
Saying goodbye to the business I built for over 10 years has been (and still is) a practice of deep surrendering. It was an incredibly tough decision. And trying to navigate through this change during a global pandemic made the process even more surreal. Restrictions meant I wasn’t able to say goodbye, to connect with and thank everyone in a way I’d wished to, nor host the great big ‘10th YEAR’ community party we’d been brewing up. We’ve all had to give up so much this year – plans, experiences, jobs, relationships, expectations, dreams, privacy - sometimes through our choosing, but often not. It’s those missed moments of joyful togetherness that have been the hardest and saddest thing of all. I don't know how things are for you right now, but I imagine you're feeling some of that.
One of my least favourite things is a spiritual sound bite (urgh!) - that little phrase said with intense eye contact and a bow to make it seem deep and meaningful, often when we’re uncomfortable with great loss or heartache, like "everything happens for a reason" or "when the universe takes something away it's making room for something better." None of this is helpful to me.
What I know for sure is sudden loss and unwelcome change awakens us to the startling realisation of how fragile our life is. None of our hopes, our dreams, our plans, or strategies can protect us from change and instability. It can be a terrifying OR an awakening and liberating realisation – that’s our only real choice. From this year’s MASTERCLASS in ‘Living life on life’s terms’ (unwelcomed I might add!), I hope the practice of turning towards difficulty rather than numbing and avoiding, and taking each day as it comes is here to stay. This is no sprint after all, we're in a marathon and we didn't even know we should have our trainers ready!
Alas, Yoga and meditation practices do not save us from feeling despair, discomfort, exhaustion, or heartbreak. They don't protect us against grief or uncertainty. I know, sucks right?
What they do is give us the tools to be with things as they are, and to be patient and kind with ourselves and others. After a while, it’s the foundation we walk on when we start putting one foot in front of the other and are ready to feel the sun on our face again.
If you’re ready to get up and start again, join me for a yoga class this week as we kiss 2020 goodbye with a loving farewell, and welcome in the new.
If you can’t make it, be gentle with yourself. Forgive yourself QUICKLY when you mess up – life’s too short for anything else.
Sending you and yours so much love!