You know, when I first decided to give up the (very fun and interesting, but) hectic Shanghai life I was leading and come back home, I was not quite prepared for how quickly things would progress with my plans here - in a very good way - and was quite sure I would have plenty of time to go for long walks and take a little time to rest. I have been doing that, don't get me wrong, but.... truth is, I'm a bit of a do-er, always have been, and today I had to have a chat with myself to just take a pause, a moment, to stop and to reflect. I realised I was in full on "doing" mode (my to-do list both keeps me sane and drives me crazy), so I just stopped and took stock. I find this a pretty useful exercise for quelling anxiety and regaining perspective when I feel myself tipping over into what I call "chunnering" (that jangly overwhelmed feeling that comes from time to time - the "oh my goodness, HOW am I going to get EVERYTHING DONE?!" feeling - plenty of deep breaths required).
Since I arrived back in the UK, I have been visiting friends and family, and it has been wonderful to see them of course, as well as making the most of the last of the summer by actually getting out there and walking both in the Cotswolds and in Spain (tick, tick). I have been checking out venues for yoga and that has been great too. I have been teaching yoga as well, which is always awesome. I have been sorting out life admin and insurance and cars and bank accounts and paperwork and etc etc etc (tick another few items off the list - add a few more). I have been to a midwifery and women's health conference in Cardiff, a yoga show in London, a thyroid health and nutrition conference in Bristol and a massage with essential oils workshop and training in Milton Keynes with an addiction research and therapy conference in Newcastle coming up soon. I've also joined and taken on a club leader role with the Women's Business Club (womensbusiness.club/woodstock) because starting up on your own can be quite isolating and they're such an inspiring, supportive bunch. So much for sabbatical! Although I am studying for a masters exam in December and I have booked up training for an Ayurvedic Apprenticeship with Annie McIntyre starting early next year and an advanced TTC for teaching Yoga and Mindfulness to Children in February 2019. Wah! These were all on my list and I am so very excited by all of this, but today I have to admit I hit a wall and it was a great reminder to just stop and smell the coffee in amidst it all. So much opportunity, so important to pace myself or really risk really over-doing it.
I find that so much of self-care, (the latest buzzword, I know, forgive me, but the concept has been around forever and is terribly important) for me is actually about taking a step back and not over-"doing", involves letting go of the to-do list just for a little bit and recognising that nothing terrible will happen when I do: IT WILL ALL GET DONE and mostly without me trying too hard to force it. I have to remember to have fun, bring a smile to whatever I am doing and relax, reset, restore - to put that on the list too - and today I just gave myself permission to do that. If we can't do that and simply enjoy the progress and the journey without continually striving for the next thing, then what's it all for? Anyway, that's where I am at for today. Next time I think I'll write a bit about my yoga and health journey. I really hope you'll keep reading. Love and namaste.