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I’ve been out of routine and out of my writing groove for the last few weeks. Luckily, organized, Type-A Jenn predicted this would happen with the travel I had planned and got some posts prepared ahead of time just in case I didn’t feel inspired to write while I was away. But of course, the posts ran out.
And now here I am trying to let the words flow after a stretch of time living life and visiting with many different people that I love dearly. It’s been a while since I’ve thought about what to share with you and in trying to come up with something worthy to say, I can't really seem to find any words to pour onto this page.
It's funny isn't it. When we think too much, try too hard, we're actually working against ourselves. Life as a writer, yoga teacher, really whatever it is you do, becomes so much more difficult when you're trying to please people and prove yourself to the world.
Maybe it was too much fun with these two that explains my silence on the blog this week. Or maybe it was my old roomies bachelorette last weekend that threw me off course...I think I'm still recovering. Basically, I've been having too much fun with the people I love to sit in front of my computer but I'm back to work after tonight, promise!
This year of back and forth has me constantly saying hello and then hugging goodbye. I spoke about the countdown last week. There's little pieces of my heart scattered in different places and no matter where I am or where I'm heading, it always feels like I'm sad to say goodbye to someone and excited to see someone else.
I hate to rub it in, although I’m sure you already know this if you follow me on Instagram, but I’m writing this from 30,000 feet in the air on my way home from a 10 day trip with Mike. We started in Tenerife as our first winter in London left us craving a little blue sky, sunshine and warmth. From there we hopped over to Amsterdam where we spent Easter weekend exploring, strolling and adventuring around what so many people had told me was one of their favourite cities in Europe.
I feel it necessary to out myself here as what I like to call a ‘chronic countdown-er’. No matter how hard I try to just be present on vacation, that little whisper creeps in - oh no, 3 days to go. It’s almost over. This is your last day. Sometimes by the middle of my trip, I’m already anticipating the day that I have to leave.
Any other ‘chronic countdown-ers’ reading this?
Whenever I tell people what I do for a living, they usually respond with:
"YOU MUST BE SO CALM"
Actually no, not at all, that's why I do so much yoga.
"YOU MUST BE SO FLEXIBLE"
Actually, I'm less flexible than I was when I started.
You read that right. I started dabbling in the world of yoga over a decade ago, I've been practicing regularly for 9 years, teaching full time for the past 7 and the truth is, I'm less flexible than I was when I started. Are you wondering how that's even possible? Stay with me, especially if you're one of the bendy ones that can access a lot of range of motion in your practice.
I guess it's important to point out that I was a dancer first and a yogi second. I came to yoga with a lot of flexibility and an inner perfectionist that always wanted to be 'the best' which in my opinion at the time meant having the most range of movement.
So there I was, eyes closed, hand on my belly, listening to Alan's cues. I was trying really hard to nail the technique and experiencing the flip flop between breathing and thinking that I'm sure you've experienced if you practice yoga or meditate.
Feeling my belly inflate like a balloon.
Noticing the longer inhale, shorter exhale.
How long have we been doing this?
How long are we going to do this?
Am I doing this right?
You know that voice in your head? The one that chatters incessantly about everything that's going on in your life, worries about what might one day happen in your life, overanalyzes your every move and oh, sometimes if you're lucky, wakes you up at 3 o'clock in the morning with a few problems you really need to worry about. Today we're going to talk about that.
And for those of you that are reading or listening to this thinking 'I don't have a voice in my head', yah you do. Whoever you heard say that just now is the very voice I'm talking about.
We all have that voice and while it serves a very essential purpose by allowing us to process and understand the world around us, when it's left to run wild, it causes problems. By problems, I mean it has the potential to make us feel really awful about who we are and what we do.
Committing to a weekly post has been both a really fulfilling and at times, I'll admit, really frustrating experience. Writing is so much fun when you're full of ideas, creativity is flowing and the words just seem to spill out onto the page one after the other. But what about those days when writing is more the slow process of staring at a blank page with no idea where to start and no clue what to say? You guessed it, not so fun.
Maybe it's that we're in the heart of winter and my energy is always lower at this time of year. Maybe it's the lack of inspiration that I'm feeling during my slow season - which I'm okay with and wrote about last week - but for some reason, I've had a lot of trouble getting words out recently. I told myself I would have this post finished days ago and here I am, finally tackling my blank screen because Monday morning is here and the 'editor' of this blog is pressing me for the finished product - that's me!
I'm sitting here at the laundromat - glam Friday, I know - and overheard the lady who works here say to a man leaving 'have a nice day'. He nodded towards the snowy street (in London standards) and moaned, "how can you possibly have a nice day in this?"
Mindset - it's everything. I've been in a bit of a funk this week that started with an overflowing pipe in our living room (ew) that then spiralled into seriously missing my yoga community in Canada and then moved into feeling sorry for myself that Mike works allllll the time. I find it usually happens like that, for me at least, start complaining about one thing and it has a domino effect.
Basically, I'm right where I should be. I needed to overhear the man in the laundromat letting the weather - something he can't control - dictate his happiness.
I've had to explain more times than I can count this year how I own a yoga studio in Canada but can somehow manage to peace out to London for 8 months of the year. It's easy to explain to the Toronto crowd that understands the short but intense busy season that hits cottage country every summer. It's a little harder for the Londoners who have never heard of this 'Muskoka' place to wrap their head around.
I explain that it's an outdoor studio and that it's only open for 4 months of the year - but if one of your could strike a deal with Mother Nature and get me 6 that would be great! I'm most often met with the same reaction...
A few months ago, I wrote a post about anticipatory anxiety and the useless but frequent habit I have of worrying about what I think might happen in the future.
When I moved to London for the year, I told Mike that I was worried about enrolling for this years June yoga retreat in Muskoka because for the first time since I started teaching, I wasn't going to have any presence on a regular schedule in Oakville/Mississauga/Toronto. He tried his best to reassure me but deep down the irrational voice in my head was worried that no one would sign up because everyone would forget about me by then. Sounds so silly typing it out and sharing that with the world, but let's face it, I'm sure that you also hear a lot of stupid things between those two ears of yours.
I complicate things. It's a skill I've mastered over the years. From the simple decisions of daily life like: what should I have for dinner? To the big picture questions like: what's my life purpose? I overanalyze everything - especially in the wee hours of the morning when I can't sleep and am certainly not going to find any answers.
I remember sitting with a friend a while back, struggling with indecision around a major life choice and after telling her everything that way flying around in my head I said: I just don't know what to do.
"But you do know. You just don't want to do it."
A few months ago I vowed to give up being paralyzed by my quest for writing perfection. I finally started blogging again and took it one step further by committing to put out a new post every Monday morning. Aside from a little break I took over the Holidays, I have been really consistent with my weekly blog post and it feels great. I'm inspired and in love - okay fine, some days maybe not - with the process of writing again and for the first time in, well maybe forever, I'm not really concerned with who is out there reading. I'm writing for me because it feels really, really good to just be creating again.
If there's one thing I've learned from listening to countless podcasts about writing, entrepreneurship and anything in the realm of creativity, it's that we can't just sit around waiting for inspiration to strike.