The authentic life
When I was in my early 20s, I was always on the move. Traveling, wanting to live somewhere else, moving and all because I was looking for happiness. Then came yoga and I realized happiness has very little to do with where or what but who. Who was I without my surroundings, my perceptions, the stories I created in my own head....
I decided to move out of the corporate life and into health and wellness. Feeling drawn to a more relaxed lifestyle, I moved into teaching yoga and traveling with our retreats and opened a yoga studio.
While I didn't necessarily feel the need to find happiness, my aggravations manifested into my new career. I was an am a workaholic. I love to work. I'm drawn to challenges. I am motivated to complete and endeavor then creating growth in myself and move to something greater. I spent almost 2 years leading retreats, planning retreats, traveling to different countries while starting, running, and growing a yoga studio. While previously, I did this without even believing in what I did, I began to suffer even more because I love what I do.
I suffer more because I love.
Well that's the statement of the year.
When we think of suffering, images such as poverty, sickness, and abuse come to mind. That's the easy route to think of suffering especially if we don't experience them directly. However, even aspects of our lives that are good can cause suffering.
In 2015, I got married and my business was finally sustainable-- great news! However, I also gained 20 pounds and got adult acne. I was getting injuries left and right. My body was signaling to me that something was wrong even though my head could rationalize away the levels of stress I was putting on myself. I needed to take my own advice. In 2016, I've decided to get back to some of my original roots and come back to Ayurveda. I am now working less, 30 hours a week. While I'd like to make more money, I'd also like to live a fulfilled an authentic life and pursue more of my own passions, spend more time with my family, and less time giving my energy away to work.
Authenticity is not having things easy all the time. It's not being happy or being healthy all the time nor is it having a fake reality posted on social media, trying to convince ourselves in the guise of sharing with others. What are we really sharing anyway? Who are really helping when we're not being honest? Certainly not ourselves. It is being real and owning up to who we are. On the light side, it's knowing what motivates us, what ignites the inner fire, what helps us come from a place of love. On the dark side, it's knowing who or what our addictions are (self-pity, work, blame, people, drugs, sex) and being real with those addictions.
As I prepare for our next yoga retreat in Italy this year and what is in store for me personally in the next year, I'm learning that yoga is always a process. For me, it's following my own advice which means scaling back on some things and instead of indulging in self care but prescribing myself self care.