It’s true that for most of us, we need to be working in order to survive. Whether it is in the paid workforce or at home with the kids, it’s certainly inescapable.
Most of us don’t enjoy all or many aspects of our ‘work’, and only a select few of us are lucky enough to be super happy with our work situation (or that’s what they lead us to believe anyway!).
I haven’t been in the daily grind of the workforce for a few years now, but when I was, it was very consuming. When I left uni the first time more than a decade ago, of I wanted to save the world and thus chose to work in the child protection industry. This is the place where everyone is traumatised, not only the families but the workers themselves. Initially I was naïve and thought I was doing a lot of saving, however, after a few years of frontline work and then finding myself in management, I started find that it was perhaps me that needed some saving.
When I finally realised (and it took a looong time!) that I, too, had become just as traumatised as everyone around me…. I was burnt out. From caring too much.
When I was deciding my future, I knew I had to get out, but I (like many of us) had many fears that stopped me from doing anything about my situation and so for a while I continued to suffer.
My fears were many and included things like.. what about income? what people would think? what would I do? who was I without this job?
I learnt many things during that time and the study of yoga was a great conductor of my healing (and transformative) process. I needed balance in my life- where I wasn’t constantly suffering.
Yoga taught me that the key to ease my suffering was with kindness- just like the kindness I had given to others, I had to turn on myself.
My yoga practice helped me find perspective on my situation, it helped me to let go of my fears, and jump into the unknown. Yoga is an introspective practice from breathing, to movement, to meditation. You have to be consistently aware of your body and how you feel the whole time- just as we should do for ourselves in life hey?
A regular practice of healing and balance through yoga doesn’t just happen automatically, it requires perseverance and much patience. That’s also where the kindness comes in.
Kindness to yourself in all directions- kindness in your practice, kindness to yourself, kindness in your actions and activities and kindness to those you come into contact with. If you keep at it, there’s no room left for suffering- kindness has filled up the gaps.
These days I have a totally different lifestyle, I run my little yoga business and run around after two little children. My working hours have increased dramatically but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am calmer, more balanced and much happier that I was 5 years ago.
It took me some years to get to this place of balance, and I reckon I still have some work to do yet. I also know that in a couple of years I’ll go back to the workforce, but this time I’ll be better prepared. I know that suffering needs to occur to help us change our situation, but I also know that suffering is optional and can be managed with kindness.
Namaste, Sarah ox