Stillness is something that I had always feared in a way. For as long as I can remember, I had always kept myself busy, always feeling like I had to be productive. It was never enough to just be me.
I would run from job to job, go to the gym, dinners, see friends, but not really be there, not being present. I would always be thinking about where I needed to be next and what I needed to do. My day was a constant battle to stay on top. I would get home, cook dinner, throw it down, jump in the shower, slap on some moisturiser and jump into bed before doing it all again the next day
I read every way to ‘try and fit more into your day with ease’. You name it, I tried it.
As soon as I would stop I would crash, and feel guilty for being so tired and resting. To me, not being able to do it all seemed a weakness. At work I was becoming forgetful and agitated because I was so tired, and losing motivation. I was completely exhausted. I was on the way to a burn-out.
I could feel that something wasn’t working, but it was like I couldn’t get a grasp on the momentum I was in, putting the brakes on felt impossible, so I just kept going.
Something had to give in my life.
I had heard about the Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women on the Esoteric Women’s Health website. I also attended one of the Women in Livingness workshops last year and took so much away from the day. There was so much love in the room, real whole love, that I felt the women had for themselves, and everything they were doing. I wanted to feel like that – I wanted to be able to walk through life with ease like the women I saw before me.
I came to understand that conscious presence was a key, i.e. having my mind with my body and what I am doing rather than the two working separately.
Conscious presence is one of the greatest things I took away from the Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program. From my first session, as I lay with my body and aligned my mind to my body, I realised how tired I was, as well as how sore my body felt. I felt everything that I had been moving in life to ignore – everything that the momentum I was in, the raciness, didn’t allow me to feel. I connected with my body in a way I never had before and I really felt what was going on.
I started to notice some things in my day. At first I noticed when I would slump down in my chair ‘on auto pilot’ I noticed when I was not conscious of eating my lunch that I had prepared, and how I wasn’t present on the trip to and from work. I began paying more attention and I noticed more often not being present than actually being present. It seemed it was a habit – almost automatic. That slight noticing of what was happening around me and to me, was the beginning of some wonderful changes.
When I look back, what I now realise I was doing for so long was avoiding the present moment. Missing out on all the good stuff while running myself slowly into the ground.
Honouring the stillness within myself is a work in progress, and these slight adjustments in my habits are going to take time. That’s ok, it’s not about getting it right, and being less hard on myself feels wonderful. And stillness doesn’t mean me sitting still! What I realise is I’m able to live the life I have – university, work, friends, family… hey I’m 26! There are constant adjustments in all these areas of my life. But instead of it being about the doing, it’s about the being. Just being me.