Going with the Flow

I’ve been a bit slack with keeping up my posts regularly on here. My original intention when I re-started this blog, was to post something at least once a month. I think this post will be the first in about five months. However, it seems fitting with the topic I’m writing about today and probably a helpful one for many others at the moment too- ‘going with the flow’.

I don’t think I’ve ever been a very patient person. I’ve always been eager to get things done. Tidying up at home, replying to messages/emails, making plans for my future and then seeing them through- these are all things I’ve spent my whole life doing. It’s not necessarily a bad quality to have, I’m known for my efficiency by friends and family. My motivation to do tasks others see as being mundane has even been inspiring to some I’m told! So as I said, it’s not a bad quality to have but in times like the ones we are all facing worldwide right now, a bit of patience certainly comes in handy.

At the beginning of this year, my partner, son and I packed up our flat in London and embarked on a 3 month trip taking us through some of Europe and Thailand before ending up in Australia. The plan- to set ourselves up in or around Brisbane, Queensland and trial life in Australia for the remainder of 2020. With Phoenix almost 18 months old now, being closer to family seems important, as does the desire to compare the lifestyle here in Australia to that of the city of London.

I had it all planned out. Arrive in Australia after having 3 whole months of holiday family time. Find a daycare to put Phoenix into a few days a week and free up some of my time for focusing on getting my business up and running. The idea of getting to be in a new city I’d never lived in before was exciting. As was the thought of being able to check out the yoga studios here, make some connections, friends and a general sense of fitting into the community.

And then about a week after we arrived the situation around the coronavirus really took off.

All of a sudden social-distancing has become very important. Yoga studios are cancelling classes and going online. People are avoiding social gatherings and going out unless they really need to. Daycare centres may be closing at short notice any day. It’s possibly the worst time to have arrived in a new city and be trying to set myself up as a member of its society, find a routine, fit myself, my partner and son in and set up a business.

So, what am I doing about it? Seeing the silver lining in the situation and enjoying (most of the time at least!) cultivating more patience within myself. I’m using this opportunity to learn to simply go with the flow of life. In the past I’ve been one of those people who try to fight what’s happening to get things to go the way that I had planned. Not this time. If motherhood has taught me anything over the past 18 months it’s that the less I fight a situation and simply accept things for the way they are the happier and less stressed I will be.

When I’m happier and less stressed in general, then it becomes easier to adapt my plans and find a different route forward. Which is what I’m in the process of doing now. Like many other yoga teachers I know, I will be soon moving to online classes for the time being. As I’m not the most technically savvy person and I am still balancing looking after Phoenix each day, this is not going to be an overnight achievement but I’m OK with that. Life for me right now seems to need to be slow and steady.

This may be the case for a lot of others too. When we already live busy lives (as do most of my friends, students, clients etc back in London), added stress from the events which happen that are out of our control are not a good mix. Finding the ability within ourselves to go with the flow of whatever is happening in our lives is crucial for our well-being and health.

So if you’re feeling frustration, anxiety or a sense of being overwhelmed right now, join me in re-focusing your efforts on practicing patience, acceptance and letting go. The art of simply tuning in to the current flow of life and letting ourselves go with it, rather than against it is the greatest tool available to us right now. As I’ve often said to my students in classes, we can’t always control the external events and situations in our lives but what we can work on controlling is how we react internally to them.

Steady the mind. Open your heart. Go with the flow.

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