It's been nearly a year since I have written anything in public. Funnily enough the previous post was written in 11.11.2018 and I am now writing and publishing this post on 1.11.2019. Another funny story, not so funny, is that exactly a year ago shit started hitting a fan big time. I read my previous post from the year ago and now that I am looking back I cannot believe that how the heck I have made it this far without fully collapsing earlier. This is a great evidence of human mind and how frigging powerful it is.
So what has happened since the last year this time?
Well well well, where to start.. I hit the absolut rock bottom financially. I was nearly in a bankgruptcy, personally and within the business. Most likely, because of business not being profitable and instead of getting paid for the work I did, I kept investing money what I didn't have into the company so that I was able to keep going and do what I love and serve my clients. Ironic fact is that I was already exhausted and depressed when I chose to go for this path by myself after we separated within my business partners in June 2018. I was diagnosed by a doctor in April 2018, however everyone around me and especially myself just fully ignored it. It was not an option to lay-low and look after myself, as I felt obligated that once I have started as a captain of this project I just simply cannot bail and leave the ship. No matter what, I would need to suck it up and keep goin, trying my hardest to get this business taking off, and only then I could rest. Once again, I had happily turned a blind eye for my own wellbeing.
I could keep it up for a while, actually for a surprisingly long while. Even though, I loved the work I do and my clients, eventually it wasn't serving me any more. I never had a chance to rest and digest all of it that had already happened before hand, nor did I have energy to focus on proper planning and business development. Instead, I went ahead full steam like a man woman, trying to pull the business out of the hole were we had digged ourselves in during the first year. Reflecting back to it now, it seems like a pure madness! What a heck was I thinking?! Why on earth didn't I just chill out over the summer, comtemplating and planning for the future, whilst saving energy for the fall and second run. My actions were led by fear of failing instead of listening to my guts. I believed that if I do not start doing something right now the game will be over. Hah, at least it would had been so much less damage done then than now (laughing out loud). I felt the most responsible and a right thing to do was to keep it all going, serve people so that they wouln't go somewhere else. Naturally I was again thinking of everyone else other than myself. I was already tired and off center, and even though my intuition was trying to scream at me, I didn't listen to it. I just pushed forward.
Reflections of the Mind
It’s crazy how human mind can push further, even in circumstances where we already feel completely exhausted in the physical being and the mind, and go further and further, and even an extra mile on top of that until we break down. At least my mind is crazy strong and when I get something into my head it's sometimes hard to differ when something is actually my intuition and inner-guidance of my heart, and when my strong mind is playing tricks at me. When we are not listening to our body awareness and heart intelligence, eventually the universe will stop us so that we cannot keep pushing forward or in a worst case anywhere anymore. Whether it's injury, sickness or what not, sooner or later it happens when we do not listen to ourselves. Personally I had to push really far until I let myself to stop the faight and look around. Now that all of the towers have crashed down, both in business and personal life, I can eventually look at myself and say: "That's OK, you have done everything you can. You have done your best in current circumstances and within the best knowledge you have had in that moment. It's OK to be tired, it's OK to be vulnerable and it's MORE THAN OK to rest and digest all this." Rest and healing is the only way forward.
When I realised about a year ago that there was no-through-road financially, I applied a job and luckily got a great one immediatly. I continued running the yoga studio on side within a course approach as my biggest worry was that I didn't wish to leave people down who did still hold a yoga pass to the studio. I also thought that if I continued pre-registered courses I could not only secure the spring, but play some more time, people with remaining passes could still use their outstanding yoga time, and I could develop the practice to a different level as well. In theory it was win-win-win situation to everyone involved, however in practice I had still no chance to rest at any point and I was now working full time, running five yoga courses a week and some private classes on top of that. I thought that it's going to be OK for the spring and then I will decide what to do with the business. Too easy, I could surely do that for six months. Truth is that I was getting more and more tired, yet financial worries didn't disappear anywhere. In matter of fact they deepened as I had done some error calculations with pricing the courses because of being tired and doing it in a hurry, again acting from a state of fear not from trust. This backfired the situation a little bit more too. Also, a great plan to rent the studio outside of my own courses pretty much felt through too. In the end of the summer 2019, and literally after looking into all of the possible options, finally let SHALA Helsinki go!
Burning the Candle from the Both Ends
Letting the studio go was, and still is a huge deal to me. It was my baby, I poured my heart out to it and I literally spent hundrets of hours by building the studio with my bare hands (with help of others of course). not to mention thousands of teaching hours. I managed to find my regular yogi's, and it hurt like hell to let them go. My heart is broken that I couldn't offer continuous practice to them. I know they are more important to me than I am for them, as there are plenty of studio's where to go, however I still feel that I totally let the people down. Good news is that letting the studio go, freed me some time to fully focus into my full-time job, and actually start developing wellbeing and personal develepment activities in that environment. However, all of the previous events in a past couple of years have taken its toll, and a lot of big changes have manifested in the physical world at the same time. This has forced me to face the fact that I am exhausted, even depressed and there is nowhere to run. I need to sit with it, I need to digest it and I just simply have to stop in order to be able to move on.
Burning the canddle from both ends for too long obviously burns it out. Therefore, I am now forced to focus on myself and my own wellbeing for change. Given that I have tendency to please others, I of course feel guilt for letting people down in the day job now. My ego is nagging at me that how embarrashing is the fact that I am the wellbeing person at the company and I am the one who's all burned out and a bit fucked up by herself. Oh well, life happens and this is now a great chance for me to reflect everything and do some serious self development to myself instead of looking after everyone else. To be honest, this is a great learning curve and a great chance to fully test my own teachings in practice in order to change my deep-seated thought and behavioral patterns. Instead of just telling people "do as I tell, not as I do", I am going to take this seriously and use the skills I have and put them into practice within myself. Just to clarify, I obviously know how to look after myself and I do practice self-development, meditation and yoga all the time, but still until this day I have had tendency put everyone else's needs over mine. Now it's about the time for change and reset my mind, so that I become my number one person. I need to fix myself before I can help anyone else.
However, I feel that I am not completely broken, yet I’m in a deep back-bend, which actually first time starts feeling pretty good. I must say that even I am talking about the back-bend metaphorically, the full-wheel asana is possibly the hardest yoga post to me for real, so this may have an actual bridge to the mental and emotional side of the things too. For the first time, instead of trying quickly to come out of the pose I’m willing stay there and observe it, and see how it makes me feel in my body. I feel pain and suppressed feelings, yet I start also feeling opening in the heart space. Slowly, but surely I start feeling myself getting stronger in present moment, which gives more room to notice the deep-seated patterns that make me go around the circles in life. Thoughst and behavioural patterns that I have known for a long time, the patterns I have worked with, but I haven’t been able to fully face and deal with. Instead I have always been busy doing and performing something. Fact is that as long as we refuse to fully digest and deal with our knots deep inside, we go around the same circles, all over again and end up to somewhat similar situations, again and again. Consequences are just getting bigger and bigger in every round. I actually have honestly done a lot of self-development and spiritual work within myself over the years and every time when I think I got this, there is another layer pealing out and the process continues as long as the valuable lessons are learned.
So what's my deep-seated problem that holds me back in life, in relationships and in everything? I’m a perfectionist, I create real high expectations to myself and believe I should always exceed them, and above. My own expectations are huge and they sometimes feel so overwhelming to reach that I get scared, I panic and freeze, and that's the moment when I get derailed focusing on something else other than things that are critical in order to reach a goal. I put myself into the situations and create circumstances by my own actions that I’m constantly out of my comfort zone. When it gets too scary, or I'm getting tired of being constantly performing, I will focus on to something that makes me feel safe, instead of really dealing with things I should, I do something that is more fun. I just talk myself out of the unpleasant things and run. I run away from my problem by keeping a million of things going on at the same time so that I have an excuse to myself. Can't you see I am buzy here? I also tend to start new things just when I am about to mastering something, or when I have reached a new level on something. And, when I eventually hit my comfort zone, I either get bored or I feel it’s time to move on, and achieve something else. I guess it’s my self protection mechanism against of being afraid that I might not be enough or that eventually I will fail anyway or that I get hurt. What not, I don't know.
What I do know is that I am naturally good with things, such as sports, and if I only kept my focus in one thing I could be really great at something. Instead, I tend to do a lot of things at the same time. Whereas, with SHALA for the first time in my life, I actually really tried without giving up, however my focus was still off radar, because I was not feeling well, and as end result, I failed. I failed in all aspects of life at the same time: I failed in business, I failed in romantic relationship, I failed in partnership with my previous business partners, I failed financially and I failed in life management in general. I was so afraid of all this to happen so I pushed and tried and did everything to avoid things collapsing as for the first time I had really thrown myself into it. Was it the end of the world when it all felt trough? It actually felt chaotic, sad and depressing yet pieceful at the same time. After the first shock in the system I realised it was rather blessing and such a relief to stop faithing against something I couldn't faight for anymore. Now, I believe it’s rather a new beginning, something that had to happen in terms of transformation, break through and shift in consiousness. It doesn't make one a looser or a bad person, if one can say honestly that he or she has given his/her everything, but it just wasn't enough. It is all good! Sometimes that's a sign that we are pushing to a wrong direction, which is not serving our highest good. It's hard for the mind to accept it, but heart knows it's for the best. It's important giving thanks to meaningful life experiences, forgive everyone involved ourselves included, and gratefully let go of everything that doesn't serve the highest good of one and all. Ego is the one that wants to win, control and manipulate, however the heart-consiousness can offer loving kindness and self-compassion. We need ego to get things done, but in a role of humble friend instead of a harsh boss. So let this be the beginning of healing process and route to recovery, let this be reset of deep-seated thought and behavioral patterns that have been subconsciously dictating my life. Let this be the moment when I fully stept into my power and learned to listen my authentic truth. I have taken the first step. Namaste!
Photos by Pyry Antero & Healer in the picture is Annika Witting from Awakenings and Wellbeing.