I sit often, I reflect, I write, I think and I plan. Being a teacher is one of those weird jobs where you often wonder how people are feeling, what they are experiencing, are the practices helping, are the methods suitable, are they feeling benefit, do they feel healthier, balanced etc?
Anything we do in our bodies and experience in our minds can feel so personal and can be so fleeting that it may be hard to put into words or communicate to someone else, so as a teacher I wonder often!
I have myself felt for years the benefit of Yoga and (in my personal endeavours) Climbing for my body, for my mind, for my whole way of living. I’ve felt these benefits and at the same time I’ve struggled within city life, I’ve struggled with the responsibility of self employment, with the ever growing list of ‘obligations’, with the mounting sense of pressure to be prepared for my future security, with daily chasing and rushing and deep down wondering where to?
Climbing and Yoga have always blended perfectly for me and answered a broad selection of wants and needs that I have. They have given me an outlet for high energy, for enthusiasm and motivation, for drive and competitiveness, for adventure and excitement and complimented with relaxation pause and stillness, self awareness and mindfulness.
It has always been a dream of mine to share both of these practices with others, when I first envisaged working in the area of Yoga years ago, I always thought of climbing along side and their perfect fit together. Then the years go by and blend into the next and things get put on the back burner for a while.
As much as the internet and social media in particular might have us all believe, there is no quick fix to anything. There is this illusion being sold that we are all supposed to grab our dreams and run with them and live ‘abundantly’ and then life will be ‘AWESOME’!
I’ll be honest with you now, it is not easy and it has felt hard to me on more than a million occasions, first to admit to myself that I have dreams, then to even have a glimmer of belief in them and then taking time to put effort into them and perhaps moving towards fulfilling them. And you know what, it is ok that it is hard. I have felt that and I respect that. Its just like in climbing, things might feel hard but it doesn't mean they can’t be done, or in Yoga it may feel like your body will never achieve certain postures but then one day something clicks.
I was not brought up to believe in dreams, I was not brought up with an unwavering sense of belief in myself. I have worked extremely hard to over come doubts, to break habits that are deeply engrained. What I believe is important is to be real about all of this, be real in the effort it takes to think about dreams and aspirations and go about finding ways to make them happen.
People are not put into separate categories of those who can - the talented, the gifted and the blessed and those who cannot - the ones who don't get the breaks. It is a matter of daily work, of showing up, of exploring what is possible, what fits, what feels right, what is attainable and believing.
So this year, for the first time, I got the opportunity to teach a Yoga and Climbing retreat for a small group in Spain. It was so much fun!!! I am over the moon with how the week went and when I receive little reminders like the one below from one of the attendees, I remember that what started out as a tiny thought, what started out as a ‘maybe some day’ finally became a reality and I have to pinch myself.
‘…….The Yoga was amazing…the climbing was amazing too, totally hooked already!….last but not least, the vibe and the atmosphere and company was absolutely magic. So happy you followed your dreams and made this retreat possible as a result. I’m so grateful for this entire week and this experience.’
It can be easy to go from one task to the next, or one goal to the next and lose sight of progress or milestones. When we do this it can always feel like we are never ‘getting there’. So wherever you are, what ever your pursuits or aspirations, take some time to see where you began, take some time to notice the little progressions.
It took me some feedback, someone else calling it out to remind me that was once a dream had become a reality.
Thank you to all the lovely ladies who came on the retreat last week, it was the best! And big thanks to Natalie and Marcus who invited me over to teach and have created a beautiful location for everyone to stay and kept our bellies full with delicious vegan meals all week:-)
Here’s to dreaming of the next one!