How surrendering to ‘now’ helped me discover how I really want to spend my time

I think the reason yoga appeals to me so much is because it focuses so much in being here, now.  Whereas my personality is naturally inclined to always be looking, working, striving  towards my next ‘big thing’.  I also think that’s why motherhood and yoga are such a beautiful match, because it too forces us to be here, now. Because to little people who really have no concept of the future, nothing else matters.

 

For as long as I can remember I’ve always been dreaming of the future.  When I was younger I dreamt of travelling the world. Whilst travelling I dreamt of settling down, buying a house, making a home.  Whilst renovating our first home, I dreamt of starting a family. Amongst all that I dreamt of finally starting teaching.  Then whilst teaching I dreamt of finishing my Masters and working towards a guidance and counselling job.  Amidst all that we started our family and I dreamt of work that would allow me to stay home the majority of the time.  I dreamt of getting back to my passion; teaching yoga. And as time travelled on, I dreamt of other various things, buying a house by the beach, adding to our family, being paid to write, more travel… And so it goes on…

 

I’m sure I’m not alone in this habit of always looking forward.  Of perpetually striving for more. After all it’s human nature, isn’t it?

 

But when does it stop? When do we sit and enjoy all that we have? All that we’ve achieved? All that we are?  

 

And that’s not to say I haven’t been enjoying myself all along. But it’s different to be wholeheartedly enjoying life exactly as it is without ‘shoulding’ all over myself with things I ‘should’ be doing towards my future goals.  Of course that’s not to say I don’t still have goals and dreams.  But I used to feel like I needed to be doing something towards them every day. That regardless of how small the action, my day wasn’t complete with doing something.

 

And now… In a strange way, it’s like I’ve suddenly given myself permission to stop.  There is no space for striving any more.  And in that space I’ve found a hell of a lot of gratitude for everything that I already have.  Like heart bursting (I might make you vomit, if I keep going on about it) gratitude.

 

Not because everything is perfect, nor is anything exactly as I imagined it.  The house by the beach in my head was beautiful and finished, whilst ours is still very much a work in progress. But what is done is beautiful, and it’s by the beach and it’s ours.  I’m not making millions off writing (like in my dreams- ha!) but I’m getting ‘pocket money’ and people are reading, which is bloody satisfying.

 

I have travelled, before and after children (because I’m crazy!) and I am genuinely not worried that this will be shelved for the next few years because I know that one day it will be on the agenda again. I’m so bloody fortunate to have the security of a teaching job that allows me to have this year off with my babies and be available when I’m ready to go back. As well as a yoga community ready to welcome me back to teaching whenever I’m ready.

 

All these things that once upon a time felt like big crazy dreams.  That felt so far off I could barely imagine what they would feel like are here, now. Not to mention the greatest of all of these, having a family that at this point (never say never) feels very much complete.

 

Even amidst the sleep deprivation and tantrums over bum wiping (yes that actually happened today) I actually have to pinch myself that I’m so fortunate.

 

And in this space of not striving, what I really want to be doing has become clear.  And ironically it doesn’t look overly different to what I’m already doing. All of a sudden finding time to do the things that I want to do, that I usually have to hustle to get done, or meticulously plan to find time for, fit easily into my day. It’s like the answer was there all along, and all I had to do was surrender to it.

 

Do you find yourself always striving? Always looking forward to the next ‘thing’?  Have you ever just stopped?

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