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How much is too much?

I turned 29 three months ago and my body is falling apart.

In the last five months I have torn two ligaments in my ankle, fallen out of a handstand and given myself a gnarly road rash on my face, and as I write this I have just gotten home from the chiropractor for a pinched nerve and muscle spasms. And then, because of said chiropractor visit, I learned that I have “straightening of the cervical spine” which honestly I’ve probably had for years, but still.

That being said, I’m physically working harder than I ever have.
All the time.
Every day.
On average, I teach 17-19 classes a week. I work at 4 different gyms, community centers, and yoga studios, I operate my own kid’s yoga programs, teach private lessons, and I try to do a special event or community class every week. Add friends, family, freelance work, a thriving garden, a spoiled kitten, and my incessant need to watch bad reality TV and read classic literature, and there are just not enough hours in the day (or episodes of Skin Wars on Hulu).

But I think I’m finally starting to get the message.

Turns out, this is as far as I can push myself. I can feel myself getting sick more, my sprained ankle is struggling to heal as I continue to run it through the ringer, my face (and chest and back) are breaking out, and I’m having a very hard time sleeping through the night. It’s all just a little too much and my body keeps taking new hits before it’s rebounded from the last.

 

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I’ve had more x-rays in the last few months than I have in my whole life.

The thing is though, I love my job. I love it so very much. I love teaching babies and seniors and millennials alike. I love being able to offer myself to my students, to look at their bodies and guide them in a way that is beneficial, and to create space for their healing- big and small. I love the people I’ve met through classes and events and I love every single time someone says “I feel so much better than when I walked in the door.” And 9 times out of 10, I feel so much better at the end of a class than when I walked in the door.

So while I know I’m doing too much, while I know I need something more sustainable than a “break” or a “night off”, it seems impossible to slow down – to not take every single opportunity I have to teach and lead and learn and grow and play and create and love. That’s what we are here to do right? To Love. We are told our whole lives that we will “never be poor if you love what you do”. This is the ultimate goal.

But no one ever tells you what to do or how to feel if even that gets to be too much.
How do we say “No” to WORK?
And even more than that, how do we say “No” to work we LOVE?

 

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Yoga at the Neches Brewing Company that got moved to the Port Neches Park Pavilion because of rainy, windy weather. My favorite thing about yoga students is that they are so flexible when plans have to change at the last minute.
(See what I did there?)

 

I have always known that I would have to hustle for work.
My degree is in Theatre and I graduated in 2009, my longest job titles have been at non-profits, and I spend every tax season cursing 1099s.
I function well in this mode and honestly, it’s never really crossed my mind that there was any other way. Even today, I was digging in the garden and talking about power washing the house and I said the phrase “Hard work ain’t never hurt us” and I heard my mother’s voice coming out of my own mouth.

 

20170326_163950This was the first day I got my plants in the ground.
Thank goodness, things have gotten a little greener since then. 

In yoga we are supposed to focus on the mid-line. To find the space where you are challenged but focused and relaxed, where you are working hard but not hurting yourself, where you feel confident but maybe just a little bit scared.
Each posture is intended to be a balance of effort and ease and I have considered this advice applicable to all areas of my life for some time now.
But apparently. it’s not advice I have been following that closely the past couple of months, or maybe I never actually did but it’s just catching up to me in my old age.

john pal quote(Balanced and emotionally stable…. doesn’t that sound nice.)

 

I feel like I should go ahead and say right here that I don’t have answers for all the questions I’m asking myself (and I guess you).
In-fact, if you have the answers, please let me know. No-one ever got anywhere by being rhetorical.

You see, I’ve always prided myself on not needing to hold on too or collect physical possessions (except for books, those are treasures). So what is it about work that makes me feel like there is never enough and it can never be replaced? Is it my darling Irish/German heritage? Is it the fact that I was raised by a single mom? Is it a past life I need to come to terms with? I’m sure it is some combo of everything wrapped up inside my (too heavy for my spine) brain.

What do you do when you have an abundance but can’t let go of a scarcity mindset?

I don’t know, and maybe I don’t need too know what or why just yet. But I do need to learn how to slow down and when to say enough, not because I don’t want to do more- but because I don’t need to.

 

Who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks?

 

 

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Baby’s First Blog Post

Well Hello,

This is it. This is blogging.

So here I am, sitting in a towel on the couch, watching The Devil Wears Prada and doing my best to psych myself up to write this.
If you know me at all, you know that the idea of starting a blog (or a website for that matter) is terrifying to me. I have so many little voices in my mind saying things like
“You’ll never keep up with it.”
“You don’t have anything original to offer.”
“You don’t know what you are doing.”
“Who cares what you have to say?”
“Does anyone even read blogs anymore?”?
And so on and so forth until the cows come home.

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(Who started that expression? Where do these cows live? Why have they been out all night? Do they call their mom when they know they are going to be late?)

I’m also 90% sure that I have some kind of force field that renders all technology around me incapable. Phones, laptops, and tablets freeze, and malfunction, and burst into flames in my hands (ok that last one isn’t true, but I do always manage to knock out the wifi somehow where ever I go).
Social Media overwhelms me, and yet, I’m in a constant battle with myself not to spend all of my time scrolling through stranger’s instagrams. I watch pimple popping videos before I go to bed at night, but I’m convinced I have nothing to offer, nothing important enough for a global scale.

…….

And that’s where my mind stops.
That’s as far as I get each time I try this.

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But that’s not what I’m supposed to say here right? I’m supposed to have a turn, a twist, a light bulb moment. I’m supposed to say “This is how I felt or what happened or how I was wrong, BUT NOW things are different and I am brave and strong and proud! My morning matcha, and reiki healing, and vedic chart have changed all of my fears and opinions about blogging and the internet and technology in general.”

That’s what it takes to be inspirational right? To build an audience and and get a book deal? Isn’t that the point?

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Ok, that sounded cynical and I feel bad. What I’m trying to say is that I have complicated opinions and feelings about this highly technical and ever connected world that we live in (as we all do about most things in this great big universe).
I love matcha, and energy healing has helped me a lot over the last few years, and I’ve actually been doing a lot of reading about Vedic Astrology; I’m Aries Rising. But even through all of that, I am still terrified of this.

And I guess that’s where my turning point comes in.
You see I turned 29 this year and I decided that my intention for the year was to be more vulnerable, to “crack my heart wide open” (to quote my own instagram). So I guess that’s why I’m here. Why I’m typing this stream of conscious diatribe while my heart beats out of my chest instead of brushing my teeth or hair even though it’s almost noon.
*I’m not sure I’ll keep up with it.
*I don’t know that I’ll write anything you can’t read somewhere else.
*I don’t know what I’m doing and *maybe no one cares.
But here I am.
Now lets see if I can tackle that pesky PUBLISH button…