It’s not very British to write an end of year reflection, especially on going with the flow.
The last time I did something similar a friend from the US said I sounded very American.
I think she meant positive – beyond all British possibilities. Haha!
But I still have that healthy dose of scepticism – it’s kind of essential for the journalist job.
I also just deleted an exclamation mark which is a definite sign of Brit norm.
What I have succeeded most at this year is going with the flow.
I know as a yoga teacher you probably should be going with the flow all the time. All while eating raw food and hugging trees, to use a few more cliches.
My issue has been that I focus too much on how something turns out, daydreaming of how it will be perfect in the future.
But the past year I feel I’ve made big shifts in my life by going with the flow and being more carefree.
Stuff I dreamed of actually happened because I stopped holding on to those expectations.
This ‘method’ is based on traditional yoga techniques, which I teach in my classes.
For me it’s very much a work in progress, as ever.
This is how I’m learning to go with the flow more –
Being aware – watch your thoughts about how you’re not doing well enough at this or that. Notice feelings or expectations that arise and let them go. Observing thoughts and feelings as a witness – not getting involved with them – takes the heat or sting out of them. This is something I teach in my teen yoga classes.
Being mindful – practise mindfulness of breath. This releases habitual ways of thinking and keeps you rooted in the present instead of craving certain outcomes. The breath reflects what is going on in the mind and body, so when the breath calms so do you as a whole. I can honestly say that this technique is mind-changing (in a good way!). Find out more about the courses I and other Traditional Yoga teachers offer.
Sending metta (loving kindness) – a lot of our expectations are based on our comparison with others, peers or even strangers on social media. Practice a meditation in which you send loving kindness to yourself, then a loved-one, a neutral person (someone you see on the street but don’t know) and a person who have a difficulty with. Then widen this out to the world. Research shows this has positive results.
These are just three simple techniques. There are many more.
The main thing is being more relaxed about what happens. This may come very easy to some but to others (me!) it’s hard.
This practice has truly led to great things happening in my life. Work opportunities, connections, relationships and generally being a lot more free in my mind. Life flows when you’re not het up on the result.
Yes, bad stuff happens but you’re more able to deal with it.
I am an optimistic American now? I don’t care.