We can do hard things - and Kundalini Yoga.
I went to an AMAZING workshop in the weekend on creativity.
And it was hard. It was gentle, but it didn't let up either.
I felt excited and peaceful all a the same time.
It was a kundalini workshop.
Now I really don't want to put you off Kundalini - because there’s a beautiful new studio that’s just opened in Mt Mauganui called the Light Room, and I recommend Kundalini to everyone I come across. (They've also got a great special running at the moment!!)
But, like everything really, it’s not a walk in the park - only a walk in the park is a walk in the park.
So let me give you the back story.
My dear friend who was running the session sent me a message, to say she was running a workshop in the weekend. I was super interested.
And it was $50-which was a bargain...
Ok, so we all know and agree that’s not a lot of money at all……
Except for the fact I ran up a few speeding tickets a couple of weeks ago - which meant I had unintentionally blown the budget on “extra-circular activities”. And honestly this is the worst way to spend the fun money - because nothing fun happened.
I just wasn’t late for my meeting.
Not worth all my tickets - I would have rather been late.
I messaged my husband “Hey Babe, there’s a yoga workshop on, Sunday 9-12, and it’s $50 - do you mind if I sign up and go?” Of course he said no worries. But it didn’t stop me worrying, fretting over spending too much money for the month.
So here's what happened next
I wasted a lot of time thinking about it and wondering if I should go.
I signed up at the last minute.
Worried about it in the shower the morning of.
Thought of all the other things I should have been spending the money on, and saving for.
Felt bad about myself.
Managed to forget to take my wallet to actually pay!
What a nightmare.
So while I was driving - I started to think, how can I turn this ship around? I don’t want to go in with all this worry and stress - I’m committed, I’m going, I’ve paid (almost) - I want to enjoy it and get the most out of it.
So I decided to work out how I could get the absolute most value out of that $50 - LoL.
Why am I telling you this potentially super embarrassing story???
Because I want you to know - that if you want to succeed at anything - you need to get some skin in the game.
So during the class, I found I was struggling - My arms were really tired from holding them up, I was finding it difficult to keep the breathing pattern going, and the muscles in my tummy didn't want to do the work anymore, I kept forgetting to focus on my third eye, and the Kirya was getting in the way of the thoughts my brain kept trying to think......it was hard work.
I was SO tempted to put my arms down and relax, and just breath normally .....
But damn it, I had paid $50, and I sure as hell didn't want to feel like I'd wasted that money, so I kept going.
Even though it was hard - the structure was exactly what I needed.
The results are literally unspeakable.
What am I talking about??
Well, I don't know if you know - but Kundalini isn’t like other yoga. (See image on your right for regular kind of yoga.)
Mostly Kundalini done sitting down on your mat - I even take a sheepskin, and get pretty comfortable......
There’s Kriya, (kind of like chanting or singing), Mudra, (ways of holding your fingers and hands), meditation, and all kinds of breathing that doesn’t seem natural.
Sometimes you rub your hands together for so long it feels like they might catch fire, or wave your arms around to the point it feels like you might not be able to keep going - but then you do.
You contract muscles you didn’t know you had
You silently chant Sat Nam in your mind.
And you keep your focus on your thrid eye.
One time (during a different class), I felt so nauseated I honestly thought I would need a bucket to vomit into.
I adore it.
But it’s not easy, or simple, or straightforward.
I’m not a teacher of kundalini, I'm not great at it, and to be honest I'm really only a student who’s taken a few steps along the path, I don't know a lot about it - but in my experience Kundalini demands focus, precision, discipline and perseverance.
Life hacks won’t help you get where you want to go.
There are no short cuts.
In fact I would like to declare this a #lifehack free zone.
As my teacher Debbie said during the workshop - "doing all this gives you a chance".
I really like that.
There's a reason to do this work.
In Kundalini there's also a lot of time of resting. After we do something that's hard, we pause, and feel the effects of our work. We feel the shift in ourselves. It's not all hard work, there's balance and harmony in the technology.
What on earth am I trying to say?
Ok here it is in a nut shell.
There’s no point in working, working, working, pushing, pushing, pushing, hard, hard, hard.
That doesn’t work on any level that’s helpful, or sustainable.
Besides, the over-scheduling, overdoing, making things happen, hustling isn’t the same as using strong, clear patterning and structure in your life to create change and results.
Discipline, structure, and patterning used well, is not the same as beating yourself into achievement of some goal.
oh there it is - patterning.
What patterns do you have that are serving you?
And what patterns do you have going on that aren’t serving?
How can you use a structured pattern to help you create more ease in your life?
I’ll go first.
Habits and structures that serve me......
- Writing in my journal
- Having a morning routine
- Spending time connecting with my kids and talking with them
- Coaching myself
- Drinking loads of water
- Keeping a track of my cycle
- Planning our family meals and shopping
- Having a conscious budget and savings plan
A lot of these things aren't comfortable, or easy, or what I feel like doing sometimes. I have to push myself to do them......like choose water over tea, or stretching over watching Suits. But when I do take these actions - life is sweet and easy - even thought the actions aren't always easy.
Does that make sense?
Habits and structures that don't serve me.....
- I have a habit of not paying my bills as soon as they come in
- I have a habit of not exercising as much as I want to
- I have a habit of staying up too late
- I have a habit of mucking around not leaving until the last minute - usually making myself late
- I have a habit of leaving work until the last minute
- I have a habit of not replying to emails or texts in the moment - and then sending late replies.
- I have a habit of letting the laundry pile up waiting to be folded
- I have a habit of over thinking about what gift to get someone - and then I end up with nothing
I do all these things, because it seems like they serve me.
And - all these things, seem hard to me. So I avoid doing them. But not doing them is worse.
Answer a text straight away. Nah, let me sit around and over-think about how I want to respond.
Go to bed before 10pm….Whaaaat? The night’s young, and this is the only time I get to myself!
Go for a run? I’m tired, I’ll go tomorrow, It's too cold.
Man, it’s time I changed the some of the patterns I’ve got going on in my life!
The funny part is, I’ve done hard things in my life before.
I’ve had 3 vaginal deliveries for goodness sake - you’d think replying to an email would be easy….nope.
I’m avoiding structure because on some level I think I'm creating freedom for myself - when the reality is, I'm just creating tension, discomfort, and suffering.
Our cycles are structure.
Living by the energy of our cycles requires focus, discipline, clarity, and commitment.
Nothing in life is supposed to be easy, happy, wonderful or ON all of the time.
Our cycles remind us of this. We slow down, go through hard times, feel challenged because that's what most supports our transformation. It's supposed to be uncomfortable and difficult.
We NEED to practice moving through things that are hard, in order to grow and expand. Not only for ourselves, but for our families and communities.
Imagine how different life would be as a woman, if you could embrace the hard stuff, welcome it, and knew what to do with it, because month after month you had practiced being with things that were uncomfortable.
We NEED the darkness.
And our cycles provide it for us,
every. single. month.
Track your cycle, with discipline and care, consciousness, creativity, compassion, and commitment.
Don't shy away from things that are hard and serve you.
Do the mental work.....that is, the work of understanding and unravelling your mind and the stories you tell yourself, and then reprogramming your brain and patterns.
Honour the agreements you make with yourself - as much as you honour the agreements you make with the people you value in your life.
Take actions that serve your intentions, even if those actions feel uncomfortable
Rest in admiration of what your doing, the energy you move and the gorgeous frequency you create in this world.Give yourself space to feel your own energy.
Ask yourself "what would serve me?"
In the words of Glennon Doyle Melton.....
"We can do hard things".
I used to think of hard things, as in things like; climb Mt Everest, or run a marathon, get a tooth pulled out, stand up and say a controversial speech, or have a baby.
These are hard things……But I think things that are even harder, are the everyday things.
Tracking your cycle.
Going for a run.
Not eating a 3rd piece of cake.
Getting my butt to a Kundalini yoga class
So, what are the hard things your avoiding?
Where are you expecting life to be easy on you?
What's patterns are serving you well?
What's your Mt Everest, aka laundry pile?