I suppose my journey – from being the Chief Executive of a third sector charity to becoming a yoga teacher – began (as all good journeys do) quite by chance.
One accidental meeting rekindled my love affair with yoga; and then in October 2014 I met Shaura, who has gone on to become my teacher, friend and business partner. These chance encounters led me into a whirlwind of training which after 2½ years of intense activity has brought me this far; to being a yoga teacher, mindfulness practitioner and coach. The journey continues as I make my way towards becoming a yoga therapist and a yoga trainer, and then – who knows?
And yet – the real point of this journey is that it has brought me home to myself.
After years of being tossed around like a rag doll in the eye of the storm of corporate existence, I came to the realisation that I was living my life from the outside in, surviving not thriving, full of fear. To compensate for the stress and emptiness of my 21st century living, I was adopting increasingly maladaptive and addictive behaviours to ease my journey through.
But – all that meant was that I was stuck on my treadwheel, continually amassing more and more stuff (and more and more debt) to validate my sense of self-importance, to validate who I thought I should be. Living in this way meant that I was endlessly dealing with the aftermath of my behaviours, rather than addressing the root cause of my issues. And, all the while, living with chronic stress and anxiety was taking its toll on my physical health and mental wellbeing, leaving me more and more exposed to burnout and meltdown.
As I mentioned in a recent lecture, chronic stress and anxiety does not make itself known to us from the get go; in fact, the insidious adaptation that occurs as a result of living in the stress response did not get my attention until my physiological systems were literally on the edge of breaking down.
You can find out more about how our systems work and pick up tools that will enhance your health and overall life on our free Araucaria MakingSpace Programme.
Finally, I have been able to become the change I want to be, coming home to myself through a regular, nurturing practice of yoga, meditation and mindfulness. I have been able to stop, step back, think about my options and consider how best to move forward. I have quite literally found my breathing space, learning how to thrive rather than just survive. I have found the courage to accept myself for who I am, rather than define myself by what I do.
So, am I there yet? No, but I’ve taken the first steps, and not only are they the most important, they are also the most difficult.
Working closely with Shaura, it became apparent that our unique blend of experience, circumstances, personality alignments and juxtapositions provide us with a fertile ground to bring out the best in each other in order to share what we have learnt in a specific way.
With track records in programme development, albeit in diverse fields, we recognised that we could develop a unique mind and body based programme that supports people into leadership. We would use this programme and others to provide mind and body sustenance for those who are ready to emerge from confusion and grow into their true potential.
And so, the Araucaria Project was born.
If any of this resonates with you, please join the Araucaria MakingSpace Programme – it’s free, you just have to click here.
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