No matter how long we’ve been adult-ing, how long we’ve held down jobs, paid mortgages and scraped by with 28 days of holiday a year, September will always, always have a back to school vibe.
I kind of love it. After August – the month in which no one can be arsed to do anything – September is when we collectively pull up our socks, put on our serious pants again, and get back to work, renewed and raring to go.
Or that’s the idea anyway. If you’ve found yourself pulling the covers over your head and wishing September would go the hell away, it may be that you overcooked your August, darling.
Let me explain.
Life has natural rhythms. Daily we wake and work, then retire and rest; the sun rises and sets; tides come in and recede. Monthly the moon waxes and wanes; feminine energy soars and dips. And annually the seasons flow one to the next, each bringing its own set of tasks: prepare, sow, nurture, reap.
We are not the bosses here; nature is. Everything happens at its own pace. Peaks follow troughs. Productivity follows recovery. It’s the law. Yet somehow, as creatures of modernity, we seem to believe it doesn’t apply to our lives. That we can outsmart the system, outrun mother nature. That we can work without rest, famine without feasting.
It’s simply not true.
Creative projects, relationships, businesses, parenting – everything has a rhythm.
To work with it is to watch life unfold magically before your eyes, opportunities arise as and when intended, and dreams reach fruition with ease and grace. It is to feel in flow, supported, balanced and nourished.
When we work against it, push too hard, move too fast, strive continually towards the next, the new, we often end up bogged down. Nothing works. Nothing moves. Like a car with its wheels stuck in the mud, the more we accelerate, the more we burn out. The more we struggle, the quicker we sink.
Looking back over the summer I see the truth in this utterly and completely.
After weeks of cramming my wellness work around teaching yoga and stressing about the sale of our flat (flattened by Brexit), I arrived at mid-August with my energetic tank thoroughly empty. So I backed off. I spent a fortnight glued to the Olympics, doing only essential work from a laptop on my knees. I deep-dived into my yoga practice and took extra long walks with the dog.
Then came the Forrest Yoga advanced teacher training. I spent nine days soaked in my own sweat, cleansed, exhilarated, flying on my hands, learning, giggling, singing, dancing, being smudged with smoke and touched by the most healing of hands. I ate beautiful, colourful food in the sunshine every day. I took baths in epsom salts and lavender oil and went to bed early. I talked and journaled. I was supported in extraordinary ways.
And, just like that, I’m back in the rhythm.
In the days since I’ve been home, I’ve finished a writing project, fielded enquiries about five employee wellness workshops (five!) and discovered that I’m going to be a speaker at a TEDx event in October (squeals!).
Trough has turned to peak. If course it has, it’s the law.
We humans and our crazy little egos love to make life hard. We’d rather sprint out of fear then collapse from exhaustion than go through life at a pleasant canter, actually enjoying the journey.
And so it is, after a month of me-time I’m genuinely so excited to go ‘back to school’. My September brings with it my first Wellbeings event, a speaking gig, three new one-to-one coaching spots and two new weekly yoga classes.
I know that to stay in rhythm, I need to balance all that doing with an equal dose of being. So, in true Wellbeings fashion, I’ve made some tweaks to my life and routine.
- I’ve deleted the mail and Facebook apps from my phone. Instant space.
- I’ve scheduled non-negotiable yoga practices for the days I teach
- I’ve asked for support – from mentors, from family, from friends and my husband
- I’ve assembled some troops: a new accountant, legal adviser and event assistant
- I’ve created a new morning routine to set me up for the day (see below for details)
- I’ve tentatively embarked on a little creative project. Watch this space.
- I’m consciously making space for art in my life; next up, dance
This spirit of space, of yin to yang, is something I want to support my new clients in creating too. So if you’re in desperate need of a routine that gives you freedom (for joy, creativity, movement, cooking, knitting, whatever), get in touch.
As summer turns to autumn, it’s time to decide what kind of life you’d love to live, and to prepare the soil for it. I promise, come spring, you’ll be in bloom.
That morning routine: up by 6.30am, warm lemon water, neti (an Ayurvedic cleansing practice that sounds awful; is actually amazing), brush teeth, walk dog, breakfast and emails.