How can I create the work I want, and is it ok to take time off?
This question comes up a whole lot, and probably the first best answer is, you know your own best answer. Because what’s best for you is unique to you. From here, I can share a little of my own experience, and maybe make a few guesses about yours.
As a start, I wouldn’t worry too much about taking time off from work. I know this scares people sometimes. We even worry about things like “holes” in our resumes. But we also know that living with goals and endpoints always in mind doesn’t lead to much. It’s backwards. A life that follows our resume, rather than a resume that follows our life.
For me, I was always determined to spend most of my life doing things that matter to me. So I would work for a while, then go off to climb mountains and follow whatever adventures came along. Always during this time, I’d meet people and discover what to do next. Somewhere along the way, I forgot completely about resumes. I also forgot to be scared about whether this was allowed, responsible, or possible. There wasn’t time for this. It worked too well.
There’s an objection that comes up about now, that I’ve heard for decades. Bills to pay. Family to support. It might be possible for someone else, but not for me. And doesn’t reality kick in at some point? Well, not exactly.
Reality doesn’t need to kick in if you never leave it. It’s just that finding the right work doesn’t always mean this well-worn path of searching “actively” for a job.
Finding work, and creating a life that you want,
comes from being actively part of where you are,
and what you’re doing, right now.
The world is full of need and opportunity. If your eyes are open, not trying to hide, you’ll always find good things to do, right when it’s good for you to do them.
Which brings me to another thought. In all this practice we do for our selves, it matters most How we do what we do. I’ve seen many people use their health and healing practice as an escape from what isn’t working in their lives. I’ve been part of these communities myself, where yoga becomes a comforting blanket to wrap around each other and hide from the outside world. It’s an inward spiral that leads to strange behaviors. When it comes to work, this often includes an obsessive quest to survive on an increasingly tiny budget rather than create a more supportive way to live. I haven’t seen this help people much.
So how we do what we do matters. Our intention matters, too.
Yoga can be a closed-off inward spiral of honoring yoga,
while becoming increasingly distant from our selves
and moving away from life.
Yoga can be an expansive outward spiral of honoring you, while connecting with your self
and moving toward life.
What we practice can focus on attacking or running away from everything we think is wrong with us. Or it can support everything that’s right with us. The first way isn’t so helpful. The second opens us into an expansive life, that supports our growth, discovery, and creativity. It uplifts you, and the people around you. No hiding needed here. It all begins with how we do what we do.
Now for how to begin, and how to practice. As a start, everyone wants to feel good. So maybe our practice is just doing anything at all, really whatever? Not exactly. Because also everyone wants progress. So our practice for life isn’t just doing whatever. It needs to give us space for freedom, exploration, self-connection, and discovery. And it needs a structure for all this freedom and discovery, that leads us to progress.
What does that look like in yoga? Same as the rest of life. When challenge comes up, we always have a choice. One is to run away, or pull that hiding blanket over us. And maybe sometimes this is just what we need to do. But we don’t learn much about ourselves here, or about how to create what we want. Child’s pose can be a good place to rest, but it’s not a good place to hide. Not if it’s just a dead end. So let’s throw that option to the side for now, and look at the other two.
You can push yourself hard, and go to war with challenge. Or you can slow down and breathe deep enough to feel, and move in response to what you find. You can disconnect, isolate, and move with aggression and struggle. Or you can connect, bring your whole self into harmony, and move with grace and coordination, through everything. In both choices, you’re not running away. You’re facing challenge. It’s just that one way works better than the other.
We influence each other far more through how we are, than through what we say. We influence ourselves far more in this way, too.
Keep your focus on how you do what you do.
Choose to do, to face challenge, to create.
And choose to do it through harmony
rather than aggression.
Begin here, now. And don’t wait for anyone. Nearly all the obstacles we face aren’t outside of us. They’re in us. They don’t need to be lifted by anyone or anything. We lift them ourselves.
– by Mike
About Strala Yoga Training
Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.
It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.
In our Strala Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.