What I’m learning from November


I’ve escaped the cold and short days the last 2 years running, spending both winters on the other side of the equator in tropical heat. I was surprised to learn that sunshine doesn’t actually equal consistent happiness, and that I can’t run away so easily because my head inevitably has to come with me. That being said, a sunny beach with turquoise waters is definitely a more desirable place to be whilst working out the complexities of mind stuff.

Anyway, earlier this month, and kind of well the months before that and I can’t remember how many months before that…I could feel myself start to sink. I won’t write much about that but what I do want to share is what I decided to do about it and how I’ve been climbing back up. This is about embracing the darkness of winter, both the season we see externally and the one we feel internally.

I used to meditate every day. I’d lost touch with that due to a general feeling of nothing having a point or a lack of faith in anything making me feel good. So I printed off a calendar for November and as suggested by a coach who kindly offered me a free hour’s session to help me out I wrote in big letters across the top: THERE IS A POINT!

We decided I’d put a cross into every box for each day that I sat down to do my meditation. On the second day I was so low that I didn’t do it. But this is the key thing, instead of giving up and thinking I’d failed already, I had to have a bit of faith. I wrote in the box in teeny tiny letters, “there’s still a point” and 22 days in every single square after that second day has a cross in it.

There is not only one cross for meditation, but also a star for every day that I did yoga and a squiggly line for going swimming. All things that I’d been meaning to get back into for ages. Before I knew it, the days were decorated with all the things I’d decided to do that I knew would help me. I hardly noticed the cold wintery days start to pass they went so fast.

My meditation teacher from 3 years back actually emailed me out of the blue at the start of the month saying “take care of your meditations and they’ll take care of you” and it honestly couldn’t have come on a better day – it’s like she knew (which wouldn’t surprise me). So I had to just trust that even if I felt like I’d run out of resources and even if I felt defeated, there is a little part inside of us all that knows how to take care of us and will do what they can to keep us going.

The interesting thing is, the meditation always felt so much deeper after yoga and so the yoga became a natural thing to do every day too. Ten minutes sun salutation at home and going to a class in the first week turned into 2 classes in the second week with longer practice at home and lots of extra reading on yoga. The third week was 3 classes, 30 mins practice every day and a deposit put down to do a teacher training course in India this February. Into my fourth week now, we’re only on Tuesday and I’ve already been to 3 classes, and upped to an hours practice at home every day.

So that’s how I got here, to the start of my commitment to my yoga practice and the path to become a teacher myself. Yoga and meditation have helped me a lot in my own life and I would love to learn more about the practices and teach others. I have dreamed of doing yoga teacher training in India for years and had set aside savings; I just didn’t know it would be happening quite so soon!

It’s time to feel that I am responsible for my own health and happiness, and that I can and will be just fine. I’m learning to have faith in myself in knowing what I need to do to keep me afloat.

Doing yoga in Réunion Island sunshine
VS yoga by the heater in my British bedroom