Ritual or Habitual?
Updated: Jun 14, 2020
This week I set my self a little challenge, aforementioned challenge came about because I woke up questioning freedom.... my own freedom that is & if indeed if I was really free? cause I certainly wasn't feeling it.... which was the whole point of moving to Bali exploration & expression of freedom....
Freedom was something I haver desired since for ever...
When I was 16 I was already working part time at the local Franklins Grocery store(where I was given the job cause the head cashier recognised my surname from my dads cheques that he wrote every week to pay for our groceries - aka before the invention of EFTpos!) & going to ballet school after a regular school day private school so in a nutshell I was not really free at all..... However the money from my weekend hustle gave me a taste of freedom & new pointe shoes when I needed them so I could be dancing which aside from requiring an enormous amount lf discipline is actually very liberating.
Some where in my early 20's in my first full time hospitality gig, I remember thinking "I am going to retire when I am 50"... then the thought went a little deeper .... not to do nothing the brain piped up......nothing clearly being an example of laziness in my mind... but "to be where I want to be when I need to be there" How indulgent, how selfish another part of me quipped, while I nodded quietly to my self imbedded that plan deep in my psyche & got on with making the soup of the day while watching managers trapse out to the dumpster & drag hard on their ciggies & returning to fix you with the side eye of doom as another lap of the venue was completed enroute their next duzzbanger.
We'll it took me a while 30 years (nb be careful when you goal set) & I made every effort as a career hospo person not to drag hard on ciggies by the dumpster & master the side eye of doom as I lapped the venues I managed So when I finally relocated to Bali my family were like "what has taken you so long we were hoping you would have gone years ago, you are a way more attractive value proposition in Bali than In Port Hedland (Western Australia) flights are cheaper & its closer"lol
Ta-Dah! (hardly lol) here I am living in Bali traveling & working being the perfectly imperfect best version of me & helping others on the path to being the perfectly imperfect best version of themselves doing what I want to do when I need to do it #winning
So how did I end up feeling like I had lost that freedom?
Had I created some sort of habitual rut that had evolved as a result of creating innocent well intentioned rituals that were just keeping me in my comfort zone in Bali???
So first what is ritual v habitual?
Could be described as a sequence of activities involving gestures, words & objects, performed in a sequestered/ special (I just love that word sequestered ...)place possibly a particular sequence eg how you might set up for asana practice or meditation
Would be described as regularly or repeatedly doing or practicing something or acting in some manner : having the nature of a habit like the first half of my day every day looks like this not just the small rituals in & about your day & maybe allowing these things to govern your day.
So lets explore what my day(s)(zzzzzzzzz) look like & I swear its not laziness but the last 6 months morphed into something like this....
Hello good morning up by 6.30am
Super cruisy push bike ride to coffee at 7am
Asana & meditation can be 3 - 5 hours practice & teaching at the shala which is virtually next door to coffee & I get to astanga, hatha or go a little up level cray cray
Healthy eating at the local warung
Reading/study (by the pool)
Working on my biz's till roughly 10pm
Insert weekly massage somewhere & a fortnightly pedicure and one weekly adventure to the local donut shop....
Occasional variants include detours to the other two studios where I lead practice & private lessons work with clients
So you you see how easy it is to let the days drift by in a sea of sunsets & habits its all good productive stuff
But me be in Bali so where be my freedom??
So this week I gave myself a challenge get out of my habituals... my out loud self talk included
You are on the island of the gods get off your butt go see some stuff
What your playing it safe & staying home?
You have access to some of the most amazing inspiring teachers in the world, beautiful shalas extraordinary food & a billion different places to get a massage
why be sama sama every week!!!
Move it baby move it move it you can do it (the Move Milk jingle circa 1977)
Well I kicked my habituals & went rogue!!
Sunday so exciting taught a class with a live DJ @theycallmekage @finnsbeachclub I left feeling so inspired!!
Monday it was Game ON!!! Adventured with @Gojek to Ubud to @radiantlyalive for vinyasa flow & arm balance workshop w @markdas lunch in a local warung in Ubud (with a visit to a terrible toilet ... but I have seen worse) bit of a roam before getting a Gojek home where I jumped on line & booked a workshop with a teacher who I have always wanted to learn with @marysiado in Kuala Lumpur
Then I booked a weekend escape with some friends that are here for Australia to Nusa Dua I don't even remember the last time I was there! probably in my 20's
Tuesday drew me to practice @odysseymvmt in Canggu where I moved in two inspiring classes led by @erinkindt & @hannahrosecluley
Wednesday was a teaching day & lunched at the delicious @omcafe w @unravellingyogi & then helped her move house with the record time of 2hrs 25 mins to find a place & move!!!! followed by a meeting & some work bits & bobs that take me to to bedtime around 10pm
Thursday morning was an animal movement class @oddysseymvmt some teaching then a pedicure in a new spa at Carla Spa in Seminyak the leg massage was aha-mazing also the music was relaxing then rode to a warung I have been meaning to go to for a a few months but some how have never managed to get to It was so delicious!!! rode home feeling joyous & inspired into a creative work mode
Friday was an early morning start practice & teaching reading & study writing & working & going to a cafe to write & work staring down the barrel of some porncakes @brunch_club_bali that will take me a week of level 2 vinyasa @yoga108 to work off
Sunday evening will be editing content & preparing for the week ahead which is where we are now!g with friends to swim catch up & hand feed my spirit animal the squirrel
Sunday evening here I asm blogging editing content & preparing for the week ahead & making sure that I am not back in any of those ritual habituals that messed with my groove.
I will admit to owning & keeping my morning coffee ritual habitual I love my coffee family @thefarmerbrews they are my cheer squad ever dam day!!!
So clearly not space travel spectacular & may all seem fairly trivial in the grand scheme of like the universe..... the big stuff was another layer down as I started to look a little deeper my reactions to deconstructed the habits...
Why did I ahhm & ahhh about going to Ubud?... Answer because my days were comfortable & easy there was an element if I be honest of laziness it was all too easy & I had set it up that way ... so glad adventure kitty won out cause I had an amazing learning day so much gratitude for so many things even the toilet experience (I was busting lol) my heart was literally singing I couldn't find a bad thing too say abut Monday!!!
gratitude & appreciation... its impossible to feel defeated when you are happiness hunting!
As I leaned into my week it made me start to question the habits that I/ we might build in our asana practice
Where do I go every time I return to DWFD or trikonasana??
What habits have I got into in chaturanga?
What adjustments do I make what transitions do I move through
What cues am I hearing but not listening too?
How do I dive deeper & release what is no longer serving me?
What am I leaving the yoga jungle without exploring???
No where was this so under the spotlight for me than in the animal movement class i attended on Thursday morning as I witnessed my frustration moving my body into unfamiliar places asking it to do new things child like & animal things, building new muscle memories..... it was fascinating train wreck am dead set certain I looked like a eeejit.... I literally had to remind myself to bring my beginners mind to breathe & be Allowing myself to explore someone elses creativity & play! Letting go of the patterning that is so very present in my body & mind it wasn't failure it was pushing boundaries & finding new edge.
Maybe I need to apply this mindset to more areas of my life......
My thoughts then went on a journey to how can I better help my students to find joy in their asana adventures not locking them in but letting them explore so they can bust the patterning that is evident when you take a look it is bubbling away in every aspect of our lives..... from our I love you's to yoga cues.....Asana are infinite as there are people on the planet cause everyone is different It was provocative & shifted my perspective
Here I am in Bali curious & curiouser my feeling of freedom much returned because I dared to have the courage to be curious & fearles breaking my patterns & looking at the changes with gratitude and enormous appreciation it is exactly this joy in our journey that brings us to our bliss state that place of happiness..... the place we want to be!
If you have been to my class sometimes as we move from savasana to sukasana I ask you to reflect on your child like state of joy, freedom, fearlessness, courageousness, playfulness & sense of adventure! As I write these words perhaps this is key to finding freedom! I have hit repeat on next week & I am adventure kitty yet again out of my comfort zone exploring deconstructing & pushing past the patterning so that I can find be where I want to be when I need to be there
Would love to hear about the patterns & habits that you have created shoot me a message or comment!!
If you would like to get your asana into gear & get rid of what you don't want to make room for what you do - you may already recognise some of your own current patterning & habituals that needs to shift I have a transformation program that will do just that!
From zero to yoga hero!!! how to create a life in yoga beyond the gram & off the mat