So, as I sit here typing what I hope is the third and final lockdown diary, I can hear a group of school children walking by with their teacher trying to manage their energy. Schools in the UK ‘went back’ yesterday, despite teachers still continuing to work throughout the lockdowns – just remotely and for the key worker and vulnerable adult families.
The roadmap has been scheduled for the rest of the year – it’s bizarre to think that hopefully one day in 2021 that social distancing rule will vanish and we can hug our nearest and dearest without having to worry.
I’d love to go on holiday, but for me this really isn’t at the top of the list. It’s the simple things. Hugging a friend, having a family get together and being able to sit and have a decaf in a local coffee shop. (Yes, I’m one of those ‘decaffers’ now! It’s not a choice for me now unfortunately for health reasons!)
I have to say that I have been grateful for these lockdowns. Each time round I have learnt something new about myself and had small revelations which have helped me to understand why a certain type of person may come in or out of my life. After five years, in this lockdown I have had Netflix again! I’ve given myself permission to really relax on the one day I have off or the evenings I work from home.
This lockdown, work wise, has been the busiest for me since I last worked fulltime which was scarily just over a year ago before India 2020. Over the last 6 months, it’s been gradually building up and each step has reminded me to always take a step back now and then to avoid any more burn-outs.
Some of my friendships have become stronger, others I have realised weren’t working out. Some people came back into my life after years, others who I thought would always be there for me sadly weren’t when I needed them. But that’s life. I have learned the hard way that trying too hard doesn’t make anyone like you any more than they already do or don’t. It drains you and friendships and relationships should be give and take. And that’s ok. I have no hard feelings whatsoever; it’s just how it goes sometimes.
I have read consistently in this lockdown too which has been great. I said I would in the other two and didn’t – currently on my second book and I’ve been learning more about the moon cycles and also reading one of my yoga philosophy books.
As we look to the next few months, I think it’s so important not to lose some of the things we have gained in lockdown. I’m much closer to members of my family, I am much more balanced and with the number of classes a week I’m doing – I have a new found respect for my body rather than hate. I have made sure I get out on a walk every day and appreciate the natural world.
I’m looking forward to walking longer distances and in new countryside when we are allowed to travel a little further.
So far, I have painted a lovely picture of this third lockdown. I think, because I’ve finally had my own space, I’ve really had the time to reconnect with myself again, despite being pretty busy at the start of this year. But of course, not everyday has been this way.
I have days where I look in the mirror and I obsess over the body fat I have gained over the winter. I’ve had the odd binge. I had one day where I cried crazy amounts. I still worry I could learn or do more as a teacher. That I don’t study enough. So those old repetitive habits and patterns do come back. But I accept it. I try not to pressure myself and not let it occupy my whole mind.
I’m not these thoughts and I am more than a body. If you can relate to this, I promise that over time, with the right tools – you can let go.
I’ve had a few days of really longing for a new relationship. But I really don’t think this will happen yet. I feel I still have more of a journey. I always keep my heart and mind open, but I believe in timing. And it’ll happen when it’s meant to.
Me and one of my good friends Facetime every Monday and we have become so close over these lockdowns. I quiz with my family on zoom about a Sunday a month and the little efforts we have all made to look after one another. I am also SO ready for a bit more ‘freedom’ though.
My clients and members inspire me every week. They teach me so many things and their little steps of progress and their loyalty really gives me such gratitude for what I do.
And out of everything, gratitude practice is a daily habit now. No matter what has gone on, there really is still so much to be grateful for even though these restrictions have built a new way of living.
And this I will do until the day I die. Sounds morbid, but this time last year I worried I would never feel happiness again. I thought when I was depressed, that that was really it for me. I had got myself into this hole and way of thinking that couldn’t be undone.
I didn’t show it to the world, but I felt it every day. This heavy inner sadness and grief that caused paranoia, anxiety and the struggle to get out of bed each morning.
My life isn’t perfect now, but I am so grateful for what that pain taught me.
A lovely quote from a song I have been listening to on repeat:
‘The rain of today, brings tomorrow’s bloom’.
And it’s true. After this lockdown, that coffee with a friend will feel like Christmas. Our spirits lifted and a more social way of life again.
We are ready for it, but I hope we don’t forget the last year. I hope my future children will never have to know what a pandemic is like, but I can tell them.
I’ll start to round it off now as sometimes I think I sound like a broken record or I repeat things…oops!
I am also so grateful for my teachers. I feel utterly blessed to be learning from them. For the knowledge that is being passed down. For their belief in me. I have the utmost respect for them.
So, no matter what you have or haven’t done in these lockdowns, know that you have made it through. We are so close to having those little pieces of freedom back, that we just have this final hurdle to go. But don’t wish this time away. The ‘down time’ we have had may not happen again. We are not machines that should operate 24/7.
We are energetic beings with more to us than the 9-5. So, pursue whatever brings you inner peace and happiness. That sets your soul on fire and helps you to fulfil your dharma or life purpose. Happiness is an inside job. And I feel the pandemic has reminded us of this. When all those external, materialistic things are gone. Are we happy within ourselves?
If not, how can you discover what will bring you joy and contentment?
What have you got to lose?
I hope this is goodbye lockdown. We are ready to let you go.