Pages From My Journal: Intentions for 2023
Updated: Jan 12
It’s Sunday 8th January, the sun is shining, warming my face as I sit here and write in my journal. It’s been 5 days since I landed in Bali and I know I’ve made the right decision to be here.
Katie J Yoga has been running for 3 years in March, started at the time the world went into a pandemic and my event management role became redundant. I have been determined, committed and focused to make my business work, to pass on the gift of yoga, helping build strength in the body & minds of my students. However, in order for a business to sustainably continue it must make sense financially, and the last 6 months of 2022 were tough, the cost of living crisis effected spending habits and unfortunately it’s the small businesses that feel it first. I felt a loss of momentum in my business, but not through lack of trying, I’ve poured every ounce of myself into the business to make it work, but there comes a time when effort continually does not equal reward it gets deflating – this has been echoed by many small business owners that I’ve spoken to lately. Instead of losing the spark and passion for my business, I’ve decided to slow the pace for a couple of months, take a step back, find space and perspective. To work on new ideas, to mould and move with the needs of my clients, explore opportunities that combine both my passion for yoga and events. Keep your eyes peeled for exciting things to come!
I have spent the past 5 days at the most magical place called the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali. During the past 3 years I have focused so much on my students practice that regretfully I’ve lacked commitment to my own. This week I am practicing twice a day, taught by world renowned teachers re-igniting my love of yoga. I whole heartedly believe that yoga is a form of medicine, it brings you into the present moment, moves the body and quietens the mind. After re-setting my commitment to practice I feel like a new person – ready to start this year from a place of strength.
So here is a little insight into my journalling; what I hope to lean into this year. Instead of writing resolutions, in true yogi style I have made intentions for the year.
My word for 2023 is change, the word just keeps coming up, and it’s already happening, in my physical location and my mindset. Change both in my personal life and my business.
4 words that have prompted my intentions are: more, invite, accept, build. After running through a few different options here is where I landed:
INVITE: Slowing Down
Kindness is something that comes easily, most likely my kind and caring mother being a role model. However, what I and many others struggle with is self-compassion, often talking to ourselves in a way we would never imagine speaking to someone else. Being hard on ourselves when things don’t go as planned, or we make a mistake. This year join me in being kinder to yourself, be your biggest cheerleader, be gentle when you're feeling weak, take the pressure off when it’s not necessary, seek comfort when it’s time to rest; listen in and be kind.
“Be kind to yourself as you proceed along this journey. This kindness, in itself, is a means of awakening the spark of love within you and helping others to discover that spark within themselves.” Tsoknyi Rinpoche
INVITE: Slowing Down
For the first 30 years on this planet I have tried to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of each day. Through learning and listening I now know why I find it hard to slow down, because when things slow down you are left with your own thoughts and emotions. Tasks act as distractions, for me personally if my mind is occupied it means I can’t be worrying about something else - which only works in the short term, as the anxiety will pop up when I least want it to if I don't give myself time to pause. I would rather do 10 rounds of chaturanga than sit for 5 minutes in silence. The thing is I know that slowing down is necessary; yang needs yin, day needs night, masculine needs feminine, for me I feel acknowledgement is half the battle, now that I’m aware I can work towards a slower more sustainable pace.
During the end of my holiday in December I started to read ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ by Susan Jeffers, until reading this book I didn’t realise how much fear was holding me back. I’ve never been afraid of a challenge, however the process of getting to the decision is always lengthy and fraught with anxiety and fear – neither of which are serving me. I need to learn to change fear from a destructive to constructive element of my life, to accept and acknowledge it rather than push it away.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” Franklin D. Roosevelt
I was listening to the Happy Place podcast (as I often do!) and the guest Dr Rangan Chatterjee was talking about the ancestral reasoning behind loneliness, which made so much sense. For our ancient predecessors it was necessary to live with others for survival, in order to have access to food, protection, shelter. If you happen to find yourself alone and an outsider, you won’t be supported by the tribe and much more vulnerable; this is still in our genetics today and therefore makes sense why we feel more anxious when alone. The aim with my business has always been to build a supportive community, those who want to focus on their wellbeing, build strength physically and mentally. Being on this journey together is so much easier than going it alone, surrounding myself with like-minded people is the goal. Making connections warms my heart, and its been wonderful being here in Bali and expanding my tribe.
So I have a challenge for you, hold these 4 words in your mind:
MORE, INVITE, ACCEPT, BUILD
See what comes up, this doesn’t need to be a pen and paper moment, just take 60 seconds to breath and reflect and see what appears. Maybe there is just one word that encompasses how you feel, honour that, tune into that and help it direct you this year.
If you’re wondering whether I’ll still be teaching all the way for Bali, the answer is YES! There are 3 ways you can continue to practice with me this Winter:
1. Starting 10th January, Fitness & Flow, Tuesday’s 18:30-19:30 for 6 Weeks.
Jo will take 30 minutes fitness followed by 30 minutes of yoga with me on the big screen at Kingswood Pavilion, Lansdown – BOOK HERE
2. Starting Sunday 15th January, Gentle Yoga, Sunday’s 10:00-11:00, online via Zoom.
Breath work, mindfulness practice & gentle stretches aiming to relax and de-stress – BOOK HERE
3. Yoga On Demand, available online anytime, free 7 day trial.
Access to 30+ pre-recorded yoga videos, of varying length & style at any time you wish, unlimited credits – DETAILS HERE
I’ll be in touch again next week with more snippets from my journal.