All of the change that is going on in my life right now can be intense at times but to be honest, that is the easy part. In New York, I was working in a fast-paced, demanding job where typically the day would fly by. On top of that, this past Fall, I was in a 200-hr yoga teacher training program that took up most of my free time. I was working in an office for 10-11 hours a day and then would go to the yoga studio after work and on the weekends. It was busy and stressful - sometimes that stress was a good stress but not always. I enjoy being busy and I thrive from a healthy amount of stress (there are definitely different types of stresses 'good' stress and 'bad' stress - but that is for another blog post, another day). In fact, as I was searching for something earlier today in my Gmail inbox, an old Gchat conversation thread popped up between Peppe and me. Amidst conversations of who was going to be home first to walk Pablo and what we were going to eat for dinner, I noticed a lot of common phrases popping up from my end of the conversation. "I am so tired" "my stomach hurts really bad" "I am so stressed" "I don't feel well" were all sprinkled throughout multiple days worth of conversations. I had no fantasies, however, that once I left NYC I would be able to enjoy and languish in my unemployment. Quite the opposite, in fact, I knew that this total shift in my daily 'buzz' level would be immense. Forget learning a language, starting a career and a new life in a different country - it is the in-between period, that feeling of being in limbo, that is the hardest!
Having something that is your own, where you feel a part of a community and where you can contribute is what makes our society go round. While some of you are probably saying, "Um, I would LOVE to sit inside and watch TV and eat mac and cheese all day (or spaghetti and ketchup, if you're a Swede)!" you are lying to yourself and you know it. The only time that actually feels good is after you have been working your bum off and you are able to reward yourself by relaxing and letting your brain just settle for a bit. That balance has to be there - there is no yin without the yang and there is no yang without the yin. You know, those black and white crescent shapes that fit together into a circle? The yin yang symbol that was doodled all over my 3rd grade notebook (and yours too, I'm sure:)) - the idea that symbol represents is actually incredibly profound.
I knew that it would drive me bananas to sit idle so the first week I was here I visited several yoga studios all around the city and asked about work/study and volunteer opportunities. Since I don't have my work visa yet - this was really the best that I could do! I was met with a few people who looked at me like I had totally lost it (thank you, Rejection Therapy for getting me over that hump!) but there were a few amazing souls who immediately took me in. Starting to find a home and a routine in this nordic wonderland feels great and finding myself increasingly integrated in the yoga community here feels even better. Hopefully, when my Visa rolls around, I will also be teaching some classes at these beautiful studios. If you are in Stockholm, you must come and check out Atmajyoti in Vasastan, Yogayama in Östermalm, and Urban Om in Norrmalm - you might even see my smiling face there!
Learning how to balance life is just as important when you are crazy busy and you can barely find a moment to breathe as when you are in a transition period and your life is not scheduled to the minute. Again, everything in this world has elements of yin and yang and we need both to feel that balance.
Now, I am pushing myself in a whole new way and it is energizing! I am sure that there will be days (and there have been already) when I am so tired, stressed out, not feeling well but I hope that those days are fewer and further between and I am able to take the yang part of my life and balance it with the enternal yin.