I’ve been feeling frazzled. My life feels like a never ending task list. I’m juggling lots of complicated things, am lucky enough to have work that I love, but like most of us, face challenges that are made more stressful in a recession. My particular challenges include growing SHARE and making it sustainable, finding new work for Beanstalk, and finding markets for my fiction. Oh, and there’s my partner’s big birthday to organise, too… It’s all good, this is not a moan, but there’s a toll in terms of keeping my energy high. How do people cope with small children or frail elderly relatives? Anyway, while I was looking something up on the internet for a client, I stumbled upon a page on ayurveda, and realised that my vata was all out of balance. I ticked all the boxes. So I decided to pop into the little health shop in Streatham to pick up some herbal remedies as a starter. The man who runs the shop is called Mahesh, and he’s always very helpful. I told him my symptoms and he recommended some pills, and then he asked if I had ten minutes. “I’d like to give you a mantra and show you some breathing,” he said. “Just ten minutes”. Part of me wanted to say no, I need to be at work. That was my should/must/ought-spouting Parent. But the Child in me said yes. Yes, I have ten minutes. I followed Mahesh into his basement where there’s a tiny consultation room. We sat opposite each other, and he took me through yogic breathing exercises which were familiar, but which I hadn’t thought, in my frazzledness, to use. I started to feel calmer. And then we chanted. There’s something wonderfully freeing about chanting with and in response to another. He wrote it all down for me to do at home, and when I went to give him some money, declared he’d only take a donation for the temple and that the sum I was offering was way too much. Smiling, he encouraged me to come again, and I left feeling blessed. He’d put me back in touch with what really matters, helped me to get things in perspective.
The point of this blog is that if we’re open to it, help and kindness is there, waiting for us. But we have to be willing to say yes to opportunities that lead to healing, and no to ever more tasks. And we have to stop, even if just for ten minutes. I’ve come to the end of coaching contracts with three lovely clients this week, and what they’ve all said is how valuable it’s been to take time out to think, to reflect, to explore. So if you, like me, have been feeling a bit frazzled (not to mention sun-starved!), then stop, have a look around you, and look for where your Mahesh may be waiting. And in being more open, you too may be an angel for someone in need.