Wishing you a happy and gratitude-filled New Year!

I hope 2018 treated you well! Even if it felt like last year put you through the wringer, I’m willing to bet you secretly learned something important to you along the way.

My big takeaway from 2018 had to do with learning new ways to balance the way I use my time and energy for my own needs with how I contribute to the community of others with whom I am connected. I am happy to report that I did experience some victories and am sharing some of that story below. But first, a few super super-quick Kundalini Yoga kriya and meditation videos to help us keep up:

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

I’m used to keeping myself busy, and I have burned out in a big way in years past – a few times over. It was an unkind thing for myself, my loved ones and the larger community. I’ve also witnessed and held space for other people who burned out, sometimes with life-threatening consequences. 2018 brought it all back for review during a 3-month period when I somehow continuously and chronically overbooked myself. I made it through, but I finally got the lesson. A few things kept me going:

  1. Prioritization and Focus: I did the things that needed to be done, when they needed to be done – and focused on the things that only I could do. I let much of the rest go and gratefully accepted help from others when possible, especially when it allowed them to learn, grow and shine!
  2. Values and Vision: I reminded myself of the positive and compelling reason(s) why I was doing these things, and that it was my choice, not my obligation, to do them. I reminded myself that these are my responsibilities – my ability to respond, which includes the power to re-negotiate, delegate and defer action when appropriate and possible.
  3. Commitment to Self-Care: I gave myself the uncompromising promise of a real, honest-to-God vacation (and I followed through; it was glorious). I got decent sleep. I ate mostly healthy food. I walked around the block to clear my head once in a while. I protected some time for the people and activities that bring me joy, and I enjoyed them profoundly.

Will I ever be that busy again? Probably. And I will make sure to protect some time through all of it to recharge my batteries. It turns out that self-care really is important, not selfish.

I saw that in an infinite and abundant universe, when we take needed time for ourselves, we generously create opportunities for other people to step in and contribute in the ways they are uniquely able to do, or to learn and grow in the ways they need or desire to grow. I gratefully saw this in action at my job in a consulting firm. When others in the office took time to care for themselves and passed responsibilities on to me, they created opportunities for me to grow and contribute in new ways. They also supported me in sharing or handing off some of my responsibilities to give some of my other coworkers opportunities to grow or contribute in areas they are enthusiastic about.

It has worked beautifully. Because everyone knows we are supported by the group, we feel a greater ease and freedom in our work, as well as a camaraderie and trust that pulls us through the difficult times. Because we all pay attention to our needs as individuals, we are better able to manage our workload as a group and reduce the occurrence of stressful, overwhelming experiences. As individuals and as a collective, we have developed a stronger sense of when to say yes to new work or pitching in where there is need, and when to say no – or not now, because we already have enough going on and would not be effectively helpful, regardless of our good intentions.

I now look to the world around me and wonder: how awesome would the world be if this balanced way of being and interacting with each other went viral?

Cheers to a wiser and more balanced year in 2019!

~ Narayanjot Kaur