December 21, 2011

The 5th Niyama & One Foot in Front of the Other.

Greystones from the North.

I just read Waylon’s latest (I haven’t gone far in life).

He muses over how we seem to move around a lot nowadays, how people don’t tend to stay in the places where they were born and brought up. Waylon has been around a bit but, he’s living back where he spent a lot of time as a kid and he has memories for every spot he cycles past.

Next year is my eighteenth year living in Ireland. Nearly half my life I’ve spent here and the majority of it, living in County Wicklow… Ireland’s garden county on the east coast. This place has become my home. It feels like I know everyone and it seems strange that my friends aren’t childhood ones.

Just over a couple of years back, I left for love. East valley, Phoenix, Arizona was to be my new home. I had waited for eleven months for the Fiancé visa that would see me leave my secure job, friends, family and life behind but, within just a few days of being there, the wedding was off. She’d told me not to come apparently but, I’d missed that memo somewhere. I certainly wouldn’t have given up my life if I knew she didn’t want me but, that’s all water under the bridge now.

Rather than coming home with my tail between my legs, I was excited about the new possibilities I had. My house (well, it’s actually a mobile home) had been completely re-decorated by the Landlord. He’d heard I was coming back and held onto the place for me so, I moved straight back in, somewhat lighter as I just had two bags, a guitar and my yoga kit but, it was home again.

I wish the same could have been said for my job. I had been a golf-course Greenkeeper all my life and this last course I had worked on for seven years, the longest I’d been in any one job. They were glad to get rid of me though. Ever since they’d heard about the visa, management would ask me “Any news, when are you going?” With the global downturn, I was just seen as money that could be saved and there was no job waiting for me when I got back.

That’s when I started writing about yoga. I had nothing else to do so, while trawling the internet for jobs, I’d read elephant journal and get inspired about yoga and everything else.

Two years or so down the road and not only am I writing for Elephant, I’m also Culture Editor. A role I gladly took for free as it gives me experience working in journalism. That stands to me for College, where I am studying print journalism for two years, finishing in June next year. Not really a career choice as such, which is good because, the way print media is going… well you know what I mean…

Waylon’s article got me though, because it’s that time of year now when we’ve all got a bit of introspection going on. That’s what winter and especially Christmas is about for me. Time to rest up and think about the next jump. I’m a Pisces and a friend of mind used to say that I’m like a Salmon going upstream…. If you only saw me resting in a calm pool you’d think I was lazy and at nothing but, if you’d wait long enough, you would see me take a gigantic leap up a huge waterfall and I’d be gone out of sight!

It’s difficult to visualise what will happen next year though. There’s a certain amount of comfort in having full-time work. This time of year and heading into the new year sees working people taking holidays, being with friends and family and thinking about making resolutions for next year. Giving up smoking, exercising more, eating less… the usual stuff. But, with no work and no chance of the work the way I know it or, any other way for that fact, in this area, it’s difficult to know what to focus on.

Having a few strings to the bow can be good. I’m a qualified yoga teacher, I’m a qualified Musician, I’m a qualified Greenkeeper (in June I’ll be a qualified Journalist) but, one thing I don’t want to be is a Jack-of-all-trades. Focus can be hard and I end up getting paralysed by choice in situations like this. 

A friend who recently moved to Pennsylvania and got married, is doing ok and has suggested I go out and teach yoga (He teaches drums and is looking at new premises so, there could be room for me). It’s got me thinking that maybe I’m going to have to move out of Ireland if I want to keep moving.

Part of me doesn’t want to leave. Like I said before, it’s my home in Greystones and I have the beach to sit on and watch the waves, the mountains to walk in and the trees to smell.  The next year is going to see me have to make some difficult choices though. I’m at the right age… young enough that I’ve the energy and motivation, old enough that I have some experience and wisdom. Now’s the time for me to make the decisions that’ll shape the rest of my life.

The young Irish are leaving in their thousands. Working in Canada and Australia and there’s talk of a new type of visa for the young Irish going to the USA. I’ve missed that boat to a certain extent though.

So, yet another yoga lesson to learn. This time it’s the practice of Ishvara-pranidhana .

Literally translated in its closest form, it means “Surrender to God” and although I’m sure there are many different ways to view the practice, for me personally it is about focusing on the little parts of my daily life and trying to do the best I can. Realising that everything is divine and has divinity within.

I get stressed when I try to think about all the details of where I am and what I am achieving. “Am I doing the right thing?” “Should I do that?” “Should I do this?” but, with intention and attention then I can’t really go wrong. Whether I stay here in Ireland or, my path leads me elsewhere, I only need to put one foot in front of the other and keep on moving on.

Bonus song….


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