When staying still is good.
I’ve spent almost half of my life traveling. All those moments meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, indulging various cuisines, adrenalin adventures, picturesques locations and lists goes on, like with any avid traveller. I chose that path of career, being a flight attendant or ” trolley dolly” some would say, was my best ticket to my independence and seeing the world. It was wonderful, the best place at the stage of my life I thought I could be, but even the world seems too much for me to take when I slowly felt conflicted with the way I feel.
Never mind the jet lags, the ” I can’t eat another casserole of aeroplane food”, or even waking up and wondering which city I’m in, as my schedules got too hectic and the layover in each station was known as a ” pajamas flight” as it wasn’t long enough to do anything but get some sleep till you fly out of that city on a full load of travelers back. The mental and physical toll of it was unbearable when I come home and I feel like I’ve been smashed by a bus, when i fly non stop 19 hours from New York. Imagine trying to upkeep the image when you’ve had barely 5 hours of sleep in 24 hours and to be at your feet and physically demanding fighting with the heavy carts and pleasing all the passengers. I started looking for solace and recovery from my job and yoga was the total opposite of the life I’ve lived.
I first noticed how inflexible I was when I realize how I couldn’t reach for a fallen reading glasses on the plane, at the side of the seat. All I had to do was to fully lengthen my arms and reach for it but my body was in all aches and exhaustion that I strained my right shoulder muscle. It was on of those pain that I knew it was a long time waiting to happen. All those heavy bags, helping passengers with their bags in overhead compartments, pulling and pushing heavy trolleys that are over twice or three times my weight. I’ve come to a point where my body said to me, ” time out for recovery” and I know that my health is the most important to me.
The start of my yoga journey was an absolute liberation of doing justice to my body. I recalled how the articulation of my spine felt and the shoulders opening made me feel so restful yet strong at the same time. How my joints all had to stack nicely while I learnt the basic asanas and started breathing properly. I enjoyed every moment of staying still during meditation and melting away my stress and tension when I’m at Savasana. I knew, given a chance, I would come for my practice every day if I didn’t have to travel.
For awhile I relied only doing the practice when I’m back from traveling. There was always the excuse of not enough time during the layover or other agenda in mind during my stay that I lost momentum of the practice. Guilt inevitably sets in and I soon as I get home, my mind was set to be back on the saddle and get in the yoga practice. Why? I asked myself, is it too hard for me to be in tune with my internal self and be discipline? The hotel room was rarely big enough to sometimes put the yoga mat on the floor. The gym was too noisy and distraction from loud thumping music. The outdoor hotel courtyard didn’t feel safe with ” I know somebody’s watching”, or relently fighting off the mozzies. All I could think of was coming home and being in my living room and doing my practice. All I wanted was to be in the studio where I felt safe and happy, in gratitude with the presence of my Guru sharing her knowledge and friends around me, in tuned with the practice. I knew it was time to move on when I weighed what was more important to me. I wanted to stay still. Enough of the packing and unpacking of my bags for traveling, enough of the eating whatever is convenient and it’s not healthy. Enough of all the full make up, smell of nail polish and wasting time with the hairspray and endless battle with the hairdryer. I wanted normal. I wanted to stay put and stay still. I wanted what was good for my health and my sanity. There was no longer a motivation in the so-called career I was in. The rewards was hardly justifiable for what I ended up with. The politics with superficial people, rat
race, sucking up to management, and new generation of people working for the company. We call them ” The Strawberry Generation”, so easily bruised ( gets offended and takes every correction personally) and fresh graduates, with I’m too good for the job and attitude of a diva.
It has always been at the back of my mind to have a normal life. Being able to sleep at proper timing. Eating healthy, doing something more long term and settling and the moment came when all I wanted to do was wake up and sit still and meditate. To start my day with Suriya Namaskar and feel centered, in tuned with my aura. To even get ready for ” trolley dolly” felt like it was against my will. I knew it was time to move on. I knew staying still is good, and it’s what I need 🙂

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