Sthira: Strong, steadfast, resolute, courageous (root word meaning: to stand, to be firm)
Sukha: Ease, agreeable, gentle, mild (root word meaning: good space)
I quit my job in April 2016. I was making good money, but knew it wasn’t enough to make the stress worthwhile. I also realized I wanted to live a more creative life. But most importantly, I wanted to make a difference in this world. And being an Account Manager selling somebody else’s jackets didn’t feel impactful enough for me. I wanted to be creative daily, and I also wanted to create something: a business, a product, a service, something that could make an impact.
My first day after I quit, my mind and body would not quit. They both wanted to do something. Reflecting back, it’s easy to see how my sthira was strong (literally), and I wasn’t willing to sink into the ease of Sukha. I wasn’t willing to trust in the process that the universe was putting forth for me. Financially, my husband and I were stable and I didn’t need a job. Emotionally, I was unstable and felt I needed to hurry up and accomplish the creation I so desperately wanted to bring into this world.
But hello, where was my breather? Where was my time to sit still and contemplate what creation I wanted to bring into this world, in a mindful way? Instead of spending time in sukha, finding a quality creation I was willing to put my whole heart and soul into, I found myself driving forward and creating businesses, blogs, services and products faster than you can say CHARDONNAY.
If there is ever a doubt that the universe brings us exactly what we need, my husband’s work brought us to live in Sydney, Australia one year after I quit my job. Australians have a unique mindset. They’re laidback, have an impressive live-work balance, and a general contentment for life. Even in the 7 weeks we’ve been here, I’ve noticed the subtle but impressive changes between the American culture I grew up in, and the Australian culture I now have the indulgence of exploring.
It isn’t that Australians don’t work hard, because they absolutely do. But, because of their mindset, their entire business structure has been set up so that many businesses close at 5PM. And try to get a plumber at 3PM on a Friday? Think again. It allows for this gorgeous balance of sthira and suhka.
So here I am in a geographical place I so readily need, with teachers all around me. And, my sthira and sukha are still completely imbalanced. I am full sthira ahead, with two blogs I’ve built, two businesses I’ve launched, and perhaps 30 more ideas circling my brain. I keep thinking, there isn’t time for suhka because I’ll never accomplish anything if I don’t do something now. But I know that simply cannot be true. Just as in yoga asana, one must find a balance between the two, between strength and ease. Because how else can you hear the universe offering you the next step, if you’re too busy banging on his door?!
I wasn’t sure if I would know the answer at the end of this blog post. And you know what? I don’t. Can you tell I hate not knowing the answer to something? Oh sthira. I love my passion and my drive but, sometimes I wish you would take the backseat for a bit.
Here is what I do know. Just having the awareness that I am seeking balance between the two is enough for me today.
Perhaps, you read this and recognize you may have an imbalance between the two, as well? Life is always requiring of us the need to balance our bodies and minds. Being aware of an imbalance is the biggest gift you can be given, just as the universe did for me this week. It is a step in the right direction. If you have any comments or suggestions, I am gratefully open to your feedback and listening to your experiences.
In the meantime, I may just take a day off. OK, OK, maybe just the afternoon.
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Jamie is an American girl residing in Sydney, Australia. Not sure which she loves more: yoga or wine, Jamie created a blog all about both, and everything in between!