I love my job! Do you?

Not everyone knows this but I have a couple of degrees. I followed up my 4-year MA Honours in English Literature & Sociology with a year-long Master of Science in Marketing. I then spent a year travelling in Australia. Mostly I did this because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life so I tried to delay getting a “real job” for as long as I could.

Eventually, in 2001, I could delay no longer and took a low-level management consultant position with the big accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers … and I HATED it! I knew from the very first day that I was not suited to big-business and I only survived for about 9 months before I made my escape.

I ended up in Vancouver where I discovered Kundalini Yoga and my real job was born! I knew from that moment that I was destined to be a Yoga Teacher and I can honestly say that I have LOVED my yoga teaching career for (almost) all of my 16 years.

But what I really love is being able to pass my knowledge onto others at an even deeper level, which is why I love delivering teacher training so much. In fact, the past weekend saw the start of a new Yoga Teacher Training course and I just love my new students and can tell already that they will make excellent yoga teachers!

Loving my job is also why I have spent months crafting the Stretch Your Biz online business course to help people who have just qualified as Yoga Teachers, or Pilates Instructors, or Massage Therapists, or Nutritionists, or many other wellness professions, to create a career that they love as well.

And while I have loved being a yoga teacher I have also experienced the agony of burn-out (and a subsequent diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder). So, I can speak from experience to prevent others from experiencing the same and to ensure that they have a job they love and that loves them back by providing a decent income. All of which makes me enjoy my current job even more!

I don’t know if your experience of work is similar to mine. But I would love to. (I’m nosy that way!) Please share your job highs and lows on the Facebook group. And if you are interested in taking your own wellness practice into a full-time position and think that Stretch Your Biz might help you’ll be thrilled to know that you’re not too late! The course starts THIS Friday – 1st July – and I’d love you to join me.

In the meantime, I am sunning myself in Jersey where I’m on holidays for a few days. I will be in touch in a couple of weeks!

Urgent VS Important

So, a couple of weeks ago I told you I needed to change my way of working so that I was doing less “busy work” and more important stuff. However, since then I seem to have spiralled into a vortex of unimportant crap leaving me with urgent deadlines when there shouldn’t have been.

  • Take this blog post for example: I’m writing it late on Monday night when I’ve had over a week to get it ready.
  • Take my latest Yoga Teacher Training as another example: I’ve known since January that the course would be starting in May but, since my big push at the OM Yoga Show in April I haven’t done a thing to promote the course and so the numbers are lower than I would’ve liked and we’re now starting a month later than planned.
  • Then take my new online business course – Stretch Your Biz – as a final example: Other than the initial emails and couple of social media posts when I revealed the sales page I have done ZERO to advertise it and so I have zero clients to show for it.

I am currently in a situation where I have created these things which are very important to me but I am sabotaging them by not scheduling tasks properly and making everything in my life seem urgent rather than important. This type of activity is discussed in the Eisenhower decision matrix  or, more simply, the Eisenhower Box which is shown below.

urgent important box

By making everything urgent I have made myself reactive but by focusing on what is important I will once again become creative. So, I am now looking at the things in my life and deciding to get rid of the not urgent & not important (stop the endless Facebook scrolling); to minimise the urgent & not important (only check emails twice a day and certainly not first thing in the morning); to dedicate time to the important & not urgent (planning and structuring the Stretch Your Biz course) and getting on with the urgent & important (sending out emails about the Yoga Teacher Training and Stretch Your Biz).

I now urge you to do the same. Look at what you’ve got going on in your life and decide which quadrant each task fits into and what you’re going to do about each. Then, only if you have time, send me an email and let me know how you’re getting on.

And, in line with what I’ve just said, expect to see a few more emails from me in the next couple of weeks explaining about the StretchBodyMind Yoga Teacher Training and Stretch Your Biz and how you can be a part of the StretchBodyMind world.

Starting over (again)

Last week’s post was the fifth in my series of Money May posts and allowed me to introduce my newest online creation – Stretch Your Biz.

This week I want to take the opportunity to announce that the Weekly Stretch Note (and this blog) is having another makeover! First off, we are moving from a Friday to a Tuesday and secondly, I will no longer be blogging and emailing you every week but will change to a fortnightly post.

I know another change might seem sudden, especially after all the work I did on my homepage and links a couple of weeks ago, but it is essential.

Let me explain:

  1. In the process of creating Stretch Your Biz I realised that in order to do more of this creative work I need to give myself time to let that happen. Yet, if I’m worrying about writing a blog post every week I am in the mode of “busy work” which is not particularly creative.
  2. As the Stretch Your Biz course starts (on July 1st if you’re interested!) I will want to dedicate my time to my students and, again, if I’m trying to come up with weekly content for my blog I won’t be able to be as present for them as I’d like.
  3. When I restarted the blog back in January it was with a promise to be more true, more real, more honest and yet, as inevitably happens when I’m in “busy work” mode, I feel that the honesty has been replaced with a more corporate tone and I don’t like it.

So, I’m holding my hands up and admitting that I need to press pause and start over again.

My hope is that the fortnightly schedule for posting will allow me more time and space to talk about what’s really going on in my life (and how it might relate to your own) and the Tuesday posting day will mean I can structure my time better (and not end up sitting up to 1am on a Thursday night to finish my post on time, after procrastinating over it all week). Er, just like I’m doing right now!

In order to honour myself and my creativity I wish to let you know that the next email from me won’t be until Tuesday 14th June. Feel free to tell me what you think about this latest change by emailing me or commenting on the StretchBodyMind Facebook Group. I love you and I want what I write to have an impact on you – to get you thinking or to get you talking – and I know that starting over will allow me the space to do that. Plus it will make for a much more interesting read!

Money May 5/5

As you know if you’ve been reading my blog posts recently, I have renamed this month “Money May”.

I’ve been good this month with changing my money mindset and my money mantras, with tracking my money as it comes in and goes out and, last week, wth clearing the slate (both in my home and online).

Now, as the month ends, my plan was to introduce a new online programme to help you do something similar. But, as often happens when you have something of great importance to impart,

I’ve been “stuck”.

I’ve procrastinated like crazy over the sales page (never mind the course itself) and I have doubted my ability to offer value to you, my precious students and subscribers.

And then … during one of my procrastinating journeys through the internet I found this post from last year:

Lastly, but most importantly, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate Victoria Cunningham-Downey (stretchbodymind.com). My teacher, who got me serious about yoga, and opened up my whole world with her yoga teacher training. She’s such a support to me and regularly catches up no matter what’s going on in her busy, hectic life. She even sends work my way when she can’t do it! I still remember my first class with her, after bouncing about various teachers in Glasgow and never finding a good fit, suddenly here was this funny, sweary, tattooed yogi who loved pizza and constantly talked about her wee dog Foxy. She’s amazing, if you have a chance to attend one of her classes you absolutely should, and if you can’t then you should look into her online courses.

Nicky Haston at mykindalifestyle.com/2015/07/01/cookies-and-heroes

So, thank you Nicky, for reminding me that my work is necessary. Since reading these lovely words I have been reinspired and the creative muse has reconnected with me! And, as it turns out, the programme I have developed is even better than what I was initially planning!

I am proud to announce that I will be launching my new online business course – Stretch Your Biz – on Friday 1st July.

If you want to read all about it (and I sincerely hope you do) just click on THIS LINK where you’ll be taken to my sales page for the course. And, if you want to sign up please do so for HALF PRICE! It is suitable for Yoga Teachers and Pilates Instructors, Dance Teachers and Fitness Instructors, basically anyone in the wellness field, whether you’re new or you’ve been in business for a while but could do with some motivation. Even if you’re busy this summer and cannot attend the live round of the course you get access to the materials for life. Basically, it’s a “no-brainer”!

Money May 4/5

This week of Money May was all about clearing the decks or, to put it simply, decluttering. My good friend Emma – AKA Miss Manifestation – says that her favourite thing to do is move house because it gives her the chance to declutter like crazy and open the energy up to new things.

Decluttering is your friend. Space is your friend. Let go of what is no longer serving you. Whether that’s things or situations or people. Take steps now to clear the space and be delighted at what rushes in to fill the void.

So, following her advice, I have finally completed my unpacking and found a place for everything. I have brought clothes and books to the charity shop and Chris has been busy making desks and shelves and organising his shed. It feels so good to have space for our own projects again and I now have a dedicated yoga and meditation space which I adore and which is making me feel so much more grounded and productive as a result.

As part of my whole “clearing your decks” theme this week I decided to make some changes online as well. So, if you look around the StretchBodyMind website you’ll see bright new logos on the sidebar and footer of each page. Each of these logos link to a course that I have done or a resource I have used and recommend.

  • Right at the top we have the Max Strom weekend which I can promise will be a life-changing weekend! Seriously. Get yourself booked on NOW!
  • This is followed by a sign-up form to the Weekly Stretch Note which I highly recommend if you want to keep up-to-date with the shenanigans of me and Foxy
  • Then we have an exciting new link to the Curvy Yoga virtual studio which I’ve just started doing and I love. In fact, I love it so much I am currently training with the founder, Anna Guest-Jelley, to become the first Curvy Yoga Teacher in Scotland!
  • Next up are some testimonials from former students that I’m very proud of
  • Then we have a couple of my professional accreditations – the Yoga Alliance Professionals and my Coach Training
  • The sidebar ends with a link to my Yoga Teacher Training and links to all my social media outlets
  • At the end of each page there is a footer which has links to my 3 favourite personal and professional development programmes. These are Leonie Dawson’s Shining Business & Life Academy; Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map and Denise Duffield-Thomas’s Lucky Bitch Manifesting Course. I really rate all three of these programmes and suggest you click on the links and check them out for yourself.

The last link is all about a fantastic manifesting course, which brings me right back to the start of my post and the idea that you cannot manifest anything new into your life until you have cleared out the old stuff.

So, for me, it feels good to have bookshelves that are lightly less full and it has allowed me to rediscover old books I wanted to reread (or even start in the first place – yes Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”; I’m looking at you!)  It feels good to have a kitchen where we can find everything and I’ve even been cooking as a result. Finally, it feels AMAZING to have room to stretch and move and breathe every morning and my physical yoga practice is benefitting as a result but, more importantly, my business is benefitting too because I have the necessary headspace to be creative at long last. And I will tell you more about that next week…

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