For the love of art

I have spent the last few weeks under an unprecedented amount of stress. I appreciate that that’s not an opening statement you expect to find on a yoga blog but it’s the truth. The reason being that I’m working on the marketing for a new London art fair taking place next month.

Having difficult conversations and cursing to the heavens has unfortunately become the norm and I wake up at 2am composing emails in my head. My brain is full of artwork deadlines, red-flagged emails and often the computer says no.

Deva Premal’s soothing chants are permanently on repeat on iTunes and I’m having to run my fingers over my forehead to release my furrowed brow. After sitting hunched over my laptop day after day I can feel my right shoulder inching up towards my right ear after hours of mouse-clenching.

Does any of this sound familiar?

I look at myself and it makes me think about why I started doing yoga: to cope with a stressful job in London.

My sister reminded me that it was only a few months ago when she was in a similar situation and I was spouting yogic pearls of wisdom about letting go, not being so attached to the results and offering tips on dealing with perfectionist tendencies.

It’s so much easier to give advice than listen to it yourself.

The other day in a yoga class I mentioned that, as well as teaching, I did freelance marketing work. “Oh I can’t imagine you doing that” said a regular student.

But teaching yoga is just one part of me. Ok, it’s a big part of me, but just because I calmly tell people to “inhale deeply” and “feel yourself sinking deeper into the mat” doesn’t mean that I have all the answers.

Us ‘teachers’ may be just as likely to have our feathers ruffled. We’re certainly not all perfect.
Perhaps it’s just that we have awareness to know that getting on our mats or repeating our mantra can help try and deal with stress and banish these negative thoughts and emotions. And you don’t have to teach yoga to figure that one out.
Fortunately this art fair will be over in a few weeks and I can return to spending my days wafting about on a cloud of omms and namastaying people in the Post Office.
It’s certainly hammering home the point that I am very much still a student.
How do you deal with stress? Any tips?

4 Replies to “For the love of art”

  1. dearest Clare
    I love this blog- very human which is what it’s all about- Even stressed you are the most wonderfully relaxing and inspiring teacher .

  2. good luck at the art fair, Clare! I always like to think of arjuna trying to escape the battle (perhaps of life) seeing that it is meaningless and full of suffering. He continues, however, because Krishna tells him he must do his duty – engage in the battle for the sake of the battle. There is a lot of freedom in that statement.

  3. I think the problem lies with this statement – “Fortunately this art fair will be over in a few weeks and I can return to spending my days wafting about on a cloud of omms and namastaying people in the Post Office.”

    It’s the approach that “sukha” (happiness) lies in the future and that the present is a challenge, a problem that we have to deal with and that when things will be different, we will be happy. I have experimented with myself on this philosophy and have found some wonderful results. Whenever I feel uneasy, laden with stress or thinking too much, I stop doing whatever I’m doinig for 5 or 10 minutes. I bring back my awareness to the present and look at my current list of action items and their order of priority. I start focusing on what needs to be done immediately, at that moment and start doing it right away. Then I’m able to execute tasks as I always wanted them to do, they get completed one by one without me worrying about the 11th item on the list and the results are taken care of without me going bonkers about the outcome.

    I’ve been trying to do this for the last couple of months and it seems to be working quite well!

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