Too long

I can’t believe it. It’s been almost 20 days since I last made an entry in this blog. I’ve just been too busy at work and at home to put together some thoughts on my practice or what I chanced across on the web related to yoga or what’s going on inside my head. It’s not because things aren’t happen to me and inside me. I still find time to read (on the Metro) and expand my knowledge. I keep being surprised and engaged by what takes place in my life, but I can’t seem to find a space for reflection.

Part of this shift in attitude is that my 9-to-5 job keeps me busy. Now a former web client has come back after a two-year hiatus and has given me consulting work that I can do on my “free time.” The extra cash is extremely welcome, indeed needed, and I enjoy accepting the challenge of learning new web development tools and meeting targets. But all the effort does not leave me with a lot of energy. But it has also meant an energy investment in getting up to speed again for doing this kind of work.

But I make a point of not giving up my practice — still getting to the studio four times a week, and doing meditation and pranayama the other days. At this stage of my life, I know that I cannot let down my guard. I need my practice to rebuild my strength, stamina and focus. I need to bleed off the internal pressure that I tend to build up over time, a self-imposed stress that can undermine my balance and push me back into depression. Ever since I left the States in 1974, I’ve put myself in situations in which I worked long hours — as an English as a second language teacher, as a journalist, as a researcher, and as a consultant. When assignments falls into your lap, you have to accept the opportunity because they may not come back again. In the old days, I would push my self to the physical and mental limits — and eventually paid the consequences. Now I have to gauge my endurance and recovery capacity and use my new life skills to manage myself better.

Another milestone that I’ve passed during the last six months is that I now have to define myself as a full-time writer. Ever since I had my mid-life meltdown, I’ve had to think of myself as a professional who has secondary skills as a writer. I was a helpdesk specialist or a web developer or an IT manager who used writing to get the job done. Now my primary job is writing and editing at CICAD. That shift in emphasis may seem small, but it’s significant for me because it’s how I define myself.