Another week has past, very similar to last week and the week before and the week before that…….as I’m sure it has for most of us, as we approach our sixth week in lockdown. Today as I sit here writing this weeks blog, I notice that no sun is streaming through my windows, the birdsong has gone quiet, the sky is grey, the rain is falling and there is even a chill in the air.  A sharp contrast to this time last week and yet I still feel a deep sense of happiness.

Interesting for our Yoga Nidra practice this week, I chose Happiness and it felt just apt for that to be the theme for this week’s blog too. We were welcoming, recognising and witnessing the emotion of happiness, what that FELT like in our bodies and recognising that it is simply an emotion that can come and go.  We also did the same for the opposite emotion, sadness or disappointment. Part of the power of this practice is the realisation that our emotions are transient, they are always changing, but the true essence of who we are remains constant. The other power is It allows you the SPACE to BE, this is incredibly powerful as I have discovered having space as opposed to time for me is the key to happiness. If you haven’t tried the Yoga Nidra yet, then please do – it’s a beautiful empowering way to start the day.

You see, over these weeks in lockdown I have felt happier, as I said in my “Great Pause’ blog.  My stress levels (that I didn’t even realise were there) have melted away and it feels great. I feel it in my body and in my mind. I like this happier me and I want this happier me to remain – the big question is, how am I going to do that when I am released from my bubble?

To help answer that question, I really need to know exactly what has made me happier and my first thought was ‘time’.  I thought it was that I now have the time to do more things for me – I’m exercising, reading, doing art, walking, cooking, teaching, meditating, connecting with family & friends – I’m doing all the things I love, but………..I was doing them all before?!  I lived by my diary, writing in everything I was going to do that day/week and constantly referring to it to keep me on track and on time.  Some of the things have changed, but I am still doing most of them and yet I was not as happy…………so time couldn’t be the issue……so what IS making me feel happier?

After more reflection and talking to the lovely Louise, it became startlingly clear that what was causing my increase in happiness was ‘SPACE’.

Instead of each day being incredibly organised and structured, to the extent that I would be mentally exhausted BEFORE I did the next thing in my diary, be it teaching a class or 2, seeing my grandkids or even going for a walk.  I was tired before and of course more mentally or physically tired after. The difference now, is I have the SPACE, I’m still teaching, still working, still exercising for me, still connecting (if not more so)…….but it is from a place of SPACE. That space has come about because I am less busy being busy, less haste, less distracted, less thinking, analysing and planning  – I am not as energetically drained.

As I have given myself space, I have been able to tune into my body more, my feelings more BUT I have also found that I am more productive, I am far more in the flow, I am loving teaching online, loving doing the Yoga Nidra, I’ve even enjoyed some of the admin.  I seem to be achieving more but without filling every hour of the day, without rushing from one thing to another, without the busyness and without the guilt of just being when I need to just be.

I know that I am learning lots about me during this lockdown and I hope that by sharing some of my experiences it allows you to learn a little more about you.

For me SPACE = HAPPINESS, what = happiness for you?