Our September Featured Namaste Yogini,Nicole Ann Neetz Haradahas a favorite inspirational quote attributed to Lena Horne:
"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it."
Funny thing about humans: we can be accepting of others and their boundaries, but we often have the worst time grasping that we have our own set of circumstances that shape what we are capable of at any given moment. As Meghan Casserly articulates inthis article, sometimes not trying to have it all allows you to fully enjoy everything you ever really wanted.
"The way you carry your load is a choice," says Namaste YoginiAbbey Reeves. "The load is a given. I may feel weak at first, but must never give up and carry it strong."
Atlas was condemned to hold up the world. Condemned. Even he took a break eventually, and we are far from condemned!
OurKatty Janushas a multi-step approach to handling a heavy load. She begins with rather simple steps. "I, for one, try to spread them thin!" Katty suggests not letting a burden that seems overwhelming make you feel paralyzed, and finding release through restorative practices such as yoga and meditation. "You can release yourself little by little, nothing lasts forever; but life goes on. It is up to you to move on, and leave hurt or difficulties behind."
So the next time you feel you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, remember the teachings of yoga and ask yourself why all of these attainments are so important? If your goals are ego-driven, perhaps it is time to re-think some or all of them. Sharing a load is not a sign of weakness, but rather of trust and the ability to know what one can handle, and when the talents of another will improve the situation.
"I always come back to yoga," says Namaste YoginiRena Phillips. "It helps me carry the load, relax into the load, uplift the load... not a bad sequence to work through, hey?"
The Takeaway: Five Tips to Lessen Your Load
1. Ask for help. Often, the people in your life will be eager to lend a helping hand. By simply asking for help, you can strengthen your relationships and lessen your load. Plus it will feel great when you have the opportunity to return the favour!
2.It’s okay to say no. Don’t have time to bake cookies for the school’s charity sale? Can’t imagine how you will squeeze in one more errand at the end of an overbooked day? When the people around you ask for something, you will always want to say yes, and most of the time, you probably will. So when you really do need to say ‘No’, trust that they won’t be upset!
3.Create realistic to-do lists. Sometimes we cause anxiety in ourselves because we write to-do lists that seem to go on for miles. While you may want to get all of your items done, sometimes you need to focus on what you can get done. If your to-do list never ends, you won’t get the sense of accomplishment that happens from ticking off that last item! Plus, that accomplishment is a great motivator to write another list and tick of all those items, so you may end up getting through your tasks sooner than if you had just left them all on one mega-list.
4.Get better gear. As the British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes once said, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” When you feel a storm of responsibilities coming your way, small improvements in gear or equipment can go a long way. Have you been fighting with an old and inefficient broom for years? Invest in something of high quality that will make you look forward to sweeping (or at least that will make the job easier and faster!)
5.Clear the decks. Having a clutter-free, clean, and tidy space to work brings a sense of calm to what might otherwise seem to be pure chaos. You would be amazed how much you can tidy up in just five minutes. Set a timer and try it out – we guarantee you will feel more energetic and ready to tackle your tasks as soon as you’re done!
Your turn! What is your favourite tip for lessening your load (or for making it more bearable)?