Yesterday I payed it forward. I went over to my friends house and helped her create an art studio in her home. Being on the move for the last 6 months has meant that old friends and catchups have had to be put aside for train schedules and sightseeing. Don’t get me wrong I love travelling and sharing the beauty and power of Yoga, but I also love hanging with my girlfriends and doing things together that feel worthwhile. Karma Yoga is often described as selfless service. When we are talking about ourselves as individuals, our likes and dislikes, needs and expectations it’s anything but selfless but when we do something for someone else its easier to forget our worries and focus on the good. Why? Because our personal desires, and sense of “I”, “me” and “mine” are suspended for some time.
In helping my friend I am actually helping myself plus it’s so much more rewarding to tackle a task with support from a friend. Often its hard to ask for help. We feel we should go it alone, or no one has the time, or we aren’t worthy. The list for why not to ask is endless. And I have to admit I am one of those people who does find it easier to help then to ask. But that’s changing.
In the last two weeks my car blew a gasket and the gas bottles both ran out just before dinner. It’s amazing how quickly friends rally to help when you let them know you need it. Within an hour of losing my car a friend offered me a car, another friend told me where I could hire a car and someone else was happy to help me pick up both cars . And the same goes for empty gas bottles. within minutes my neighbour came over with a camp stove so I could have a hot meal.
Paying it forward is an interesting concept. rather then doing something for the person who helped you, you help the next person who comes along. Just recently my good friend Lyn Ruming from Simply Beautiful Spaces came over and helped me arrange my new home in such a way that each room felt cosy and functional. Lyn has helped me with several houses and each time her understanding of flow and form has transformed my home life.
As I was helping my friend create her art space she remarked that I’d learned a lot from Lyn. Often when we come into a space we are afraid to move things around to see what works. When Lyn and I looked at each living space we moved each piece of furniture around until it felt right. It was an intuitive process, a bit like making up a yoga sequence. You know you’ve found the perfect combination of poses when you feel grounded and expanded and ready for anything. Experimentation is the key in any task we undertake.
After dismantling a bed, lugging an tressle table from her loft, filling an old fishbowl with fake flowers, arranging art materials, hanging rose flower fairy lights and installing a comfy chair for contemplation the room felt complete. In fact it felt so good we couldn’t help gravitating towards it again and again.
“I can’t thank you enough,” my friend said, as she hugged me, ” how can I ever repay you?” I didn’t think of saying it then, as her loving hug and excitement were enough reward, but the next time we talk I’ll suggest she pay it forward too.
Do you want to explore some of the deeper aspects of Yoga in an intensive format? Why not join our next Teacher Training in October and deepen your practice on every level?