The Flow Of Our Days

“The secret heart of time is change and growth.
Each new experience that awakens in you adds to your soul and deepens your memory.

John O’Dohohue
Excerpt from Anam Cara

This is the summer that followed the year when life as we knew it stopped. After having lived through the last 14 months, it is only natural that there’s an urgency to begin again, to resume life as we knew it.

We lived through the darkness of winter. We experienced loss. We learned to navigate contradictions.
We opened up to aspects of ourselves that needed to be seen. We found ways to reach out and remind each other that we’re here. We got creative. Our resilience grew but we’ve been longing for our traditions and rituals, our people, and our tribes.

We are still confused about the rules of engagement but we are doing our best to re-enter our lives. Hard as we may try, it all looks and feels different. We are different. We have changed. How can we not?

What are you noticing in yourself and others these days?

Here’s what happened a few days ago, when I met a good friend for lunch. We had not seen each other in a really long time. When we arrived, we hugged and held onto each other a bit longer. We laughed. “Here we are, in person, can you believe it?” We sat and talked for almost four hours straight. We talked about our lives, our work, our families, and we also talked about the changes that have taken hold in us.

As we attempt to re-enter our public lives, we can see that our expectations and choices have changed. We are more clear about our needs, wants, and boundaries. The pandemic has changed the way we work with our clients in ways that we enjoy. We miss certain aspects of our social lives but not all of them. We have come to own who we are and who we are becoming.

I hear this from friends and clients alike. People are questioning and reevaluating their priorities, their relationships, their work environment, and their plans for the future. The long pause we entered more than a year ago forced us to take a closer look at ourselves, our habits, our beliefs, and our decision-making process. Maybe we were long overdue.

Sadly, many people remain trapped at one window, looking out every day at the same scene in the same way. Real growth is experienced when you draw back from that one window, turn, and walk around the inner tower of the soul and see all the different windows that await your gaze. Through these different windows, you can see new vistas of possibility, presence, and creativity.
Complacency, habit, and blindness often prevent you from feeling your life. So much depends on the frame of vision – the window through which you look.

John O’Donohue

I have been living in that space between endings and new beginnings for a while now. It’s been a slow process and the pandemic has a lot to do with it. Whatever plans Neal and I had, were put on hold. My new beginnings are shaping up differently than I thought initially. I find that I don’t mind it. My perspective is changing. I am learning to accept my lack of control and I am taking this time to rethink the original plan. Maybe it was not the best plan overall.

The shifts that are taking place are mostly interior. Some days, I wake up and realize that a burden that I had carried for some time is now suddenly off my shoulders. I can breathe again.

Then, there are days when uncertainty and fear get the best of me and I have to remind myself that in this very moment and right where I stand, all is well. And sometimes, the universe sends me little reminders to make sure that I don’t take myself too seriously.

As if on cue, this quote from Matt Haig, the author of the Midnight Library, popped up on my Instagram feed… “Continually looking for the meaning of life is like looking for the meaning of toast. It is sometimes better just to eat the toast.” It made me laugh.

It is in moments like this that I tell myself, “Go ahead, eat the toast, take a walk, hug your friend. Take the time to reflect on the goodness of your life and exhale. Just go with the flow.”

What about you? How are you doing these days?

Do you notice feeling tentative, apprehensive, and slightly off?

Are you questioning yourself because you can’t quite find your footing?

Do you look at yourself and wonder?

If you are indeed feeling tired or apprehensive, what do you do? Do you push yourself and keep going, or do you take a step back and give yourself some time and space before you decide how to move forward?

What about the people in your life? Do you feel the time has come to evaluate your boundaries and stand strong and grounded in what you know to be good for you? Are you ready to stop saying yes when you’d rather say no?

How does self-care look for you these days?

Ask yourself what it is you need. Do you need quiet time, alone? Do you need time to think before you make a decision? Would you prefer to maintain a slower pace for now? Do what you have to do to take good care of yourself.

Your body always knows. When you try to figure things out, scan your body. When you contemplate doing something or being with someone and your body tenses, that’s your hint. Take a moment to think it through.

Acknowledge the changes that have taken hold. How do you feel about them? You may discover that you are not willing to let go of some of these changes.

We are constantly in a state of reinvention. Each day we are given the opportunity to start anew. You don’t have to jump on the bandwagon of what used to be without thinking it through. You are not who you were a year ago and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe deep down you had been wishing for some of these changes.

What are your thoughts? Take a moment and share with us below.

As a life coach and retreat leader, Yota works with women seeking clarity, inspiration, and purpose in the midst of life changes. Her approach is intuitive and deeply influenced by her cultural roots, work and life experience, and her long-term practice of mindfulness meditation.

4 Comments

  • Linda Samuels

    My Dear Yota- How lucky I felt to share that extended hug and luxurious four-hour conversation with you. The time just stood still as we talked about life now, before, and to come. As I read your post, all of the ideas resonated with me. It has been QUITE the year. A year of loss, quiet, contemplation, and pivots. While there were so many difficult things, those were balanced by the silver linings. There were internal and external shifts. Some were intentional. Others just happened. But through all of the changes, I did my best to do three things- remain gentle, flexible, and engage in extra self-care. Part of that self-care came in the form of going to the amazing monthly retreats that you created. Each one had its own theme. And somehow, whatever theme you picked was exactly what I needed in that moment. I was always happily surprised by the things that surfaced from the questions you posed and quiet space you provided. You have this unique way of gently crafting room to allow “stuff” to emerge. It’s a gift. You’re a gift, and you are one of this past year’s silver linings. I’m so happy for our friendship, connection, and our recent in-person lunch. Grateful for and to you, my friend. With love and hugs. Linda

    • Yota Schneider

      Dear Linda,

      Thank you for your trust and friendship and for always showing up with a smile and an open heart. I am deeply grateful for your friendship and ongoing support.

      Watching you navigate the past year with all it brought to you and your family, the joy and the loss, the endings and new beginnings, and whatever was visible to me, made me appreciate even more your creativity, resilience, grace, and hopeful spirit. You try to walk your talk, gently but firmly. I deeply respect that. You are an inspiration.

      The monthly gatherings have been a place of support and inspiration for me too. I couldn’t do it without your full presence and loving participation. I feel fortunate and grateful for the time we share.

      Here’s to more rich conversations, shared laughs, and warm hugs.

      With love,

      Yota

  • newlife5790

    Oh, Yota,

    Your posts always resonate so deeply and this one. Whewwww! All of the above!
    Thank you for putting it all into a more organized perspective.Two years and a few months of major shifts.
    Along with the amazing challenges I have set more boundaries with myself and others. I have quietly and at times ( oh dear) not so quietly! said goodbye to people and patterns that are no longer serving me. I have gained so much self-knowledge. Despite the pain that one must endure during those “dark nights of the soul” experiences in life, it is worth the journey. A good shaking to your core brings so many blessings and such Gratitude for the love and support of all. Ditto with your friend’s comment above! You are truly “A gift”.

    Tara

    • Yota Schneider

      Dear Tara,

      It’s been a long, hard road and you are walking it with grace, courage, and the willingness to grow and learn. Through it all I hope you can see how resilient and loving you continue to be. Night always gives way to day and you are really good at finding the light and beauty that is there, even in the midst of uncertainty.

      Take good care of yourself.

      Big hugs and love!

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