When I reached out to Kathryn for this interview, we had never met. Whatever I thought I knew about her was pieced together from mutual friends and—what else—social media. From the outside, she seemed to have it all: a happy marriage, a hugely successful career, and a multidimensional platform that included books, DVDs, and endorsements. Then, in what felt like a surprising shift, those tiny squares on Instagram began to tell a different story. While I had always admired her success, I became more interested in the fact that she appeared to be walking away from it all. Here’s someone who, at the top of her game, decided that the success for which she had worked so hard no longer made her happy. What I was surprised to learn over the course our conversation was that, at the height of her career in the yoga industry, Kathryn was miserable.
Ah, summer—I’m not ready to see you go. As we quickly approach what feels like the seasonal finish line, I’m in no rush to be busy. Nope, I’ll just stay right here and soak up the last of these slow, spacious days.
This summer, for me, has been all about space. Billy and I traveled to California (space away from New York) and spent time with friends (space to relax and have fun); we spent a week in Vermont with my whole family (space for my heart); I taught my annual retreat at Heathen Hill (space for practice and fresh air); and I pulled back on work (space away from what I do, which gave me some space to connect with who I am).
A Day In Napa
Billy and I took a drive out to Napa in a convertible. It was a beautiful day and we cruised under the hot sun with the top down. We visited three wineries and enjoyed some quality time just the two of us. It had all the makings of a perfect trip, and still, I struggled to shake my disappointment. Napa just wasn’t what I wanted it to be. There, I said it.
I’m writing this post on my vacation because I’ve been thinking a lot about work. I know—you’d probably rather read about my weekend in LA, or my wine tasting adventure in Napa, or my dinner at Chez Panisse. Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Here’s an idea, Chrissy: Why don’t you try not writing a blog post while you’re on vacation?” You would be making an excellent point. Why in God’s name would I want to talk about work?
Align With Your Why
When we think about what we really want, we don’t always consider what we’re willing to endure to make it happen. In fact, the seemingly insurmountable challenges that inevitably arise along the way force us to prove our commitment to the path. Life likes to test our resolve. If the why behind our efforts is not compelling enough, we might not find the strength to see it through.
The Space to Feel
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali defines asana, or posture, as both steady and easeful. The third step on the eightfold path towards Self-realization, sutra 2.46 originally described the seat for meditation; it should provide a structure to support the practice, but should also be comfortable so as not to contribute to the mind’s penchant for distraction. Within the context of modern yoga, sthira sukham asanam applies to the full spectrum of postures and invites the practitioner to find a balance between effort and ease.