I’m writing to you from a pristine, remote, tropical island in Indonesia. The Mentawai Islands are well known for their legendary glassy surf breaks, turquoise blue waters and unspoiled ocean life. Even though it's winter, it's warm. At 7 am, I am barefoot, in my bikini and sarong (standard uniform), having just finished my morning meditation and yoga practice and ready to head out for a surf after I've savoured a delicious healthy breakfast and finished my 'work' for the morning.
Yes, this is my life!
Now before you start despising me, know that it hasn't always been this way.
I have consciously created this for myself.
Three years ago I woke up one morning and I couldn't get out of bed. I wasn't just tired.
My whole body had shut down. It was as if it had decided that I wasn't listening to the gentle signs it was giving me, so it had to do something drastic to make me wake up.
At that stage, I was working 16 hours a day and ignoring the fact that I had constant anxiety and that my stress levels were extreme. I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I just couldn't move.
The diagnosis was chronic fatigue, adrenal dysfunction and hyperthyroidism. But it wasn't until almost a year later – through a natural healer – that I came to realise this. All the western doctors before had told me that I was depressed and needed to go onto medication. I wasn't depressed. I was exhausted!
I was the ultimate 'superwoman' trying to do it all. Like so many women nowadays, I was giving, giving, giving until I was drained and depleted. I had nothing left to give. I was the ‘Burnout Yogi’.
My story is not unique. I've heard it from my clients, from the ladies who come on my retreats, from my friends, and from other women who have lost so much because they were pushing too hard.
Yes, you are strong, and you can do anything you want…but you can't do EVERYTHING at once. Eventually, something is going to give – whether it be your health, your relationship, your career, or your children's happiness – something will fall apart.
So ask yourself - is the stress worth it? I decided it wasn't, and so I redesigned my life.
I sold my wellness business and my car, moved out of my home, gave away most of my belongings, and moved to Bali.
I decided that I didn't want to be so ‘yang’ anymore. I was tired of pushing, striving, achieving, doing and being busy all of the time. What was I doing it all for anyway?
One lazy afternoon during my newly-designed life - while I was floating on my SUP board gazing down at the clear ocean and watching turtles swim beneath me - I had a burst of inspiration and came up with the concept of ‘LIVING YINLY’.
Living Yinly is a combination of ancient healing tools (yoga, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda) and modern life coaching techniques. It’s about living more simply, more gently, more calmly, more peacefully, more in harmony with nature, and more connected to yourself and your loved ones. It's a totally different life to the one with which the western world is familiar, and it views 'success' in a very different light.
It is my new normal, and how I live my life. And I am passionate about empowering others to do the same so that they too can stress less and live more!
While most of the world has been in lockdown, I have been blessed to explore a peaceful Bali and the surrounding islands. Some may say that I am lucky. But I can tell you now - it's not luck. It's taken three years of careful strategising and planning on my part, plus the Universe realigning me back to my path. Luck had nothing to do with it. Trust, faith and being brave enough to listen to my intuition, on the other hand, were crucial.
I have created this life for myself - and I am not the only one who has done so. There are many of us living our best lives here in Bali and around the world. We are living a simple life that brings us much joy, balance and freedom. On the boat yesterday, out of the corner of my eye, I caught my boyfriend beaming at me and I asked why he was smiling. “Because of our amazing life,” he replied.
You too can create more freedom, balance, health and happiness for yourself by living yinly. It's time to slow down, tune in, let go and wake up so that you can live your best life!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sharni is a wellness and lifestyle consultant, international yoga teacher, life coach, author and speaker. She inspires and empowers others to stress less and live more through her Living Yinly online programmes, coaching and retreats. To learn more, visit www.sharniquinn.com or follow her @sharniquinn_wellness on Facebook and Instagram.