Today’s Power of Practice juicy goodness comes from yoga teacher and energy healer Patty Kikos. What Patty has to share with us in her post is super important for you to hear, especially if you’re a soulful entrepreneur or you’re thinking about starting up your own business. There is a sense of balance, a need to create harmony between your business and your personal life. We all think that by being our own boss we’re going to have more time, more freedom, and more chances for chai tea under the shade of our favorite tree while reading a book. Sadly that’s not reality, despite what some online entrepreneurship and business coaches will tell you. Finding that balance and having systems in place to keep you centered, focused, and on tract at the keys to not having sleepless nights or weeks on end without a day to yourself.
Patty’s been there! Here’s how she is creating a balanced life and biz with her spiritual practices.
Guest Post by Patty Kikos
What is a weekend?
For many years, I longed to work for myself and experience the freedom of choosing my own hours and clients & to dance to the beat of my own drum. When self employment opportunities came knocking, I’d make a beeline to answer them – often at the expense of my health and with no consideration for my own personal boundaries.
There are days when it’s just so delicious to wake up and have nothing to do or to feel the excitement of living my dreams after having liaised with inspiring, soulful entrepreneurs. But there are other days when I wish my boss (err, me) was not such a relentless task master that only experiences a day off in a galaxy far, far away.
There are a few rituals that help to keep me in alignment with my truth to ensure that my life is balanced and not so focused on work outcomes. Much like my life experiences, these rituals are ever changing which reminds me to be flexible and open to changes.
My ‘daily routine’ is very seasonal. It revolves around the sunrise and the sunset – so my days are naturally longer in the summer months. I use this time to centre myself, walk my dog, spend time with my partner and make sure that we’re nourished with good food.
In the warmer summer months, I swim almost every day and in winter when it’s a little colder, I start the day with a yoga practice that includes the kundalini yoga tradition of ‘breath of fire’ to give my circulation a nice boost so that I don’t feel the cold as much.
I have a few rituals that are based around the new and full moons. Sometimes I share a sacred space with a group of women who gather collectively and heal, chant, drum or meditate.
New moons are a time for manifesting what I want to grow. This could be in the form of income and business opportunities or the state of my health and vitality.
Full moons are a little different because after the 3 day ripeness, it starts to reduce in size, and this is the time I ask for my challenges or burdens to diminish also. This could be in the form of a debt, a health problem or a ‘block’ within a challenging relationship.
A 40 DAY FOCUS + TRANSFORMATION
My professional life has boomed in the past year and as a result, I’ve noticed how much more sensitive I’ve become to external energies. One of the ways to ensure that I don’t take on ‘other people’s stuff’ is to meditate twice a day.
Traditionally, my morning meditation is part of a 40-day practice that I do in order to help me focus on my current goal (in winter it might also be a physical practice). In the traditional kundalini yoga tradition, it is said that it takes 40 days to change a habit. (Sometimes I’ll do the same morning ritual for 90 days).
In the evening, I do a chakra balance meditation in order to release the day and to energetically disconnect myself from my work, clients and students.
It’s very important for me to be flexible with the way I meditate. When I first started taking yoga seriously, I was very austere about the time I’d get up and go to sleep. While that was right for me at the time, especially as it helped me to cultivate a daily habit, I no longer feel the need to be so strict.
WEEKENDS & DAILY SCHEDULES
Have you ever watched Downton Abbey? The Dowager Crawley is portrayed by the wonderful Maggie Smith who has become popular for her witty one-liners that often break the internet. One of the more popular lines from the show was ‘What’s a weekend?’
Maggie’s character emphasises the sharp divide between aristocracy and the working class – in this case, every day is a weekend for her, as she has no need to seek employment.
My case is a little different. I have no aristocratic ties (that I know of) and some of my work is done on weekends. As clichéd as it sounds, this is why it’s VERY important for me to do what I absolutely love and am passionate about.
A day off is now a complete day off and that means no work on the computer, no answering texts or emails on my phone and most importantly – no strategizing workshops or stewing on problems.
This is why my evening meditation has been so instrumental for me. The truth is that I am a recovering workaholic who has been prone to debilitating migraines – mainly because I have struggled to ‘switch off’ in the past and have depleted my adrenals.
In terms of my workday structure, about a third of my day is based on nourishing myself with either a swim, a walk, or a yoga class (that I don’t teach), or a healing / massage or acupuncture session.
The other third is *usually* spent working IN my business, while the last third is spent working ON my business. I use the term ‘usually’ rather loosely as there can be days where I see clients all day and other days where I write article after article.
HOW I FEEL
And finally, I make a greater effort to connect with how I feel, as opposed to analyzing, over intellectualizing or being cerebral all the time. As a result, I’m much more comfortable saying ‘no’ to requests or opportunities that tick all the right boxes and look good on paper, yet don’t feel right to me.
This comes in the form of work opportunities; yoga studios that I’m asked to teach at, wedding ceremonies that I’m asked to officiate that are out of town or collaborations with people that I don’t feel are in sync with my personal values.
I make a conscious effort to embrace an effortless flow instead of hustling and forcing things. These days, I make a plan and then let it go. Often the Universe has greater ideas and connections that help me manifest my dreams than the ones I come up with on my own!
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
Patty Kikos is a respected celebrant, teacher, healer, workshop facilitator and speaker who has merged yoga + healing into chakra balance courses, workshops and e courses. She holds the space for life changing transformations and thrives professionally due to her passion for ceremony, attention to detail, creative flair and for the personal touch each of her clients receives. She is a soulful entrepreneur whose enthusiasm is refreshing, infectious and inspiring.