At the start of this year, I was driven two hours out of Bangkok to a temple in the hills of Nakhon Pathom province where I was told my future.
In my head I was Elizabeth in Eat, Pray, Love and I was on my way to see Ketut. He’d be sat there waiting for me cross-legged with a big, warm toothless smile and after tickling my palm for a while he’d hand me a cute little drawing, tell me lots of lovely things, bow his head and wave goodbye.
In reality that’s not quite what I got.
Instead, after fighting off any army of potentially rabid stray dogs, I fought my way to an open temple where I was greeted by a dishevelled man in a filthy robe who looked more like an ogre than a monk, toking on a Lambert & Butler.
In short, he said that this year was going to be just as abominable as the last but not to worry as the following year onwards, my life would go up and up and up.
Now I can’t say my life this year has been abominable, but it has been tough – and the scary thing is, every single thing he said has come true.
There are only two things left to check off the ogre’s list.
- “Be careful when you’re signing a contract. Read the details very, very carefully or you might end up in jail”.
- “Keep tight hold of your passport or you might lose it”.
Given that I’m on my ninth passport, the latter doesn’t scare or surprise me but his first point does ring alarm bells in my head.
I’m about to sign two maybe three of the most important contracts I’ve ever signed in my entire life. Life changing contracts. And so, given the fact that I’d quite enjoy not ending up in jail, I plan on taking his advice.
So what does that mean and why am I writing about it?
It means that time is precious, perhaps more precious than ever. A very busy, very important few months lie ahead and so keeping myself in a state of mental, physical and emotional equilibrium is imperative if I want my future to hold the success I dream of.
So today, after a week exploring all the yins that bring my workaholic yang into balance, I’m rounding up with a way of organising life into a good old fashioned spreadsheet.
I already plan out my days by the hour but now I categorise my activities using one of four colours representing work, socials, fitness and ‘me time’.
The walks and talks, the jogs that I call runs, the yoga, the meditation, the bubble baths with lavender-scented bath bombs, the brain porn books, the Ted Talks, the laughter and the sillyness – I know I need these things to get ahead.
I know I’m not anywhere near as productive at work if I haven’t been for a run to burn off my energy, I know I feel off balance when I haven’t meditated or been to yoga and I know that if I have a full day of socials, I feel a little bit guilty for not checking my emails.
It’s all about finding a balance between laptop and life.
So I’m rounding this week’s exploration of yins by challenging myself on everything that takes up my time and energy – the people, the things, the thoughts. On some days there’ll be more pink than lemon and on others it’ll mostly be blue, but every day I’ll find some sort of rainbow.
Where focus goes, energy flows.