James Dickinson - June 07 2021
Do you think that stress is often an issue in the workplace?
There are a lot of people who have anxiety burnout and screen fatigue. With anything there is always the tangible experience of it such as mental tiredness or physical tiredness and then there is what happens inside that is not just in our heads but also how we deal with it emotionally.
A number of people have complained to me about zoom fatigue which at the time I found surprising, but more recently I have spent most of my time on video calls throughout the day so I can totally understand. It is important that we take the time to let the body rest through looking away and letting the eyes relax, stretch, drink some water, go for a walk or take the time in the middle of the day to make a meal. A routine is always useful. I always start the day with a meditation and it is important to filter the information so as to understand what we can do with it.
Do peoples past experiences define how they act in the present?
Sometimes things happen in the past that we do not have control over which may be incredibly difficult to process. We can’t go back in time to change the past as time is linear but what we can do is internally, is attempt to heal and if that is not possible, we can change the meaning of the occurrence and act upon it.
Rather than channelling our frustration at things that we cannot change, we can act to break the downward cycle in a variety of ways such as through Yoga, allowing us to return refreshed. So, there is the physical side of action, which is often the easy part but most of us cause more suffering to ourselves with how we deal with things internally. If you don’t deal with things early it can lead to a build up of stress.
It is important to change your actions as if you are doing the same thing and it is not working, you will usually get the same result. Most of us do this without even thinking through repeating learnt habits, so occasionally we need someone to tell us to wake up! …..we are beginning to touch on some aspects of the ‘Awakening’ course I have created. Every action often has an effect and it is up to ourselves to make changes within our sphere of influence to manage our environment.
The worst thing you can do is numb it out and carry on doing something that is counterproductive. We don’t share, we don’t show emotion, we don’t show stress and it is equal to heading off a cliff and often we hit a wall which acts as a wake-up call. It’s just human nature and it is important to deal with these issues before it takes a toll on a person’s wellbeing.
How has sport influenced your life?
I was the smallest kid in school and so my Dad put me forward for Taekwondo and later I was chosen for the junior Olympic team in Malaysia. Much to the dismay of my teachers I never made it to the Olympics as I wanted to go to University in Australia. I missed the sport so much that despite an injury I continued practicing while at University. I joined the university classes as a junior and after sparing with some of the black belts I was soon found out.
I suffered another injury while getting a medal in the South Pacific Championship and took up Yoga to aid the restoration of my torn hamstring, realising that my time in Taekwondo was coming to an end. Initially I didn’t think that Yoga would challenge my body enough. I attended one of the best Yoga schools in Sydney, I thought it was just ‘yoga.’ On the first day the teacher said ‘it is better that you just watch’ and I remember thinking how hard can it be?
The next day I got my **** handed to me and realised why they had asked me to watch the previous day and realised that it was what I needed. Afterwards everything just seemed so much more vivid and I was hooked. A number of years later I visited Fiji on a yoga retreat and went to the local church, it reminded me of how I grew up on a rubber plantation and the journey that I had been on. And now my journey continues in London.
How has your relationship with Yoga changed over the years?
I had the job and the money in my twenties but realised that there was something missing. For me I have found Yoga incredibly healing for the mind and it has allowed me to deal with various emotions towards people that I care about. It has helped me with relationships and has brought me closer to my family. For me Yoga is about looking inwards and sometimes focussing on the things that you have missed and healing what is holding you back.
How has this influenced what you are doing at the moment?
Most of the time Yoga can be fairly solitary. Awaken is different and is about sharing your experiences and thoughts with other people. It is about removing what is in the way and focusing on positive potential. It encourages people to live life to its fullest and waking up to what could be.