Trying to be zen in a not so zen environment…

I begin this blog with a mind absolutely swirling as it tries to compute the possibility I might be purchasing a house soon. It’s a pretty big deal and up until this point, when people have told me it’s one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do in your lifetime, I didn’t quite appreciate how right they were. I’m someone who gets attached easily (such a bad yogi, I know) and I absolutely try to practice what Patanjali calls Aparigraha or “non-attachment” in my life and my practice. I also try to stay in the moment, keep a level head and keep my imagination in check. Imagination can be our best friend as creative types but it’s also probably the biggest enemy of the yogi’s mind, as it can get carried away so easily! But I’m becoming more and more aware of how hard it can be when you’re living and working in a particular environment and certain things are out of your control. Taking all of this into account it can be a real challenge to keep yourself on the spiritual path or simply find a certain calm from day to day.

Let me begin by explaining my use of the term “spiritual path”. I use this term to describe the practice of yoga (meditation) and/or devotion to a deity or higher power. I personally don’t prescribe to any particular religion anymore, I prefer to learn about and use elements of many philosophies. The practice of yoga under the spiritual path umbrella ,encompasses living a moral, ethical and purposeful life. But to have everybody reading this blog relate, I do also just mean being calm, in control and content in life. Being a bit zen shall we say! 🙂

Being in Bali back in November (wow, does that feel a million years ago now!), I found it extremely easy to be spiritual and find my zen. When I’m at home, in my own space and have time off to enjoy said space, then I find it relatively easy to find too. However, when normal work life resumes in busy old London town, then it’s inevitable I’m going to hit a few obstacles!

What can be the toughest and something I struggle with the most are things that are seemingly out of my control. Relying on other people has been a big one for me lately. I always expect people to have the same high standards that I do-replying promptly, being thoughtful, going the extra mile, being conscientious when it comes to filling out forms… can you tell I’m getting specific to house buying now? 🙈  You get my drift. Obviously it goes without saying that things that really are out of your control are the most pointless things to be consumed by. I find that allowing myself a little time to stress about them, then reminding myself that I’m wasting so much energy doing so, is the best way to deal with this. For the performers amongst you I’m sure you’ll relate. How many auditions have you stressed about after you’ve done them? How many times have you waited by the phone to hear from your agent? (Don’t feel I’m chastising you, I’m guilty of this too) I actually had it worse than ever while waiting to hear whether we had the house we’d offered on!

Moving on to something else I feel is vital in this equation of equilibrium, is the energy of those that surround us. There’s a fantastic quote by Maryam Hasnaa that I feel I want to share with you at this point.


“Don’t try to get people to be on your wavelength.

Just stay aligned and let the law of vibration

bring people to you like a magnet.

True empowerment is staying in the vibration of joy

and inviting others to join you there.

Not lowering your vibration to meet them.”


I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Who you surround yourself with and the energies you allow to penetrate your being are absolutely crucial to your health and wellbeing. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? But going back to the lack of control we often have, we can’t always have a say in who we are surrounded by. So making a conscious effort in the time that is our own, to spend with people that lift us up and understand us, is imperative. I find that being quiet and even more mindful when thrown into an environment of negativity or lower energy, is the way forward for me. It can be difficult to consciously not engage in some conversations or activity, if the majority around you are doing so, but by asking yourself whether it will raise your own vibrations or lower them will at least make you think before you do.

On a similar level, the environment you’re in will have a huge impact on your level of calm too. Living and working in London is of course, wonderful. It’s an exciting, vibrant city that houses people from all walks of life. But it’s also a BUSY city. Commuting can be seriously unpleasant, getting trapped in a sea of tourists isn’t much fun and don’t even get me started on the amount of traffic and pollution… As above though, it’s all about finding the yin with the yang. Where we live in Crystal Palace, we’re lucky as we have a lovely big park to surround ourselves with nature if we need to. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a park, but finding a chilled space that gives you what you need individually will do the trick. Water is a very calming and nourishing element to be around, whether that be a lake or simply going swimming at a local pool. And walking can be a simple remedy too. Walking with no set destination in mind can give you a different perspective and can act like a form of meditation.

Looking after yourself is hard work. Someone said to me this week they were surprised to hear I’d been struggling seeing as I’m a yoga teacher and am such a healthy lifestyle advocate. But sometimes it’s just too much for anyone, especially when things out of our control seemingly happen all at once! Even the things that are in our control are sometimes to our detriment, as we often aren’t aware what energies are affecting us or don’t recognise the patterns we’re falling into. Becoming overwhelmed or getting rundown can happen to the best of us and unfortunately this is usually the time that we realise we need to make a change.

Signing off now and going back to interior design dreams. Never in my life did I think I would be getting excited about buying paint… 🙄  Buying a house is exciting and it does make me feel quite proud but it’s also about to leave us penniless. So if you invite me to any sort of social occasion in the next few months, please know I would love to be there but will definitely not be. Oh and if you see me, don’t judge my unkempt Rapunzel hair or my bushy eyebrows. I’m saving the money for built in wardrobes 👍🏻

Love, light and high vibrations,


Jess x