Thanks 2019, For These Wonderful Gifts

Ashleigh Mayes
6 min readDec 30, 2019
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

As a yoga, meditation and self-improvement enthusiast, it should come as no surprise that I love ends and new beginnings.

My obsession with reflection, in particular, started at an early age. Finishing journals, school terms and even boxes of cereal felt almost spiritual, like I was saying goodbye to the old me, with all her artificial and childish tastes, and making space for someone wiser. Someone who’d choose All-Bran over Lucky Charms.

I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for symbolism, and my tendency towards rumination makes the New Year especially exciting.

To celebrate the closing of a chapter, I want to share my top five lessons of 2019. It’s been a wild ride, with a redundancy, career change and plenty of uncertainty. But I’ve learnt how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable — a skill I’m infinitely grateful for.

1. The universe is listening, so be careful what you wish for

Towards the end of the year, I was unexpectedly made redundant. Well, I say unexpectedly — the truth is, I spent most days secretly regretting working for someone else and turning their dreams into a reality rather than my own.

I often thought about handing in my resignation so I could focus on teaching yoga full-time, but I always had an excuse.

“I can’t do it because I don’t have a financial safety net or any experience running a business! I don’t have a mentor. How am I supposed to get it right with no guidance? I can’t do it — who am I kidding?” I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.

It took a little push to show me that, actually, I can.

While I was busy talking myself out of making the leap, the Universe was listening to my silent prayers. In the months leading up to my redundancy, weird things started to happen — it could’ve been coincidence, but I prefer to think it was Divine intervention.

I had a flurry of enquiries for public classes and private lessons, and I wrote dozens of blogs about yoga with an energy that had eluded me for most of the year. I felt an immediate urge to get my website up and running, and I booked a trip to India with one of my last pay cheques (a luxury I now couldn’t afford in my wildest…

Ashleigh Mayes

My name’s Ashleigh — yoga teacher and mental health advocate.