Self assessment

It's been a turbulent January for many, what with weather, (yawn) illnesses popping up all over the place, Mercury has probably had some fun in retrograde, a full moon in Cancer... etc.

And now we're right at the end hopefully many of us have scrabbled through HMRC's pitiful excuse for organisation through what might be considered "self assessment". Yeah right.

Ps: If you work for HMRC, please ignore this newsletter.

Self assessment.
Yes, this is a great subject to start the year off with.
So, I am not going to give you the secret to filling in your tax return form, (double yawn) that's for you to figure out, but I can't help thinking there are definitely some interesting parallels to be drawn through this crazy left brain situation.
I tried to re-write the self assessment questions a bit more humanly, to get a bit of personality in there, but also to adapt it to our real life selves, with thoughts, feelings and a mind.

Whats your business? -  Yoga instructor completely in love with yoga. PA to 2 x teens, writer?, (ooh I wrote that! it must be true now.)
ps: This doesn't have to be accurate, just a way of looking at how you want to spend your time.

Are your figures approximate? Of course they are! A little fabrication thanks to internet banking (yey) but I will say no to the official documents so you don't ask me any extra questions. (mental note to self; deal with the karma of lying to Inland Revenue)

When did your business start? when I realised I didn't want to do anything else.

Have you ceased trading in the past year? Only when ill/on holiday generally there is no holiday pay. (or sick pay- so don't be sick!- see below)

How much is it worth? The value of my work is in the people who respond to it, both those who come to sessions and those who find another excellent yoga teacher. ( note to self: excellent counter-ego work there definitely heading towards making up for Karmic lying above)
Yoga is in everything and has enormous value for those who wish to plumb the depths...
I say it's worth everything because it built me up from nothing and to this point where I realise I know nothing.
Theres a great quote coming up for this one- Upanishads

All this is full. All that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is take from fullness,
fullness still remains.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.

Isha Upanishad.

Income- yes there are perks to being transparent in this scenario. ie: If everything is clear, I don't have to think about it.
There is a lot of trust between me and my clients, so often I may forget and they will remember, or I have now a great online booking system which does a lot of the thinking for me.

Reality- it's not a line of work one does for the glory of money, it is for the love of yoga. Good to have a supplementary/backup income if possible.

Expenses. - Aforementioned online booking form above, mailchimp, a slightly disturbing stationary habit, and comms stuff.. and a bag full of receipts that gets "filtered" fairly regularly. I know I miss stuff out, but I'm pretty sure if it's not food it'll be yoga.

Questions I might add:
Self -assessment.
Are you getting enough breaks?
A lot of self employed, and yes employed people will override their own needs for the sake of their clients, putting their own health, morals and inner guidance in a wobbly place. Perhaps if this resonates with you, have a good think about how much balance there is between work and play.

Continued professional development (CPD).
Years may go by and your sessions may be great, but are you up to date?
Not just with the latest, but with yourself.
Are you still really loving what you're doing? or is it time to add another tool to your arsenal?
Are you a course addict? are you doing too much CPD?

Health and Safety
So I recently found myself driving at night overtired, overworked and coming down with something... sound familiar? did echinacea/aconite/lemsip help?
Maybe you are listening to your body a bit better than me!

-Driving overtired, the last time this happened I ended up driving into a ditch somewhere just outside Coventry. I'm lucky to not have far to drive.

- Overworked- I put this down to experimentation due to holding retreat conditions and unable to admit that I just hadn't made time for myself. Although listening to the ramblings of my voice memo's from the day after this particular driving (non-) incident I have definitely brought myself up to date with what I should be doing next time- ie: time for self & bring earplugs.

-Coming down with something. Come on Katie, you're a yoga teacher not omnipotent! -this has brought me down a peg or three. Nothing like a flagging immune system to make it stop whatever is making the body overdo (or just do..) things!

-Mind over matter is a temporary fix, (and not a very good one in my point of view). It's a bit like caffeine, drawing on future energy means having to make time in the future to rest- just make sure you keep that deal.

How serious are you? and is that useful?
This question below was the original thought I had for this newsletter, and then I realised that it made total sense to me in the moment,( this may well have been delirium talking) but now sounds a bit serious, and frankly I need to laugh at myself a bit and relax.
Existential questions of course are important to have, but not so helpful to hold on to.

"How can we possibly exist in a shape that we don't belong in? I suppose the question is: "Have we formed a clear version of ourselves that is still lucid enough to change and morph through time and yet exist as a being that functions well in this culture and is efficiently spiritual at the same time?"

Let that one go.

You have not submitted your form yet
Exactly who am I accountable to?
Everyone and everything I have ever thought valuable? myself?

You have submitted your form and have no tax to pay.
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K.Hancock January 31st 2024

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