There was a time in my life where I constantly felt like I was banging my head against a wall. I loved to perform. I loved being an actress, singing for audiences every night, and everything that it involved. But it was not easy. When a show ended I was usually sad, knowing that the road ahead to book the next show might be difficult and that I would miss the people that were involved as we all scattered to the four winds in pursuit of the next step. But when I booked a show I was just as equally sad. It usually meant I had to leave home and my husband in order to go after my dreams. I had each foot in a separate world and always felt pulled in two opposing directions. Be on stage or be with the one person that really gets me? It was a rare couple of months when I could have both.
There were some pivotal moments in my journey. Times where the Universe really stepped in and told me to head right when I was leaning to the left. Times where I started to ask for more from my life and realized that those I thought were great friends, who supported me, actually were not. And there were monthly breakdowns as I felt the conflict arise within me that resulted from this path I had chosen.
A couple of weeks ago I had someone ask me why I eventually chose to teach yoga. I found the question intriguing, as I never really thought of it as a choice. It was actually a giant push that came from everything outside and inside that made me take the leap into a new life.
About 4 months before this big push I had performed in what is now my last show to date. It wasn’t the best experience. And even though I wasn’t too far from home, I was far enough away that it was a road trip every time family and friends came out to see the show or I wanted to go home. After this show closed I remember getting extremely quiet with myself and asking myself the tough questions. Did this path have me working at my highest potential? Did I have other gifts to offer the world? Was this all there was – an endless cycle of audition/show/audition.
And this is when I made a choice. I would no longer analyze my career or get stressed out wondering, “What am I doing with my life?!!!” Instead I put it somewhere higher. I simply decided to tell the Universe I was ready to put forth my greatest contribution, whatever that may be, and show me the way to function at my fullest potential. In essence I was asking that I might listen to my heart, have faith the right people would show up at the right time, and that I would know the right decisions to make when they were to be made.
This is when I felt the shift. Instead of asking for what I wanted, I was now asking how may I serve and that I be used in a way that maybe I was not in the past.
Now I’m not saying that teaching yoga is the end all be all, but it is the first step to a life that is way more fulfilling for me than the one I was leading before. My life is my own in a way it hadn’t been in the past. I no longer feel like I’m pushing against the current, but instead flowing easily from one moment to the next.
And I guess what I’m really talking about is surrender. Surrendering to life and all of its infinite twists and turns and in turn surrendering to each moment, each breath, and each and every posture when I am in the midst of my yoga practice.
So, if you feel like nothing is working or that life is hard and will always be that way I have a couple of suggestions that come from my own experience that I’d like to pass onto you.
- Get quiet. This can mean something different to every person. You could meditate, go to yoga, or just sit quietly in a chair and jot down some thoughts. Whatever way works for you will be the best way.
- Start asking the hard questions. These include, but are not limited to: Do I spend my days doing what I really want to do? Am I happy with the work I’m doing within this lifetime? What part of my life feels like an uphill battle? Am I bored? What gifts or talents do I have that are not being used at this time? What excites me? What am I passionate about? What changes can I make today that will release me from stress and conflict?
- Be bold. Let the Universe know you are ready. Write down or simply declare that you are ready to serve and offer up your highest potential for this life, whatever that may be.
- Let it go. Don’t over analyze it. You have already put changes in motion. The right situations will arise all on their own without any extra assistance from you. I will tell you that sometimes this is the hardest part – to simply trust – but it will be worth it. Be open to every opportunity. You will know the right path to take because it feels right. You might be scared, but you will also be excited.
Surrendering to life may be seen as a weak step – to simply throw your hands up in the air and say, “O.k. Universe, you take it from here.” But I will tell you that this comes from a place of strength you might have not tapped into before. And if life in general is not working for you, maybe it’s because you haven’t found the right way to truly live yet. Isn’t worth a shot?
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