Two weeks. I haven’t written for Views From the Podium, or even in my own voice for that matter, for two whole weeks. In that time I was driving cross country with my husband with our true destination a wedding for one of my dearest friends up in Connecticut on the 4th of July, but also with scheduled stops at Niagara Falls and Washington D.C. to round out the trip and really call it an adventure.
I don’t take breaks often. Even when I am not taking the podium at the studio or twisting and bending in the heat to get my own practice in, I am definitely writing, and not simply for you VFTP readers. To write for this blog is my creative release for the week, finally speaking in my own voice and letting all the musings of my heart slam down on the page for your amusement. When I write for my clients I assume their voice, their tone, and create a space in which their products can truly shine.
Many times when I’ve attempted to take a vacation it doesn’t actually happen. I may be somewhere I’ve never been before. I might be participating in activities or seeing sights I don’t normally get to participate in or see on an every day basis, but most vacations are suddenly blown to smithereens with a simple email or phone call requesting that, “Yes, I know you are out of town, but please can you take a look at this file or quickly whip a few words up for us?”
I have to admit this time I was ready for it. I had let my clients know I would be out of town, but never dreamed that they would actually leave me alone. Each day of our road trip adventure passed with very little disturbance. No work came through. I didn’t need to write. I wasn’t teaching. I wasn’t practicing very much on my own. I didn’t need to remind someone about keeping their arms with their ears during a sit up or have to explain what “locking the knee” actually means. I had somehow ended up on a true vacation.
My husband has been on my back for months now. “Normal people have a day off, Babe,” was a common phrase he would utter at me when I suddenly grew tired or cranky. “You are in control here. I don’t understand why you don’t take some time for yourself.”
He was right of course, but to hell if I was going to admit it. I don’t take a day off…ever. I take one day off from the studio, but then wake up that morning and click away on my latest writing project, hoping that it will make the week ahead a bit easier knowing that it had been completed earlier than my clients had hoped, or on a rough week, not getting it to them too late.
So, to take 9 days off from my life was kind of a dream. Not that I don’t love my life. I do. I am one of those ridiculously happy people that love what they do and who they spend their time with and wouldn’t change a thing. But I simply needed a break. Before I left for vacation I was pretty run down. One class bled into the next and I felt like I couldn’t get my energy revved up in the way I used to when I was leading a class. Were my students even listening to me anymore? Did I have anything worth listening to? I prayed for the best and kept on marching ahead.
Arriving home from vacation, I became nervous about even the thought of taking the podium again. Any Bikram teacher will tell you that after a long break you start to wonder what will come out of your mouth when you start to teach the 90-minute class. When I woke up nervous that first day back, and I must admit excited, I took it as a sign that my life truly was in the right place.
Kind of weird, right? What do nerves have anything to do with it? When I was acting I always got nervous before a performance, an audition, and maybe even sometimes when I went to a coach to work on my technique. This is normal. Actors often talk about taking their nerves and turning it into energy for a performance. It means you care about your work. What you don’t want is to have no nerves. It means you no longer care, or that you’ve become numb to the process. One of the reasons I knew it was time to move on and do something new with my life is because I no longer had that rush of adrenaline going into an audition or taking the first entrance onto the stage during a performance.
Now, as a yoga teacher I don’t get nervous to teach every day, but I do enjoy when the nerves show up after a long break. It means I still really care about what I do and that I want the class to be everything that my students need on that day.
The classes I’ve taught since I’ve been back from vacation have been so fun to teach I almost want to pinch myself halfway through to make sure that it’s all real. Yes, I needed a break. Everyone does now and again, but the true gift of the vacation was coming back and realizing how much I love my everyday life.
At the end of class when I say, “It’s been an absolute honor and privilege to lead you through class,” I can’t even express to you how true these words are. It is an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to share this yoga. There is no doubt that it changed my life forever and to get to see others transform through this practice is to witness limitless inspiration. Thank you, yogis for that.
Is there any part of your day VFTP readers that makes you stop and think, “Wow, what a lucky life?” I’d love to hear from you this week! Join the discussion below or on the Facebook Page.
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