A week ago I attended a 4-day intensive class for Bikram Yoga teachers. It had been on my calendar for months, logged in long before I finally committed to taking the time out of my life to do this. I must admit there was some resistance to going. And when I say some, I actually mean a ton. I had a mental checklist all planned out to convince myself why I should not attend.
Even though it was right in my backyard, downtown Chicago is not always easy to navigate. I had to figure out where to stay, how to get to and from the studio, and I would be going it on my own without a yoga buddy to share the experience with. Also, I had to be ready and open to change. This was a big one. I feel like my practice is good, but can always be better. Teaching on the other hand is extremely personal. I am purely myself up on that podium. So, I had to dig deep and decide what I thought about learning new techniques and approaching new ideas to teach this yoga. The answer was simple and familiar. My teaching is good, but can always be better.
It seemed like I was meant to be at this class. I’d think to myself, “God, it’s more complicated than it should be,” and decide I wasn’t going. Soon I would talk with someone about how I needed to find some kind of class or seminar soon to freshen up my practice (I try and find something like this every 6 months) and find myself thinking about going once again. An ad for it would pop up in my Facebook feed, or a friend would ask if I had decided to go. So, after going back and forth for about 6 weeks I finally had to admit that, yes, it was a bit scary and intimidating and I had no choice… I had to go.
So often I see people block them selves from attending an event, taking the next step in their lives, or even going further in a posture during their practice because it will change them in some way. We get so comfortable where we are now. Things aren’t too bad, they aren’t too good, they are simply in between and it feels safe. Remind me again, what exactly is so great about safe?
The outcome from the weekend: these 4 days changed my life in the best way possible. (But if it was negative I would have learned something from it and therefore it still would have had an impact. Every experience can make an impact if you allow each moment to be a lesson.) I learned that I can take care of myself and that I am resourceful when I need to be. I learned I could be better than I was before in every way. I learned that I had grown complacent in my teaching. I had found a nice little groove that made my teaching fine, but not great or even inspiring. I had started going through the motions and I wasn’t even aware of it.
Now when I take the podium I am a little nervous and extremely excited to see where the 90-minutes will take us. What walls can we bust through together? It’s that little heart flutter right before I walk into the hot room that lets me know I’m doing something right. It’s that same feeling I would have right before I walked on the stage for my first entrance of a performance back when I was a musical theater actress.
The thing is, you should be nervous to do something you love, as I love taking the podium or singing in front of a theatre full of people. Your life should be full of excitement every step of the way. It is a sign that whatever the activity is, means a great deal to you. You can always treat your work in the world like a job, but it can be a lot more than that if you want it to be. Make it your career to share your special gifts with everyone around you. And this goes for everything in your life. Get nervous, get excited, and get out of your comfort zone. If you haven’t had that little heart flutter in a while it’s time to shake things up. Life was meant to be lived to its fullest, not merely tolerated to become a collection of safe and ordinary days.
If there is something that keeps showing up in your life it might be the Universe pointing you in the direction you were meant to go. Take that class, take that trip, or make that phone call. Not everything that was meant for you will be easy or convenient, but I promise it will be worth it.
Love the blog? You will love the book! Follow my yoga journey and the accomplishments of five of my students, as well as, recount some of the most popular blog posts in my first book: Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi.