Saturday, February 18, 2012

You are exactly where you need to be.

I have been feeling a bit sluggish, a bit less enthused than usual. As far as my career goes, I am pursuing my dream of being a journalist and a yoga teacher. However, my journalism job is freelance right now, requiring me to spend much of the day hauled up in the house typing and researching. That, along with the typical February gloomy weather, has begun to make me feel a bit restless, craving more.

I found myself thinking, I want things to fall into place faster, I want to get to my goal faster, I want this to all happen now. I even told my mother—in a moment of self-pitty—that I felt like I wasn’t doing anything with my life. She just kind of let me have my crybaby day and listened to me, because she knows how I am—she knows I am always trying to do too much at once and am just now learning how to ease up on myself when I need to. She knows I am stubborn and impatient with myself.

But I am beginning to learn the true importance and gift of relishing the joy that is always attainable at any given moment, even when it seems completely misplaced, totally out of sight… it is still there. That is not the issue. The issue is when we choose not to feel it, when we suppress it and drown ourselves in worry and fear. The issue is when we choose not to share our joy, so others can feel theirs too.

This morning, I was teaching a yoga class and during the Pranayama (breathing technique) Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing), I felt a sense of relief and happiness wash over me. I felt my lips turn up and a big smile spread across my face.

While teaching yoga, I am always there- 100% body, mind and spirit. That is one of the reasons I love it so much- it keeps me so grounded and so very present. And today, I felt inspired again and uplifted…. Thankful for this chance to share yoga… Thankful to feel like I truly belonged in that exact moment, in that studio. There was nowhere else I could have wanted to be… nothing else I would rather be doing.

Sometimes it takes pivotal moments to change our mindsets, but once we experience them, we can naturally come back to the center—to acceptance and release… to surrender. We can see that simply living from the heart and taking steps- however big or small- down each of our individual pathways is worthwhile—it is success. It is "doing something with our lives."

As cliché as it is—that saying: It’s about the journey, not the destination--- It is so true. And I constantly have to remind myself of that—or I am just going to be unfulfilled until I reach a certain goal or get a certain job or a certain relationship. Then, I will get there and still unsatisfied because I will be reaching for something else.

So, instead of obsessing over what is not happening right now, I will take advantage of what is happening—and honor every step along the way. Each step is a chance to change, grow and expand into a better version of myself. And instead of wondering if this will happen or if that will happen, I will consciously choose joy, creating space in my mind to relax, participating in what is happening right now. Because what my mother always tells me is absolutely true:

“You are exactly where you need to be.”


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Owning My Confidence.

It dawned on me over the past few days. I taught an evening yoga class and this amazing 60-something-year-old woman told me I seem "so confident" while I am teaching. I just laughed and told her I'm glad I can fake it.

But once I got home and reflected on our conversation, I realized: You know what? I am becoming confident in teaching yoga-- with good reason. Since my training last summer, I have studied, planned, and continued growing my knowledge of the practice. I deserve to feel at ease and comfortable while I am teaching, so I can help my students to feel the same.

It's funny how we can unknowingly send out a certain impression, a facade, to the world around us--- especially to those who barely know us. We can be feeling one way and seem like we are feeling the exact opposite. People can guess you are someone you are absolutely not even close to being. I know from experience.

For most of my life, especially during the past few years, people have thought I am much more confident and sure of myself than I truly was. It used to irritate me and bother me, because I wanted people to know that I was the same insecure "young adult" like everyone else. For some reason, I was frustrated and even kind of bothered with this notion that I seem to "have it all together," because I certainly didn't feel like it. There were only a select few who actually knew all of me to the core- each insecurity, each flaw, each issue.

But somewhere in between the time I graduated college- about 9 months ago- and right now, I started to realize there is no reason to be frustrated. It's taken me a while-- some heartache, some tears, some struggles-- to gain clarity on how I want my life to be and how I am going to live it. I had to jump over massive obstacles of fear to get there.

I realized running from the person who truly knows what she wants, is futile. I asked myself, wait a minute--- why have you been working so hard at figuring out what you want, finding your passion and working toward your dreams? You're succeeding.

As I get older, I become aware of everything-- negative thoughts, old beliefs, people who suck the life out of me -- and I see how necessary it is to let that all go and never look back. And, I become more and more aware of everything else --people who love me completely, my passions that keep my fire burning, and JOY-- that I strive to cultivate and cherish in my life.

In this process, I become more aware of who I truly am and I realize how important it is to accept and embrace all of me- flaws and assets combined. In turn, this will benefit everyone in my life, because after I accept more of myself, I accept more of everyone else.

So, I'm thinking, maybe instead of "faking" my confidence, I can actually begin to own it.