I don’t know how to write this, or where to start.
But I want to say something because I feel trapped and stuck in my own uncertainly and in my own silence. I’ll start by saying thatI care a lot about what people think, so much. TOO MUCH.
I worry that people think I am ungrateful, or unstable, or too much, or too little.
I worry about writing things that will make me look bad professionally or that will affect relationships and friendships or that will in some way, somehow offend someone.
But just for now, while I write this, I’m going to pack all of those fears up and put them aside for a moment.
As much as I love you (whoever you are, reading this) I need to let you know, right off the bat, that I have had to throw all fucks out the window so that I could write this. This is for me- but maybe it’s for you too.
This is for anyone who feels like their mess is better kept under the rug, or for anyone who feels like their truth needs to be buried behind a smile or a plan or a more appropriate perception.
Two months ago I got on a plane and headed to Thailand so that I could find some space and time to create and reflect and manifest. What happened in Thailand was, well.. not that.
My entire plan was completely derailed and I ended up staying in one place and never leaving to see the rest of the country. I had so much anxiety being in Thailand that I couldn’t even bring myself to travel more than 10 minutes away from where I was staying. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed that I lied to friends and family back home saying I was traveling and sightseeing, when really, I didn’t see anything other than one town and some beaches. So, secret is out, don't come to me for Thailand travel tips, unless you want to ask about which type of Pokey is better.
I spent the majority of those weeks sitting inside my AirBnB, in bed or on the computer- although I did attend one tour, which I had to mentally prepare myself for. I couldn't leave Thailand without any cool photos right? So I forced myself to go on what turned out to be a German boat tour...
Eventually, I got tired of talking myself into staying- and I dropped $1100 to change my flight and come home 8 days sooner. I spent $1100 to come home 8 DAYS SOONER!!And believe me, I am not sitting on a pile of money- that flight and that entire experience set me back a lot financially. I can't even eat Thai food these days without rolling my eyes.
When I got home, my anxiety got worse. I was in between apartments and feeling more unstable and ungrounded than I had ever felt before. A lot of my stress was stemming from the fact that I had just created and completed my amazing teacher training- and my expectations for myself and my life became so high and so unreasonable, how would I ever top that? What if that was my best and it was all downhill from here? I didn't know what else to do- so, I did what I do best- I worked.
I started to work and research and read and edit and between teaching yoga, managing the studios, and running my own business, I started to burn out.
I got sick twice with a cold and would find myself nauseous and so exhausted that I would forget absolutely everything. Every time my phone would ring or an email would come in- I would get anxious. It's easy to read this and think "Just say no!!!" But for me, saying 'no' and taking on less wasn't an option- I have allowed myself to become so attached and so defined by my work, that doing less and saying no would mean I was a failure.
One unhealthy habit quickly rolled over into another one. I was surrounding myself with people I shouldn't, and allowing myself to take in toxic ideas, opinions and judgements. I was sneaking around, lying and constantly trying to justify my actions to anyone who would listen. I was so deep in 'my shit' I could hardly stand to sit with myself because my mind wasn't ready to listen to my heart. But this is how we operate as humans, we try to find anything and anyone to use as evidence to support our limiting beliefs about ourselves. I allowed someone to call me fat and ugly and instead of turning around and walking away, I stayed. I abandoned myself and my beliefs and I let myself shrink.
Before I knew it I was on another plane heading to Vancouver for a course, and I had so many people telling me how lucky I was to be able to do something I loved so much for work- and that I was so fortunate to get to travel. I hear this all the time- ALL the time.
I started to feel like something was wrong with me- how could I be so stressed out when i'm so fortunate and so lucky? I knew I had to suck it up and be happy. There was no space and no room for me to be stressed out, I was #blessed and needed to slap a smile on my face and dig up a little gratitude.
But here is the truth...
The truth is, I have lost the ability to find balance. I struggle with asking for help, and feel guilty if I am unable to help others. The truth is, I don't know how to slow down.
The truth is, I hate feeling like my teacher training is a job, and I hate the financial logistics behind it. I hate the pressure that goes into filling spots or expectations, and I hate having to create within deadlines and timelines and limits. I hate feeling like I have to act a certain way or behave a certain way, or do business and deal with people a certain way. I hate the way that the yoga community can be so full of negativity, competition and bullshit. I hate that no matter how much you help and give- some people will just continue to take and take and take- and that it's up to you to find and define your own value and worth.
But you know what I love?I love the fact that I just said all of that, and that no matter what I say, there will still be people out there who love and support me for everything I feel, believe in and express.
I love the fact that I believe in the work I do, and that the universe is constantly conspiring to nourish, support and sustain me. I love the fact that the world is filled with people who carry different beliefs, opinions and ideas. I love the way that some of us are destined and designed to connect, while others are meant to shake us up and rattle us back into curiosity and a state of growth.
I used to love writing.
I used to love sharing and connecting and opening up because It meant I could be myself and it meant I could hold space for others to do the same. But I’ve stopped writing. I’ve stopped posting and I’ve stopped sharing. Because honestly, things have been tough and I don’t know how to write about them when I feel like I am stuck in a world where things are supposed to be easy. But I feel less myself right now that I ever have before, and I can’t run my business or live my life this way.
There is NOTHING empowering about pretending fly when you can’t even crawl.
So, I’m taking back my voice, my space and my truth. If you don’t like it or if my lack of daily positivity offends you, then I totally understand and respect that, but I am not the human for you.
Things are allowed to be difficult,we grow through what we go throughand I am grateful for an endless list of things.
I get to do what I love and call it work- I get to see new places and meet new people and I get to create and teach from my heart. Most of all I am grateful for the way that truth and authenticity brings us closer to where we need to be and to who need to connect with.
Our mess is our message and our ability to be real and raw is what makes us teachers and leaders and all in all, better humans. I don’t understand how I ever could have thought that living my life silently and small was a good idea.
Playing big means showing up and going all in, with whatever you have then and there. It doesn’t mean waiting until you’ve reorganized your mess and conquered your shit. Playing big means choosing to be and embrace every inch of who you are. That’s what I believe in and that’s what I teach.
We need to show up for ourselves constantly, again and again. When things are good, and when things are tough- especially when things are tough. Show up for yourself with everything you’ve got.
It will be enough- because when you show up as you, it’s always enough.