Archives for posts with tag: career

Who do you want to be?

Is that not the most daunting question on the face of the planet?! We have all been asked this question from a very young age. With each of life’s milestones our answer tends to change. When I was five I wanted to be a singer and at ten a veterinarian. By the time I was only 12 it was dancing that monopolized my mind. As time went by and the dream of dancing started to become a reality I thought about whether I would ever want to do anything else with my life. Since then, I have left the world of dancing my self and started teaching. A wonderful experience, but not the only part of my life now.

When I was 16 years old I discovered yoga. It helped me through injuries, both physical and emotional. It not only changed the way I looked at fitness, but at myself and my place in this world. Was my plan beginning to shift again? Ten years later and I’m still involved in dance, but the majority of my life revolves around my love of yoga. I’m not sure when I decided yoga was my dharma…. but it is.

I’m still slowly making the transition out of the dance world and into being fully engulfed in the yogi side of things. Each and everyday I become a little more of the latter, and thank the universe for it.

I’m comfortable changing my mind about my career pursuit for two very important reasons. The first being that I have a truly amazing husband that supports my pursuit of happiness. The second being that my mother has successfully changed her mind about her career a number of times.

Whether you are able to find your dharma at 18 or 68, there’s always time. Life changes, your priorities change, and yes, even your dharma can change. There is no harm or shame in starting over.

I’m so lucky to be a part of the yoga world. As I begin to step back into teaching yoga after having Charlotte (only a few classes a week) I remind myself that each day I need balance. To be the person I want to be, I need to have a strong identity as a yogi, a mom, a wife and a wonderer. Can’t wait.

It seems that time has been flying by as of late. Days are suddenly weeks and weeks are magically turning into months. Life is getting busy in preparation for baby, and a lot of things have been placed on the back burner in favour of getting ready for our little one’s arrival.

Yesterday was one of those days where I had the opportunity to slow down a little bit and have a moment to breathe. Even though I had a busy day of meetings and classes, I felt like I accomplished a lot and made great headway.

One of the things I was thinking about today was authenticity. Being an ambassador for Lululemon, I have the wonderful opportunity to connect with the store, brand and it’s community. Yesterday I had a great coffee date with the manager and assistant manager of the store I represent, and the recent issue of luon quality came up. Whether you’ve heard or not, lululemon had a quality control problem. One batch of black luon that was used to make pants is slightly transparent… not a great problem to have. But like champs, lululemon recognized the issue, pulled all the pants off their shelves, and are informing the public as best they can to try to get them all new pairs of pants. I find this amazing. The transparency displayed by such a large company is refreshing. They are proud of their product and quality, and want to right the wrong.

This just made me think of what it means to be authentic. Lululemon demonstrated the authenticity of their brand, but how does that concept translate to me, as an individual? You sometimes hear it in the yoga community as a bit of a buzz word, but how do you actually stay authentic? I think the most important part is knowing who you are in the first place.

But if that’s the most important part, what happens when you’re not quite sure yet? Take me for example, I’m still figuring out who I am in regards to my relationships with the yoga and dance worlds. As I choose to slowly exit one and take on more of the other, the who I am drastically changes. Dance has been my identity for a very long time and as that changes, so does the way I define myself. I’m starting to identify more and more with the yoga side of my life, so with each passing day I find myself questioning how to communicate this change. Do I need to be one or the other in order to be a “true” representative of my personal brand? I don’t think so, at least not yet. Each day I evolve into a new version of me, and that’s particularity exciting and difficult at the same time. Only difficult because it requires me to continually reevaluate my focus. That’s hard.

As I start to think about my schedule for after I come back from my little baby break, I am forced to make choices about who I want to be over the next year. I’m still not sure, but I’m working on it and doing my very best to listen to my own needs rather than the voices around me. I think that if I can approach each day this way, it will help me stay authentic to who I choose to be, not to who the people around me perceive as my persona. Interesting….

“At various points in our lives, or on a quest, and for reasons that often remain obscure, we are driven to make decisions which prove with hindsight to be loaded with meaning. (225)”
― Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras

When everything else seems a little out of place, and I can’t quite let go, I send myself to yoga. My mind slows down, the tension melts out of my shoulders, and I am reminded as to all the reasons why I love this glorious form of therapy.

Tonight was no different. I had a fine day, nothing dramatically wrong, just feeling a little off lately. There are a lot of things running through my mind that have been winding my muscles far tighter than they are used to being. So I made the decision to leave my practice in someone else’s hands. Their thoughts could guide me through each asana so that I could simply melt into the silence of my mind. I could let go of everything that needed to be let go.

Each movement was like a breath of fresh air. Each vinyasa working me a little deeper into all the places my muscles store my feelings. Each moment, allowing me to get closer to the root of my recent discomfort. Not confronting it, but accepting its existence, and knowing that I will have to give all my thoughts their own time to present themselves. 

People think that yoga and meditation are about turning off the voice in your head and finding silence, but it’s not. We cannot truly find silence that way. We mustn’t force the mind into submission. Instead, we acknowledge the thoughts presence, and promise to hear it at a later time. Only then can the mind be satisfied to allow us freedom from all noise. 

After class I had the opportunity to stick around and enjoy the company and conversation of a few colleagues. This was wonderful. Just taking a moment to sit and drink tea. Talking about what’s been on my mind and hearing an outside opinion. Being able to do what I love best, and that’s be in and around the welcoming spirit of the yoga community. My heart fills when I have the chance to connect with someone on a level deeper than mere pleasantries. It helps that the crux of the conversation was anchored by the mutual understanding that change is hard, but living the dream is worth it.

So my day got lighter. My shoulders released ever so slightly towards their comfortable space. And the pensive tension within myself is beginning to subside. It’s almost as though I will make it through another day by finishing on a good and happy note. And really, is that not the goal of all our days?

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing? (136-137)”
― Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras

 

It’s hard, sometimes, to initiate change.

There are only certain times in our lives that we are lucky enough to be able to change at a moments notice. When it feels right to drop all of our current obligations to simply follow a new path. Follow a new bliss.

For all the other times, it’s quite a bit more difficult. We have commitments and obligations that tie us down. We can feel trapped, and this feeling is what causes people to resent their current situations.

It can be a frightening idea, change that is. Leaving a part of your life that may have defined you for years. Closing a door in order to find a new direction. You might have reservations about the concept of change itself. Are you just seeking a challenge? Are you simply bored? Is it a case of the grass is greener? ….

YES!!

To all of these questions, yes. But why should that be a bad thing? If you’re seeking something it’s likely because your current situation is not where you’re supposed to be.

It’s true you know… The whole do what you love and you’ll love what you do thing. If you wake up and feel reluctant about something in your life, don’t just dismiss that thought, take a minute to recognize it.

For the people that are lucky enough to have something they would rather do, it can be a huge step, but it’s worth taking. It’s scary and it can be a long process, but it’s probably better for you and your happiness in the long run.

I’m not one to preach. I’m in this situation and have been for a few years to be honest. I know where I want to be, and I know what I have to do to get there, but I haven’t taken the plunge just yet. It’s very difficult to make a change that may be right for you, but will disappoint people around you. I have a big heart. I’m the type of person that has a hard time saying no and an even harder time knowing that people are going to be disappointed in me.

I know that I’ll make the change soon, and even know that it might be better if I treated it like a bandaid, but I’m afraid. I’m just not big and brave enough yet, but I will be.

I know that change is hard, but I hope everyone out there can have the courage to do what’s bet for them. Put yourself first. Why not. I promise I’ll try to muster the man-bites I need… If you do too.

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Never work a day in your life.

If you can find it, the thing that you love to do more than anything in the world, hold onto it with all your strength. It might take you a while to figure out what that thing is, but trust me, when you have found it, you’ll know.

How do I know I’ve found it? I get to spread my love for yoga…. as a career! I love to see the joy on people’s faces, the exhales of accomplishment, and the all-out blissed expressions when people start to feel what I feel about yoga.

Yoga is the only thing in the whole world that makes me feel strong and soft at the same time. I get to find this glorious power from somewhere deep within myself while at the same time surrendering to the knowledge that the extent of my posture and understanding is nowhere close to the finish line, or that there really never is a finish line.

So what makes you feel this way?

What would you volunteer to do? Head out every day without even having to collect a pay cheque? That’s how much you need to love it. That’s your dharma.

I think people are frightened of pursuing what makes them happy because we are conditioned from kindergarten to believe that everyone needs a “real job”. But my question is, who decided what counts as a real job? Not everyone is cut out for law school. Who wants to be an accountant (other than people who really love numbers… like my mom…. baffles me). And personally I’ve never been able to understand the love of putting on a suit and trudging downtown everyday. BUT, if that’s what you love, then that’s what you are meant to do. The problem comes when people have no idea what they are supposed to be in grade twelve and pick a random career because they know someone who knows someone who does  that and thinks it’s okay. Then you spend the next four years (or more) training to do that job, and you end up dreading Mondays.

This is why we see so many people hit a point in their lives where they leave their jobs, marriages, entire lives, and become a whole new person. A mid-life crisis we call it? I think it’s just a wake up call. Literally. You wake up one day a realize that you’re not the person you thought you would be, and some people are no longer willing to live with their choices.

Now, in no way am I condoning that people run off and leave their families behind, but I do think it’s healthy to take time to evaluate your life. And if you can, allow yourself to slowly reinvent the aspects that you’re not happy with.

Take a moment. Now. Stop and think about the things in life that make you truly happy. And now figure out ways to add more of those things, and less of the tasks in life. If you hate your job, find a new one. Go back to school, retrain, become whom ever it is you dream of being.

Whatever you want to be, start now. It’s never too late. Seriously. Change the way you think about yourself to reflect what you truly wish to become.

“The decisions you make everyday turn you into who you’re going to be tomorrow.” Chris Hadfield (quoted from an amazing interview earlier today, you should read it. http://www.insidehalton.com/news/article/1567199–chris-hadfield-delights-students-from-space)