Barn burned down
Now I can see the moon
I’m personally really excited for 2018. 2017 was a year of big transition for me. It was the year that I gave myself permission to “fit out,” and to accept that I never really wanted to fit in anyway.
After completing an MBA program and attempting to force my artistic-maverick-square peg self into a business suit-wearing, conference call-dialing round hole… and failing miserably, I found myself at a crossroads. Despite a lot of fear and stress and uncertainty, I knew that I had to forge another way forward. Another way that allowed me to take care of myself, to utilize my strengths, and to be out in the world rather than shackled to a cube. I had no idea how this would work, or when, but I knew deep in my gut that I had to try.
Thankfully, I had teaching yoga to fall back on as I navigated this transition, and in the course of six months, I went from teaching two weekly classes to more than ten. I enrolled in a health coaching certificate program (that I just completed), signed up to distribute essential oils, became a part time faculty member at George Washington University, and dreamt of the wellness business that I would work to create. In order to survive, I also started walking dogs, waiting tables, working the front desk at my yoga studio, and counting every single penny.
2017 was one of my most challenging years yet. Somehow I managed to squeak by every month and be ok; oftentimes, I had to work seven days a week (running all over town) to do that. I had to ask for a lot of help, to say yes, even when I wanted to say no, to excise naysayers, and to truly hustle just to keep my nose above water.
However, 2017 has also been one of the most rewarding years of my life, and here’s why:
-I spent two weeks in Mexico in February, learning about Chinese Medicine, herbs, Acupuncture, and essential oils from my acupuncturist. Not only did I expand my knowledge of subjects that fascinated me, but was also immensely inspired by my time spent in Mexico. So much so that I have been secretly dreaming of moving there all year!
-I have formed very meaningful friendships with other yoga teachers who both collaborated with me and provided me with tremendous amounts of advice and support. When I felt like one ground had dropped out from beneath me, another one very quickly rose to take its place.
-I was forced to step out of my comfort zone and face all my fears on a nearly daily basis. Trembling, I lead my first workshop in June, and then went on to lead six more. One of them only had one person show up, another planned workshop was cancelled.
-I feel like I became much more connected to my students and even became friends with many of them. I have loved getting to know my students on a deeper level and am immensely grateful for my yoga community
-I’m a professor! My first semester at GWU was very challenging for me. It was a brand new experience and a totally unfamiliar audience (teenagers!). However, reading through the course evaluations that I received at the end of the semester made me feel incredibly fulfilled….What was most helpful for me was learning more about yoga beyond the physical aspects. I wasn’t expecting that at all from this class, but it has helped me so much- through mindfulness to breathing to restorative practices- I feel much more calm.
-When my dear grandma Maxine passed away in November, just before the holidays, I had the flexibility to go home twice. Once in October to say goodbye, and then again for three weeks in December. I took some work with me and let other work fall away.
-As of January, 2018, I have a business, a name, a website, a brand, a logo, a blog, paying clients, and a clear idea of what value I have to offer and what path I am meant to take.
-I followed my gut. I followed my gut even when it was in knots from stress and scared to speak up and plagued with doubts and shoulds and what ifs. I followed my gut through everything, and that authenticity and self-respect is priceless.
2017 was marked by transition, hustle, and burning through fear. 2018 will be a year of growth, networking, honing expertise, and deepening connections. I’m glad 2017 is over, don’t get me wrong, but it really feels awesome to look back and take stock on the year. I traveled so far. I stepped out into the wild unknown, and everything worked out. Everything worked out fantastically well, in fact. I woke up without an alarm most days, did not get sick once (except for that bug I brought back from Mexico), I hiked with my dog at least once every day, I helped people feel better, and I gained clarity, purpose, community, and courage.
Getting that MBA was perhaps the most expensive mistake I have ever made. But I wouldn’t have moved to DC, given yoga a chance, become a yoga teacher, or reached my breaking point had I not gotten that degree. So, cheers to 2018, cheers to winding roads and expensive mistakes, and cheers to “fitting out” rather than in.