Most of you know that I graduated from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and published a book a few months ago. Neither one of those things would have happened if 1) I had gotten what I wanted last year this time or 2) if I had let my fears get the best of me.
Let me explain. First, I have been teaching yoga for the Baltimore Ravens on and off for over 10 years. They are always trying to improve but have limited time to fit everything in, so yoga just wasn't on the list last season. Admittedly I was disappointed but the extra time gave me the chance to travel to France with my sister and our hubbies for a once in a lifetime Normandy hiking adventure and to register for a year-long course to become a health coach. Plus, a few months into nutrition school, I also decided to write a book which was an all-consuming 5 month project. I would have never had the time to go to nutrition school, write a book and travel to Normandy if I had been working with the Ravens last season.
The Dalai Lama always inspires me with his words of wisdom. I too believe that health, happiness, faith and compassion are keys to a fulfilled life and it's our responsibility to make the most of the life we've been blessed with. Feelings of fear and self-doubt will often creep in and problems will inevitably arise. Ultimately, it's all about our attitude. Being flexible and resilient when faced with challenges and "remembering that not getting what we want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck."
Second, I had no idea how much courage it took to write a book! I knew it would take discipline and focus, but it was the fear that quickly set in and literally made me squirm so much I tried to drop out of the writing program twice! Thankfully both times I slept on it and had my husband to help buck me up and rise to the challenge.
I bought this decal for my yoga studio and I'd practice hand stands against the wall. There's something about turning your world upside down and standing on your own two hands that helps get me head on straight...
I wrote daily for five months straight from Nov - March. I always took a break to cheer on my Ravens on game day! It was a rough winter. But nothing worth doing is ever easy! And by the time April rolled around I had a published book in my hands! A few weeks later, I was teaching off season yoga for the Ravens again. Talk about good timing!
On the days I felt extra stuck with my book, feeling like a college student slumped over a desk with writers block, I'd break away from my computer, blast some inspiring tunes and do 10-15 minutes of yoga. The playlist was key to get the blood flowing and brain in gear...
Brave by Sara Bareilles
"I wonder what would happen if you say what you want to say and let the words fall out. I want to see you be brave!"
Brand New Me by Alicia Keys
"I'll never be perfect but at least now I am brave."
There were lots of other songs on the playlist but these two really got me in the right frame of mind to just speak my truth from my heart and not worry if it's perfect or if everyone likes it. Just write and share your truth!
The happy ending is ... 1) I won the top 10 writing contest for my school and 2) I'm back teaching yoga at the Ravens this season. Yeay!!!
The reason I'm sharing this story is to encourage you to be brave and speak your truth and to remember that sometimes not getting what we want when we want is the best thing for our life's journey.
Keep your heart high. Have faith. Be a Flexible Warrior... Never give up. Always let go.