One of my moments happened standing on Tower Bridge in London in 2011. I had woken up that morning nervous and excited as I was scheduled to attend an interview for what, at the time, was my dream job. As I checked my messages and headed towards the tube, I saw a message come in from an old friend in Australia. One of my fellow yoga teachers and a woman I had come to know and love had taken her own life. I remember the shock and my body freezing in disbelief and then the sadness of a life gone so young. When I got off the tube, I walked towards London Bridge and I paused staring out over the Thames towards Tower Bridge. I wondered about her and thought of the moments we shared together on our trainings. She had always been so full of life and to me a bright light during the more challenging days. I went through my phone and looked at photographs of us, and felt overwhelming sad.
I remember making a commitment on the bridge that day to her and to myself. I did the interview for her and for me, for the dreams she had that never came to fruition, for the illness that took over her mind and heart to make her feel that she could no longer be a part of this world and for dreams I had but had yet to find the courage to fully embrace. I turned on my heel, walked into that interview and I knew I had the job leaving the café. Even though there would be two further interviews and paperwork to complete, I had it and I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way. The level of determination in me that day was palpable and the inner strength that came through me was a version of me I hadn’t experienced before. In that moment, the awful news I had that day had awakened a part of me I hadn't yet connected with and gave me a sense of purpose and a sense of immediacy, a want to live life fully for her and for myself.
More recently, the last few months of life have seen many twists and turns and that inner strength has come back in full force. There have been moments of wondering what on earth has been happening and how I invited some of the challenges into my life and as I reflected on this, yet another defining moment showed itself in a more subtle way.
I have been teaching yoga for ten years now and for the last four years it has been my full time work. It has been four years of ups and downs. There have been tears, lots of tears of joy and of sorrow, there have been laughs and there have been moments of pain, frustrations and anger, and there have been unexpected pleasures and plenty of WTF moments too. As many yoga teachers will tell you, we aren’t all zen all of the time, contrary to popular belief!
This last year something began to shift inside of me. I began to pull away from the studio I regarded as my main place of teaching, I moved away from collaborating with other teachers and studios and the places I worked with on bigger programmes seemed to drift out of my life. At first I was confused and not really clear as to what was happening. And then it came to me; I was being pushed into creating my own business and the life I truly wanted. Friends will tell you they saw this coming a long time ago however as with the journey I wasn’t quite ready to see it until now.
“What you resist, persists!”
Truthbomb! I resisted it. I then ignored it and finally the universe got frustrated with me and gave me an almighty kick in the proverbial to force me into jumping off the cliff and taking the leap of faith. Cue the wanting to get into my car, drive out of here and never come back, the phone-call home, the well-meaning advice to go get a job in the real world and let go of the hardship of running my own business in a place I had just moved to and the mounting frustration of hearing exactly what I didn’t want to hear. Then there were the doubts inside my own head… Was I strong enough to stay this time, to not runaway? Was I ready to be with what is and take time to build a home and a life in a place I had fallen in love with? Did I have the ability to create my own yoga business and to trust and have faith in myself in the process? Could I receive what was on offer and fully embrace it? Was the community big enough to support me and also my fellow teachers? So many questions and yet it was the same answer everytime I asked...
The resounding answer was yes, to follow my heart and create what I wanted and give it my best shot.
So ignoring the initial external advice I began building what I had been dreaming of for a longtime and what had been sitting in my heart for over a year. In many ways it is in its very beginning stages and yet it is flowing, which has surprised me. The ease with which it has begun to manifest makes me wonder why I didn’t take the leap sooner. In letting go of the perceived security, in trusting in myself and in the support around me, a block shifted and released along the way and I am learning to receive, and receive in a big way.
“Herein lies the paradox: If you want more of whatever it is you desire, you have to first prove to the universe that you are capable of having it by developing a consciousness that affirms there is no shortage of it. The only way to do this is by creating a vacuum or space for it to be received, and the only way you can create a space for it to be received is by letting go of what you do have, trusting that the universe knows what it is doing. That's the law of circulation in action.”
Dennis Merritt Jones
Coming home after being away teaching for a month, I have received cards, comments, and a lots of hugs. Its been wonderful to be welcomed back with open arms and its been so beautiful to feel so at home and to belong. In letting go and allowing myself to stay through the harder moments, I am receiving gifts beyond my wildest dreams. I am building stability, a community, a business and friendships and I am feeling more at ease with this new concept of staying. There is no running away now. It feels limitless. It feels abundant. And while I am aware there may still be days ahead where I question everything, for now I am sitting and allowing myself to dream, to be acknowledged and to receive with grace.