Back on April 8th, I attended a Krishna Das Kirtan concert, where he told an inspiring story about learning to apply himself 100%. At the time, I was stuck in discernment-process limbo, trying to decide between two career paths. Should I continue applying for full-time communications jobs, or expand my yoga teaching, music performance/teaching and promotion of both into a full-time profession? I was applying myself approximately 1% to each option and feeling about 1% peaceful with that ugly truth.
“When – and to what – will I apply myself 100%?” I asked myself (and you guys) in a blog dated April 9th.
On April 20th, I wrote the following e-mail to my friend Manu at Yogaville:
There has been SO much synchronicity swirling about life this month. Primarily regarding my mother’s influence and my career path discernment. When I returned from my Florida trip at the end of March, I planned to gauge my motivation, to see which direction I should travel professionally – would it be a full-time job in communications, or, a collection of part-time gigs/projects in yoga, music, marketing/promotion? Of course, after Spring Training, I was brimming with enthusiasm about teaching yoga to athletes. And so my energy was a bit tilted in that direction. One of the first things I did was meet with my friend, Emma, who teaches yoga full-time, to get a clear picture of the pros and cons. The pros definitely won. Then my computer broke down, so I couldn’t search or apply for full-time jobs. Still, I resolved to continue gaining counsel from friends and advisers, to make the best decision. On Easter Sunday, I was remembering that 20 years ago in mid-March, I was emerging from a very dark period which included many destructive events and toxic habits. That April Easter of 1990 represented a resurrection of sorts, when I resigned to clean up, stick around and see what life had to offer. So this year for Easter, I was pretty emotional and reflective about life’s purpose and calling. The next day, Easter Monday, I was invited to speak to an addiction recovery group that meets at the synagogue where my mother converted to Judaism in the 1950s. So mom – one of my biggest creative motivators – was in the back of my mind as I told my story of transformation that night. On Tuesday, I donated my services to lead a Yoga Nidra for young cancer survivors at the Smith Farm Center (my mom had cancer three times). Wednesday I took a very intense Jivamukti class; Thursday I fasted and went to a Kirtan with Krishna Das – his between-song banter kicked my butt into positivity (see the “100%” blog for more); and Friday morning I took another Jiva class to finish my one-day detox. My computer was also fixed the day before – and what was the first thing I did? Apply for full-time communications jobs? No! I wrote three yoga blogs within 12 hours! Saturday and Sunday I attended two workshops with heart-opening teacher Max Strom and Mom was with me the whole time (see “Oh Death” blog for more on that experience). And in asking her about the career journey, the answer was, “Follow your heart.” What else? By Monday I don’t think I needed any more counsel about my work life; but somehow I still felt the need to continue this discernment process “responsibly.” Digging deep with a trusted friend on Tuesday, we pretty much put an end to my waffling. That day – April 13 – was also the 8th anniversary of my mom’s death. And the day I found out that my Uncle Bill had died (again, see “Oh Death”). Uncle Bill was a man of great faith – if he were here, he’d say, “If it’s god’s will, you will be OK. Go for it, Holly!” A couple of days later, I traveled to Nashville for Bill’s funeral; and when long-estranged family/friends asked, “So what do you do?” I answered, “I’m a teacher – I teach yoga and music. And I write.”
It’s funny because, BEFORE I went to Florida for Spring Training, I’d said to my friend Athena, “I have a dream – I want to teach yoga, teach music and perform music full-time – using my communications skills to promote my efforts and the activities of others in those professions.”
So the journey of being an independent business operator begins.
Wow. Since writing that letter, I have: started teaching a new private client twice weekly (referred by my chiropractor – thanks, Dr. Bahnson!); answered an opportunity to pick up three classes at another studio (fingers crossed!); taught a two-hour Integral Yoga class at the Happy Destiny Retreat; shared my prayer and meditation experience with another addiction recovery group; been accepted to Seane Corn’s Off the Mat/Into the World Leadership Training program (with partial scholarship!); begun attending a weekly Level 2 class with Caroline Weaver and a Dharma Mittra style series with Laura Ivers; and been offered a part-time job with a yoga-related organization (whose name I won’t mention because I haven’t given my answer yet…I’m back in discernment-process mode!).
Now to catch up with my blog writing!
But what really blew me away as this momentum started to pick up was an amazingly thoughtful letter from Stacey, the teacher coordinator at Past Tense Studio, where I teach regularly. Without getting into the details of her positive feedback from a class she attended, I’ll share that she pretty much affirmed my big-picture life purpose – to give back to people what has been so generously shared with – and therefore has healed – me.
Stacey also shared the following quote. I’ll leave you with this. OM Shanti.
UNTIL ONE IS COMMITTED – W.H. MURRAY
CONCERNING ALL ACTS OF INITIATIVE (AND CREATION) THERE IS ONE ELEMENTARY TRUTH, THE IGNORANCE OF WHICH KILLS COUNTLESS IDEAS AND SPLENDID PLANS:
THAT THE MOMENT ONE DEFINITELY COMMITS ONESELF, THEN PROVIDENCE MOVES TOO.
(P.S. Thank you, Cathy Duarte, for motivating me to write this tonight!)