I wasn’t going to write this because it seems a little egotistical to assume that anyone would be interested- but maybe this will help someone. And it is about yoga- the real, living yoga, beyond unrolling the mat and doing a sun salutation.
It’s been too long since I posted here- but I have an excuse. I wish I could say it were a really good one, like, “I’ve been too busy volunteering with orphans,” but instead it’s just a real-life one. I’ve been caught up in the middle of an uncomfortable change.
At the end of the month (June 2012), I’ll be leaving my full-time job of 11 years to begin a career as a full-time yoga instructor and part-time Virtual Assistant. I’m reallyreallyreally excited. But it’s also scary, and it’s got me feeling pretty loopy lately.
Of course I have the usual fears- Will I make enough money? What if I break my leg? What if I just plain suck? More fundamentally, though, I’ve got a bit of an identity crisis going on: who am I now that I’m shedding this role?
I’ve been this (pretty much miserable) 40-hour-a-week customer-service-cubicle-dweller for most of my adult life. I’ve tried to leave before, but I’ve been held back, I believe, by the fear of the unknown- not knowing who I am if I’m not this unhappy person. I had this vague sense of gloomy destiny that this is just how things are supposed to be- you go to work, maybe you cry in the bathroom for a while, you come home exhausted and cranky, but at least you get three weeks of vacation. Then, it’s four weeks of vacation. After a while, more promotions and more money come along and then you begin to feel trapped. Maybe (yuck) you even feel like you don’t deserve any more than this, that happiness is for those people who got the right degree, made the right financial decisions, tried harder in school… you get the idea.
So now, when I’m faced with a future where I am no longer living that life- after 11 years- I feel as though I’ve been standing in a cage and the bottom dropped out. I’m FREE! But holy #$%, now what do I do? I’m dangling out here! Can’t go forward (any faster than I am)- can’t go back (wouldn’t want to anyway)- I’m stuck in this very uncomfortable in-between state.
Being me, I have been dealing with this crisis in all sorts of unproductive ways. Primarily junk food. You don’t want to hear about that though- instead, let’s look at what I do when I remember my yoga. Meditation! Practicing, even for 10 minutes a day, helps me to remember that there is a place (you can call it center, soul, true nature, whatever) deep down, beneath the layers of my job, my car, my family, even beneath my skin, my thoughts, my emotions, hopes and fears- where I am essentially me and everything is just fine. Zen writer Cheri Huber sums it up nicely: “Center is the unconditionally accepting, conscious, compassionate awareness that is our authentic nature. When in center, everything is as it is and none of it is taken personally. There is nothing wrong; no loss, lack, or deprivation… From center, the world is exactly the same as always, there’s just nothing wrong.”
So I’m hanging in there. In three more days, I’ll be past this part of the crisis… and maybe then I can get back to blogging more productively about yoga.