A Cataclysmic Transition

Earthquake-Cracked-Road

I taught my first public yoga class (for adults) on Sunday and had a blast. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect for turnout and was both thrilled and terrified to find myself facing a full room at the start of class. Thankfully half of them were familiar faces. Seeing their smiles and knowing they were rooting for me helped dim my nerves.

The theme of the class was “playing with balance”. I tried to keep things light and encourage experimentation, to give people permission to fall down and make mistakes, to try something new. Of course everything we practice in yoga asana, the physical postures, can be applied to our lives off our mats. And I wouldn’t be an authentic teacher if I weren’t asking myself how this applies to my own life.

The truth is a transition is taking place. The ground is shifting beneath my feet. Tectonic plates sliding against one another, cracks snaking their way along the pavement, bits of rock, gravel and dust rising from the trail like popcorn in hot oil.

I felt a handful of minor earthquakes during the ten years I lived in the San Francisco Bay area. They were all small enough that they were over by the time I found myself answering, “Yes,” to the question of, “Is this an earthquake?’ The most notable evidence was invariably the shelves, thoughtfully bolted to the walls, shaking side-to-side, never deviating more than an inch from the centerline. Maybe a book fell over once. They were certainly never strong enough to pick up something as big as a person.

Yet, here I am, sitting with the great, big question, “Where will I land?”

My mom is dying. She has, arguably, been dying for the last year and a half. Or, for that matter, since the day she was born. I guess the difference is she is no longer trying to stop it.

When I started this business I told myself I would give it one year. I would commit to blogging weekly and make every effort to attract business for one year. Then I would reassess. Part of me feels like a failure for what comes next. It’s only been 8 months since I opened up shop. I feel flaky and childish, like it was irresponsible to start a business without one clear and simple direction.

But I am trying to listen to my own damn advice. Cues I gave during Sunday’s yoga class, without even fully hearing them myself.

Can we go any deeper?

Can we push ourselves further?

Maybe today we try something new.

We invite that sense of play and experimentation.

And if we fall down, we remind ourselves that it’s okay.

We take a breath and get right back to it.

My path forward is very clear to me. (For now, anyway.) It took some time for the knowing to become conscious and then to get out of my one year contract. And even more time still to say it out loud to myself, to my husband and now to you.

To be clear – I am keeping this business open. I will continue to jump at the opportunity to take on a new run client. I will continue to make Yoga Inspired Jewelry because it’s fun and sell it because why not? If a job teaching yoga falls in my lap I will swiftly and happily snatch it up.

But, for the time being, I’m not going to put effort into marketing myself or this business. I will still blog occasionally, but not every week. From your perspective not much else will change here. What you might not notice is the weight knocked off my shoulders, a (perhaps fortunate) causality of this cataclysmic transition. I’m letting go of the pressure and expectations. I’m giving myself permission to experiment, to try something new and to fall down. Profits will be what they are… or not.

I’m doing this to create space for more important things. Like caring for and spending time with my mom. And one more thing.

I’m going to write a book. I’m not going to wait.

Photo Credit: Cracked highway near Long Beach, 1933 by CIR Online is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Original cropped

4 thoughts on “A Cataclysmic Transition

  1. Wow! Congratulations on your decision to write a book. I’m inspired by the way you reasses and, in my opinion, act bravely. And I’m so, so sorry that your mom is dying. I’m glad you are getting to spend time with her, and you both are able to spend time with your girls.

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    1. Thank you. I’m glad you see it as brave… I still sort of feel like a quitter. Or at least like I’m a lot better at starting things than I am at seeing them through. The book will be a test, for sure. And yeah, I’m very grateful we’re close to my mom during this phase.

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