Life: sometimes you just gotta close your eyes, hold on tight and enjoy the ride

 
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This has been one of the toughest years of my entire life. Pursing the dream of sharing yoga with the world has meant many sacrifices. I’ve had to skimp and save, I’ve worked 80+ hour weeks, I’ve travelled interstate and overseas for meetings and training. I’ve nearly gone bankrupt multiple times. Little luxuries like going out for lunches or dinners have gone out the window. I’ve waited in the studio countless times for students who never arrive. I’ve interviewed many teachers, met with great leaders in the industry, met with some not so great leaders… I’ve learned how to manage conflicts with staff and teachers, how to maintain a website, walked countless miles dropping flyers into letterboxes. I’ve cried, laughed, fallen flat on my face and then cried again. I mean, seriously, this has been a tough, busy year.

But despite all the challenges, I can hands down say it has been the most phenomenal year of my life. My personal growth has been unbelievable. Sure, I’ve taken on some pretty significant risks, and I feel like I’m on the edge of a precipice every day, but watching as our studio unfolds has been nothing short of amazing.

Truth be told - I’m pretty tough on myself. I’m committed to making this donation yoga model work. I feel so passionate about helping others access this practice that I really will do whatever it takes to make it work. I’ve heard the term Type A overachiever flying around lately, so let’s work with that to help describe my personality. This means I place myself under huge levels of pressure to see things through. There is always a feeling like I could be doing more. That I am always behind -especially during these early stages of the business. I have no funding for support with administrative tasks etc so it is constantly GO GO GO. This can be tiring. But I still push on, because I must. The challenge for me is to be a little kinder to myself and grant myself permission to not have to do every task on the To-Do list completed all at once. That it’s ok if I can’t get to everything. And if I don’t know everything.

I’m sharing this with you all because I know I’m not the only one who is hard on myself when it comes to building something you’re excited about. We all tend to be pretty tough on ourselves a little too often. We are our own harshest critic. Our toughest competitor. There tends to be this common theme of always looking at what hasn’t been done, rather than focusing on what has been done or achieved.

This way of thinking, this mindset of never having done a good enough job, is tiring. Rather than allowing ourselves to feel happy with our achievements and enjoying the ride, it drains us. It quickly depletes whatever energy we have left for the things we love as its been wasted on negative thinking.

I chatted with Guruji recently about this rollercoaster ride I’m currently on. I explained to him I’ve been feeling anxious. That my moods are very up and down lately, all because of the uncertainty of running a studio, let alone the type of studio I’ve opened. I found his reply so reassuring and comforting.

First, he reminded me not to rush my Finishing Sequence (during my own personal training sessions). How did he know I’ve been rushing it?! In doing so, my body is not being given a chance to properly relax and rest. He was right – there are many mornings where time gets away from me and I need to rush through my finishing sequence. Doh!

He also assured this stage of the business, especially a brand new studio, will be very trying. But that I must go through this process to grow as a teacher, a student, business owner and human being. I find it so helpful to be reminded that this is a tough journey. That it’s not just me that finds it tough. That everyone finds it tough. Being alone most of the time, I often forget other studio owners have often experienced similar, with these same ups and downs.

With a final reminder from Guruji to maintain my Naddi Suddhi practice daily, I felt reassured that I’m not going crazy. Rather that I need to take more time to slow down, accept the journey, be patient with the journey and enjoy the ride.

Because hey, if we don’t enjoy the ride, whatever the ride looks like, then what’s the point?

I want to end this post with a reminder to myself and to all who read this, that life is meant for living. That there will always be challenges. Hurdles. Dramas. Things that just don’t work. But that it is good to have these challenges, hurdles and dramas. For it is through these experiences, and how we respond to them, that ultimately define us.

Sending hugs,

Jessica xx