Why trying to please everyone, will please no one

 
Jessica Dewar Yoga
 

Since making the decision to turn the Jessica Dewar Yoga Studio into a donation-based studio, there have been many mixed responses to it. 99.9% of the responses have been positive. My accountant has regained colour in his face since breaking the news to him, my family are optimistic my “do-or-die” attitude will see this idea succeed and expand, and of course my students have been amazingly supportive and helpful in spreading the word.

One thing I have noticed, however, is the animosity from (a select few) teachers and studios about this approach, making assumptions this venture is investor funded. Whilst I find that interesting, firstly it isn’t true (there is no investor funding) but a more important message here is that I will not allow the opinions or ridicule of others faze me. A lesson I feel compelled to share with you all.

You see, there will always be those who disagree, resent, challenge or (in the worst cases) outright try to sabotage your goals / dreams / desires. We cannot be naïve about this, but sadly this is the truth.

My intention is not to tread on the toes of other teachers or studios with this (donation-based) model, but rather to do things a little differently whereby yoga is made accessible to the majority rather than framed as an elitist practice for the minority. Yes, this puts me in the firing line for criticism and ridicule, but I don’t care. A person’s behavior, whether that be judgment and criticism, or encouragement and support, says more about them than it does about me.

I want this message to resonate with all those who have a dream they want to share with the world (…open your own café, book store, art gallery…) but fear the judgment and ridicule of others. If you let their opinions sway you, you will never live a life that is truly yours. To follow a passion that makes your heart sing. You will always be trying to please others, and in doing so, not only will you never succeed (as this is the impossible), you will also lead a very unsatisfying life. Stand up for what you believe in. Do what excites you and never let others pull you down.

You can Do, Be, Have anything you desire in this lifetime – you just need to have the strength and the courage to fight for it.

With regard to the studio I’m creating, I find it easy to move past the animosity as I have absolute clarity about why I’m doing this, and that is simply because I believe in this practice. I believe in how it can truly help people to live more fulfilled lives and as such it should be shared with as many people as possible, not limited by financial status. This practice helped me through some of my darkest days. It taught me to feel; to love myself and be at peace with who I am and how I stand in the world. I was one of the most self-conscious people out there. Diet after diet worried about my appearance. “Do I look too fat? Do I look too thin?” Now, I’m in front of hundreds of people (sometimes all at once) in leggings that leave nothing much to the imagination (as do all leggings), teaching people how to move and connect with their body. A completely life changing and liberating experience, one I believe is worth fighting for.

My passion, dedication and faith in this practice is too strong to allow any judgment or the fear of others deter me from pushing on. I hope you too can find the strength within to pursue your dreams. I believe in you. You’ve got this.

Sending hugs and strength your way,

Jessica xx

{One final thing – if you’re a teacher who would like to support this growing community and genuinely believe in this cause, then I want to hear from you. Email your resume to me at: hello@jessicadewaryoga.com. I would love to hear from you}. 

Take the plunge and follow your heart - there is no other way

As a uni student I recall feeling hopeful my ‘life path’ would reveal itself to me. Being accepted into a Behavioural Science Psychology Honours degree, I thought, “surely this must the the ‘life path’ I’m meant to be on?!” No. Turns out, it doesn’t work that way. For years I’ve worked in the corporate world, as you all know, and never has this path felt ‘right’. Don’t get me wrong - I was great at what I did (still am) - but did I find that work meaningful or fulfilling in anyway. Short answer - no.

So today, whilst sitting on my mat typing away (after a very present practice this morning) I’m excited to share with the world that I’ve been selected to present at both the Melbourne Evolve Yoga Festival as well as YogaFest in Brisbane, which is Australia’s biggest yoga festival - both being held in October 2015. Held once annually, I’m absolutely blown away by being selected to present - at both!

Now let’s be honest here. I’m not a business woman and I don’t have a fancy studio to promote via these incredible opportunities, but really it’s not about that for me. It’s about finding opportunities to share yoga with the world. So with that mindset, and with these festivals coming up, I truly believe I must be on the right path now. Doors are opening which I never dreamed were possible only a few short months ago. Don’t get me wrong, these doors are not opening without any effort on my part. There is constant research, phone calls, emails etc being sent in search of new opportunities, but at the end of the day, with this input from myself, everything just seems to be falling into place. My dream to share my knowledge with others is being made available to me and I couldn’t be more excited and grateful.

image
image

So how do people know if something is right for them? Firstly, to be clear, I’m certainly not pretending to be a life coach or gifted person who can magically give these answers to people. I’m offering ideas purely from my own experiences. So with that said - to be completely honest, when I left for India, I didn’t know if yoga would be ‘right’ for me. I knew I loved it, but did I want to teach it to others? I just wasn’t sure at the time. I thought I did, but I could have had a very rude awakening in India that this was certainly not what I wanted for my life. So therefore quitting my job and leaving my family for 3 months was a big risk on my part - all for something I wasn’t 100% certain would lead to the desired outcome. Turns out, this was one of the best, if not the best, decision of my life. But it took risk, and more importantly, a belief in myself that I could get through this. The latter is essential.

A favourite quote of mine which I would like to share with you all is - “what would you do, or try, if you could not fail?” Think about that for a moment. I’m sure the list could be over the page in no time if you take a moment to answer this question with all your attention and heart. Once complete, then ask yourself, “what’s stopping me from doing these things?”. When you know this, you can then start planning how to overcome it. Remember, lift is happening now. Not tomorrow. So take the risk and do what makes you happy - you never know what doors will begin opening for you also.

Namaste xx

Goodbye India - I shall miss you

Currently, Im making use of the best internet I’ve come across since being in India. The Wi-Fi in New Delhi International Airport. Yes - I’m on my way home. Since travelling through India I’ve had very limited access so it’s nice to write a final post from the airport (final for India - not final for the blog).

Sitting here, early as usual, I’ve been pondering my thoughts and feelings about the end of this ‘chapter’. There are so many emotions right now. Sadness about leaving but also joy to be going home, nervousness about what the future holds, gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned, the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had. I could go on! At the end of the day, I’m ready. It’s great to leave when you’re still having fun rather than when things turn to crap. Don’t get me wrong - I’ve experienced snakes in my room, rats in my room, rat poo in my bed, perverts opening my window to watch me shower, scariest toilets on Indian railway trains… believe me, I’ve seen and been through some VERY uncomfortable experiences. But every one of those not so pleasant experiences has led to some sort of learning. Funny and uncomfortable experiences aside - there have been far more mesmerizing, eye opening and just plain wonderful experiences also. For one, my training with Bharath of course. This has been a true highlight of my life and I shall never forgot the incredible journey I went through as a student of his. Seeing the tea plantations in Munnar, visiting the most southern point of India - Kanyakumari - where three oceans meet (Indian, Arabic and Bay of Bengal), the Taj Mahal, Ganges River in Varnasi. Just to name a few. The precious moments are endless.

India has a way of forcing you to be vulnerable and just ‘be’. In India, there is no future thinking. It’s all about the here and now, because everything is so in your face, there is no other way of being.

From here, I shall continue to blog about my journey as a yoga teacher. Really the journey is only just beginning. There are many people in Australia who I intend to meet with. The plan is to begin running my own classes in Melbourne somewhere near Glen Iris. Rent a hall and then spread the word Im running classes. Im also in negotiation with a luxury accommodation companies about partnering to hold beautiful retreats. What a life hey! I could think of nothing better than to spend time with amazing people who are seeking to deepen their practice with the aid of a stunning and relaxing getaway homes. Of course this will all happen slowly slowly, but that’s ok. If there is anything I’ve learned from yoga - it’s patience.

So with that, I want to say “Thank you India. Thank you for welcoming me so warmly, for offering new and exciting experiences, and most importantly - for opening my eyes. I shall be eternally grateful”.

And thank you to all the readers who have been following me during this time. You inspired me to keep writing - and to continue writing. I only hope my honest account has inspired you to follow your hearts also.

Well, it’s time to sign off but I shall be in touch back in Australia.

Lots of love. Jessica xxx

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

What a day. The energy of the day just felt off. From 4.30am in the morning when a friend from class pointed to a gathering at a home where someone had just passed, everything from then just felt uncomfortable. Chanting Om for half an hour this morning seemed easy when you realise you’re alive and breathing.

The exam was fine. I flew through it which was fantastic. There was the odd question I wasn’t sure of, but overall it was great.

I noticed during the exam Brittany wasn’t there but she arrived 20 minutes late, sniffling and and covering her head with her shawl. She was clearly upset. To be honest I thought she may not have passed the course and had just been told the news. I feel totally crap now that I know what really happened. After an Ayurveda class, which immediately followed the exam, Bharath told the class Brittany’s mother had passed away. The death was unexpected and happened while she was sleeping - as I understand. By the time Bharath told us, Brittany would have been on her way to Bangalore where she was booked to fly home to California at 8.00pm tonight. How terribly sad. I can’t even contemplate how she must be feeling right now. We sat in silence for a minute and chanted three Shanti’s for Brittany’s mother. The silence was deafening. We all felt sick with the news. How tragic.

After lunch with the group at the Royal Inn, as a mini celebration for finishing our studies (the group wanted to try and keep up their spirits), I rushed home to speak with Owen. A blubbering mess, we talked about life and death. How death can throw people into the present and remind them they only have now. At any time we could get a similar call, as morbid as it sounds. We just don’t know. My struggle to accept this fact makes it even more terrifying and I’m the typical westerner who tries to ignore this reality. But at the end of the day, this is the reality. None of us can stop it. I guess this is why I’m so committed to living my life how I dream. To follow my heart. To enjoy every moment to the fullest. Because at the end of the day, this is all I/we have. Moments.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

A wonderful realization

image

Today is my holiday Sunday (as they call it in India - my weekends shall always be called ‘holidays’ from now on). It’s such a wonderful time to stop and reflect on the week just gone, gather my thoughts, respond to any emails I haven’t had a chance to look at, prepare for the week to come and more importantly, to just ‘be’.

When you’re alone in the world and have a day to relax, the hours can feel like months. It’s amazing how life can really slow down if you allow it.

With only washing and food to worry about, today I decided to spend some time working on the content for my yoga website that I will create for my future business. (I’m meant to be just resting today but I really enjoy this stuff so I consider it resting). In doing so, I realised something so overwhelmingly beautiful and exciting whilst playing with ideas for my website and new business venture, and that was how truly happy I am with the path I am now on. Of course, a true yogi does not get attached to things, so I need to be mindful of this, but for the first time in my life I feel like I am actually doing something which brings so much joy to my life. Bliss as some would say. I couldn’t think of anything more wonderful than sharing my time with other practitioners who want to learn this beautiful, life giving practice.

Not to sound like a complete nut bag whose overly emotional following yesterdays cleansing technique, but this actually brought tears to my eyes. Of course I have known all this time how much I love yoga, but something today made me truly ‘feel’ yoga. For years I have searched for a passion, a love, something which I want to aspire to be great at, that I want to devote my life to learning. There are many people who are fortunate enough to have worked this out very early in their lives, but for me it wasn’t so simple. I’ve dabbled in many things, and had many hobbies, but nothing that has ever fulfilled me the way yoga has/does. And for that, I am so grateful. Of course this may not be the case forever. I appreciate we are all everchanging, but for now, I am truly content with where I’m headed.

Coming to Mysore really has been the journey of a lifetime and thank goodness I had the courage to do it. My only hope is that everyone else out there is following their passions also, whatever they may be. If we only get this chance once, then what other choice do we have?

Enjoy the week to come. May it be truly fulfilling and full of wonderful moments.

Namaste xx