A little over a month ago I took a week long trip to the central coast of California to visit my parents and good friends. Something very unexpected happened upon my return to Brooklyn…I found myself miserable and burnt out. I woke up crying every morning for two weeks straight. I longed to be by the ocean in a way that was so deep it felt like my soul was struggling inside of my body. I knew something had to change. What, though? I questioned the neighborhood I live in. It has undergone some drastic changes that I don’t necessarily like or want to be an active or passive part of, and some people who are no longer part of my life live just a little too close for comfort. I questioned New York City as a whole. Is the place that has always felt like home no longer home for me? The one thing I didn’t question was, my job. I love teaching yoga. I did however, start to question how I am choosing to work as a yoga instructor.
After lots of thinking, planning, and even more tears than I can even begin to admit to, I made some big decisions. The decisions I have made scare me, but the thought of things remaining just as they are for too much longer terrifies me. Somehow, the courage inside of me to say, enough is enough, prevailed. Perhaps it was the influence of the cat I adopted days after returning from my trip to California. He, unlike my previous cat, is fearlessly curious – nothing scares or deters him. Perhaps it was the fact that playing it safe has never worked out for me. Perhaps it was the fact that I finally got too uncomfortable with things as they are. Change, it is inevitable afterall.
My friend and I went to see Elizabeth Streb’s new work, SEA, this afternoon. If you have never heard of or seen her work, this is a short glimpse into that world.
The performers have to face their fears and go for it anyway – there is no holding back or playing it safe in Streb’s work. The audience is also forced to face their fears by bearing witness to humans doing seemingly impossible feats. Magic doesn’t happen when we play it safe. And yet, we play it safe all the time because that is what we have been taught to do and that is what is accepted, and often expected. As I watched the dancers fly and literally fall flat on the faces, I realized I can step off my ledge and fly too. If I fall, I will get right back up and go for it again, just like the dancers did, over and over, and over again.
So, I am leaving the big apple for three months to live in California, lead my first yoga retreat in Costa Rica (more on that soon), and begin writing the book that has been begging to be born into existence for far too long now. I will plan, and put into motion, changes that I hope will make teaching yoga for a living more sustainable and enjoyable longterm. Most importantly, I will give myself the time and space to assess what it is I really want out of life. It all feels frighteningly unknown. No one, and I do mean no one, I have shared my plans with has been anything but supportive, which, quite honestly scares me a little. (Maybe I have finally succeeded in surrounding myself with people who truly do have my best interest in mind and want to see me succeed.) All my apprehensions aside, I feel ready to take a great big leap and fly.