A year ago, I quit my full time job and leapt into the unknown of self employment.
I had a plane ticket to Costa Rica, a storage unit full of stuff, and a vague plan to fly back to Maine for Christmas to see my family. I had a few clients. A website. A hell of a lot of hope. And about an equal amount of fear.
To describe the past year in one blog post would be impossible. It has brought me to my biggest challenges yet, taught me the greatest lessons of my life, and broken my heart wide, wide open. Here, for you, ten lessons from a year of doing it my way.
- Nobody else cares nearly as much about my snafus and mistakes as I do. In fact most of the time, nobody even notices until I begin berating myself. So I’ve learned to take a deep breath, resolve it, let go and live on. Apologies aren’t nearly as big a deal when they come from the heart, and the best way to learn is to make mistakes.
- The best thing I can offer anyone- anyone- is my complete and open presence. Whether in emails, during a session, or after a yoga class, this is the greatest gift I can give and makes the most significant impact on the life and heart of another. Not the words I say, not the postures I lead, not the content I write- my presence.
- Freedom without structure is not freedom at all. Ohmygosh. Working for myself has been the biggest journey in learning what kinds of structure and boundaries serve good purpose! Without some structure, ritual, a beginning and a closing, the days and weeks blur together and the mind begins to create stories about “productivity”, “accomplishment”, and why you still haven’t showered and it’s 8pm. And that doesn’t feel much like freedom.
- Investing money in my own health and growth is the best investment in my life. Regular craniosacral, yoga classes and workshops, good food and travel are absolutely critical. Even when budgets are tight and I didn’t think I had time, the Universe always rewarded me for energy put into my own expansion. That said:
- The Universe will support me- but not always in the ways I think it should. Holy wow, this has been a year of learning to drop all expectations. Major successes that seem to come from nowhere, and projects that I put my heart and sweat into that completely flop. So I’ve learned to listen to my intuition, put my energy where I feel the flow, and let go of projects or visions that just aren’t feeling good anymore. I can’t even count how many unfinished blog posts I have tucked away….
- F&%$ it, let’s go. This mantra of sorts came to me this past summer from the divine Danielle LaPorte in her talk at the World Domination Summit. I became a Yes person- a “why the hell not?!” girl. If something intrigues me, if someone asks, if I’m feeling called… why not? I’m game. Life is an experiment in finding out what resonates and what doesn’t, and I can’t know until I try.
- Never stop singing, dancing, or hanging out naked. Somewhere early in my year, I let the tension of trying to do it ALL stifle my creativity, my song, my dance. Ecstatic Dance sessions, loud music flailing, and car ride sing alongs might have saved my sanity and my heart when I finally allowed the energy to flow through again- because I realized that wild expression and play is absolutely nonnegotiable. And the naked part, well… that’s just important. Trust me.
- This path is only as lonely as I let it be. Being on a journey of spiritual growth, whether through my yoga or learning more about how I’m called to serve, can feel mighty lonely when it seems like everyone else is out having fun. But when I remember that I’m never alone- it ceases to feel lonely, and instead, I learn to find the beauty in leading, seeking, and lighting a path. And once I began to do so with trust and confidence, I began to find others with whom I could connect as real souls- heart center to heart center.
- People aren’t nearly as judgmental as I thought. Seriously. At the front of a yoga class, on Facebook, I’ve been such a dork- in my process of unfolding my truest self, I’ve told dumb jokes, totally flubbed what I was trying to say, gotten all turned around, and people have loved me anyway. My faith in the compassion and loving kindness of this world is monumental at this point in my journey. And those who are judging? Eh. Who needs ‘em.
- Everything is what you make of it. Everything. Every screw up, every success, everything. If I let my mind make a whole story around a blog post that was a total hit? I got high on some false truth, only to come crashing down when nobody noticed the next one when in reality I have no idea why. So I can choose to make a story, or I can choose to celebrate every tiny beautiful thing equally- the shadows and the light. Because we are made of both fire and darkness, heat and cold, laughter and silence, highs and lows. And it’s all part of the gorgeous dance.
So thank you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you- for being a part of this journey, a part of this dance, and my greatest teachers. My humble gratitude.
And here’s to many more years of doing it my way to come.