“While I am not catholic, I am connected to Mary. In some deep guttural way, her presence in the story of love and redemption makes it raw and intimate and maternal. Part of it is that she is a she. She had a body that operates on a lunar cycle. But part of it is that she wrapper her arms around God. Her literal arms held the divine one. God suckled at her breast and her womb grew flesh and bone while hosting the same spirit that separated light from darkness.” – Mandy Arioto
Today’s exploration is about embracing the symbolic concept around birthing something new.
This is, ahem, a topic that I can very literally relate to with a 5-month old baby. My womb, while healing, still holds a shadow of the feeling that it did at this time last year. My baby, while out of my body, is still held close to my hip, an extension of my being, needing extra tenderness and care and she continues to grow and develop every single day.
And, similarly, I’m now moving a bit away from the moment-to-moment care of her, as she grows and becomes less tied to me, to grow and birth something new: my career as a yoga teacher.
At the beginning of the year I made a promise to myself: to SECURE my view of my body, my relationships, and my career. I started this project in January by eating a Whole30 diet and doing daily hot yoga. You can read more about that plan here and the results will come in a future post.
The January mini project truly changed the way I viewed myself. The project also gave me the space to shed the shell of baby birthing to make way for more deep personal and professional growth, because the studio where I chose to do the daily yoga practice is now the place where I teach and the way I teach today is dramatically ahead of where I was weeks ago. And the way I’ll teach weeks from now will be leaps and bounds ahead of where I am today.
That’s the beauty of birthing something new – every single day you cultivate it a little more, you nourish it, or the best you can do, you let that settle in, then you look for more.
The Power of Believing YOU CAN
Without any plan, any prospects, or any ideas, and fully in the throes of depression, I made a commitment to myself last month to push my teaching to the next level. I made that commitment in my mind, and then I wrote it on a piece of paper in my OLW notebook (check out more photos of that in this post).
I worked HARD to improve my practice – through exhaustion, through “I can’t”, through question after question, through all the mental and emotional stuff that comes up when you’re doing everything you can to better yourself. I thought about giving up 100 times every day.
But something kept me going. Even when I tried to convince myself that the studio wasn’t a good fit (it’s literally a perfect fit), even when I bombed my first interview (worst class in 150 classes, and I wish I was exaggerating), even when I decided that I was totally on the wrong course (and started job searching).
And that something has propelled me into this new space. And who knows where it will lead, but I’m happy to be here. I’m happy for the chance. And I’m optimistic about what comes next.
And Then Making it Happen
But it’s not as simple as just doing it, or just working hard, or just happening across the actual perfect scenario (which I kind of did). You have to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Do you have any idea how hard that is for me?? Seriously. If believing in yourself was graded, I would fail. Over and over again.
But for some CRAZY reason (because it can’t be logic, or real), people keep saying that they like my classes. And for some CRAZY reason, my boss believes in me. And for some CRAZY reason, people keep showing up, week after week, even in blizzards and even when we shouldn’t even be open.
And so I’m starting to think that, maybe, I don’t have to believe in myself, but I do have to believe that all the people around me that are saying really positive things, and thanking me, and coming back again and again, well – maybe I can believe in them. And, maybe, together we can create an amazing yoga practice and experience in our studio. Every week.
I don’t know the answers to all of my questions, but I do know this: that I set out to find a new experience, and I found it, and I know that I’m going to keep working hard to get deeper and further in it. Not just to get better, but to get really, really good at this. To change lives, in some small way. To have an impact. And to keep coming back and bringing it every single day.
For several years Ali Edwards has started her year with a word. No resolutions or promises to break, just one little word® to check back on for guidance or reflection. As she describes it, “You live with it. You invite it into your life. You let it speak to you. Follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities.” After a challenging 2016, my choice for 2017 is to become SECURE. Each month, I’m focused on a different aspect of securing who I am, where I am, and what we’re doing. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. For more of my one little word, follow my tag one little word.
MOPS, or Mothers of Preschoolers, is and international organization that encourages and equips mothers of young children to realize their potential as mothers and leaders. “We’ve all been placed in this time and place in history, as the tribe of women who are raising the world. And the beauty of it is that we don’t all have to agree with one another but everyone is in and we all need each other.” This 28-day challenge is coupled with reading, a daily truth or dare, and videos and resources that allow us to connect, discuss, and dive into this topic of woman-hood and mother-hood. Come back daily, or read along in this thread, to see my posts and stories for each day.