The build up to this major life event was unceremonious: squashing my thumb in the balcony door.
And the slow and painful recovery that followed. But even on another inspection by the doctor, it wasn’t broken nor infected.
My mother also had an accident. Five days before me. She fell and was covered in blood, half her face was damaged, her eye thick and closed.
Seventy-two hours later?
Eyes clear, wounds/ skin fully healed, and the only thing that reminded of her accident was one black bruise that had settled itself along her cheek and nose lines.
When the doctor was done with me, she asked me how my mother was doing.
“She’s great! It’s one of the reasons I keep thinking something is wrong with me. She recovered from that horrible fall within days. Not dragging it on, like me.”
I heal slower than someone decades older than me and with a fifty percent gene overlap. Good thing I stopped drinking, in response to this accident, because my body is obviously going to need all the help it can get. I did finish what was still in the bottle. Half a glass. I didn’t wanted to throw it out. And I also didn’t want my last glass to be right before my thumb got stuck.
I wanted my step to abstinence to be happy, peaceful and conscious.
And it was.
I m now midway in my holiday week, and yesterday was my “active resting day”, as they call that in fitness. With me, that meant socially resting. I didn’t have anything planned, aside from the doctor’s appointment. And a friend I asked couldn’t make it that night.
I didn’t desperately try to fill it.
I went shopping for presents, took myself out for a meal and pondered a lot about my work as a yoga teacher. The past few weeks I started creating an online yoga program, but it was based on the idea that creating those videos would take the place of a normal yoga practice. After the thumb accident, and my mother falling, I knew I had to do better.
That more rest, less work, and a genuine home yoga practice were required, if I planned on getting as old as my mother, without turning into a whining, crackly old lady. Working seven days a week, or skipping my home yoga practice were not an option anymore. Seated at the restaurant, counting, scheduling, writing in my notebook, I came to the conclusion that was inevitable but that I could not accept before I had the hard proof on paper.
I had to stop my online yoga program.
The only way I could sustain my yoga business, and focus on writing (more about that later) was if I downsized teaching yoga to the absolute minimum. Which would mean:
– no online yoga program (which cost me fifteen hours a week)
– create content for, and post to my yoga studio blog (not just to reach potential clients but also to please search engines…) after I had done done everything else. If I had spare time.
The moment I will get serious with my writing (yes, yes, more about that later) I can spare about five hours a week, for my yoga business.
And there will be times (like now) when that will go entirely to studying my new course topic, as the topic changes every eight weeks. So I prepare my classes, and also create yoga schedules for my students if they want an outline of what we did in class.
That all comes first.
Which means that a lot of the time those five hours, will already be dedicated to creating my classes and my studio program.
I kept puzzling, planning, writing my notebook between courses, and realized:
Cut back studio.
This is the way it has to be.
My ideal would be not doing ANYTHING, ever again for the yoga studio, that wasn’t about creating classes or teaching. But like I said: Google search engines, do make that an all or nothing choice. And one I m not willing to make. (yet?)
So let’s assume I can keep creating content, in those five hours a week.
But my choice to create an online program, was false.
For one – I can’t anymore because I should start practicing my own yoga for future health and happiness.
But, even worse, sharing my online program for free with existing clients has turned out a hundred percent negative experience for all parties. They seemed to be stressed out by me even offering it, leaving me with a feeling of:
“If they don’t want it for free, how the hell is this ever going to make money?”
Now, like I said!
Originally the online program was created in a vacuum of me not doing my own practice, so it didn’t need to bring me money. It’s main purpose was for me to practice, it’s second to start offering something for existing clients, and only third to draw in new ones.
But that it didn’t seem to please anyone, did make me feel like a stupid yoga teacher and an even worse entrepreneur, burdening existing client relationships with something they didn’t want. It was such a bad feeling.
That alone is enough reason quite my online program before it’s too late and all my existing clients run away. Thinking about it, feels like I m thinking of a huge prickly emotional ball of shame for every business mistake I made for the past four years.
So, although it (quitting my online program) started as a time-scheduling thing, it ended up being this huge confrontation with me totally sucking as a yoga entrepreneur. And also: No way I was going back to teaching what I would call “generic” or “open” yoga classes.
The time when I was still successful.
I love only working with soul aligned clients; it makes it so easy if you know you’d hang out with them in private. Or to be in a group where everybody knows each other.
So in a way I never had a yoga studio that functioned properly: things have always been off either financially or on a personal level. I don’t have the experience of a thriving yoga business on my terms.
And after being in yoga for fifteen years, I felt:
Do I really want this?
Do I really want the next fifteen years of my life to be about trying to make this work? This area of my life where I feel yes, I am good at it. For sure.
Yes, I ve gotten better.
Yes, I ve got a lot to offer.
But honestly, at what cost do I intend to do that?
Zero, would be: to stop all marketing efforts for the yoga studio. The blog, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and so on. If I would consider taking a normal job, I could also save > €1000 a year on accountant, and other fixed costs tied to being an entrepreneur, but since I want to switch to writing, that doesn’t make sense.
I will stay an entrepreneur and use the systems I already have in place.
Because that was the big Aha! moment. The moment it became crystal clear that No. I don’t want to invest in marketing yoga anymore. Or in creating an online program. Not if I could also put all that effort into something else:
And more specifically: marketing that.
Because ever since my books came out, I ve done ZERO. Absolutely nothing. Now at the time it made sense. I knew I loved teaching yoga, and professionally I saw myself as a yoga teacher. That was my main source of income. And I knew writers didn’t make any money (unless they accepted assignments) so it made no sense to even try and put my work out there.
But now, things have changed.
And as painful as it is, I have come to the conclusion that No. I am not willing to do anything to make my yoga business work, in terms of turning myself inside out drawing in new clients. I have lost faith. Completely. Whatever I have to offer, apparently I can’t package it in a way that is appealing.
Or maybe something bigger is at stake.
Maybe it’s because I don’t feel comfortable fully showing myself as a yoga teacher. I am still, to this day, trying to stay within the lines of what is accepted of a yoga teacher. And even then, I ve had so much negative comments. I ve had people telling me to not share that I m somebody’s mistress. I have people telling me “off” (I d say) for being so active on social media, trying to make it work. As if I got what I deserved for trying too hard.
Or I got what I deserved for being difficult.
And for having to cancel classes.
I’m done going on like this.
From now on all my professional endeavors, the unpaid hours, the extra miles, will go to writing. I m turning away from this dysfunctional relationship. And the worse part is I m having it with people who are not even in my life! With clients who aren’t there. How is that even possible, right?
It makes me feel even more of a failure.
I have chosen. I am a writer. And yes I need to make money, and will keep yoga as a side hustle with pleasure. But I m releasing it of the expectation it would pay my bills. Regardless of whatever gave me that idea.
And instead I m choosing something else.
Not because I think being a writer is easier, or make me more financially successful. But because it allows me to totally be myself, and to develop as a human being, an entrepreneur, and even a yogi, in the way that suits me. Without having to fit into a box.
It’s a relationship that accepts me, for me.
From this day forward, for better of for worse, in sickness and in health,
I choose to be a writer.
I write diary entries, like the one above, and I post videos of my course
Solitary Women with Great Sex Lives and the men who love them
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An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living
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