This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.
I m writing you days before our call, in an attempt to at least make some sense of what has happened, and leave it behind me before I start the next week.
My yoga classes used to start on Sundays, which is why I often feel that is when my new week starts, even though I am not a yoga teacher anymore.
Although that is part of the problem I think; Still not having an understanding of what’s next for me.
And every time I think I can commit to the new vision, I end up further behind than I ever was. Even the scent of having suicidal thoughts never seems far away.
Ten days ago, I decided to go all in on practicing yoga, and I gave myself a challenge, including public accountability. It was also the start of having many social events, which would cost me a lot of energy because I m still not grounded in my new profession as a YouTube teacher, writer and performance artist, partially because I only recently found out I would never work as a yoga teacher in real life ever again.
I had discovered that both my short terms plans to start teaching locally, as well as my long-term vision to tour and teach large groups, were both incomplete business models as I like to call them.
Meaning they require a tremendous amount of investment, without any guaranteed outcome, except for a lot of loose ends, new liabilities, and a road paved with shit sandwiches only the most motivated professional (or the most masochistic one) would find acceptable.
Since the last thing I need is more work that does not guaranteed make money, I decided I was going to let it go.
I had a vision for teaching yoga, a big one, but I would stick with the online public part, even if it meant not having any business model.
I think part of why the past 10 days were absolutely horrific professionally, was because I thought I could whip myself into getting on with starting online yoga communities and start building a strong yoga practice, without properly saying goodbye and reconsidering if (after having my dreams shot to pieces) I even wanted anything to do with yoga ever again.
To be honest, I m still not a hundred percent sure.
I THINK I want to continue with the online yoga communities, being part of my business and social life, having a sense of community both for others as well as myself;
But do I really?
Why can I write, blog, daily (if I let myself) and sometimes feel I hate yoga so much.
That there is still that proper yoga teacher-y sticking to it, that I can’t seem to shake, no matter how often I walk away from yoga.
Why do I always come back?
Is it a dysfunctional thing where I am in love with a decades old vision of a practice I once loved?
A me that did NOT write, a me that did NOT spend hours inside her own head, and that actually liked the silence and depth of yoga, when right now I can’t bear myself to show up on the yoga mat.
The accountable yoga challenge I gave myself 10 days ago, fluked 100%
I ve thought about letting the self-practice go completely, and only do yoga as part of teaching it online. If it really is a community thing, then I really do not have to be better than the others.
I should be able to teach it as a member, as someone who needs the comradery and the stretch after a hard day of work, as much as they do.
But then again: Why haven’t I?
Why can I think it, but I don’t film a single yoga video?
Before I finish the story of why I think I completely messed up the last 10 days, let me first share the positive news.
The moments I see flashes of how this new trimmed down version of my yoga career AND self-practice, could absolutely become the best thing since I started writing in 2006, and things taking flight when I became a blogger.
When it turned out that the new medium of blogging, as opposed to years of writing, editing, and finding a real publisher, the slow process of what being a writer had looked like up until then, unleashed within me a productivity that burned away any chance of writer’s block and self-doubt.
When it came to writing, or more specifically when it came to blogging, I was fast, I was relentless, and I was better at it than anybody else.
There are moments where I can see that teaching real life yoga, both locally as well as for bigger tour-like options, are the old world.
That I was never meant to do it that way.
That I am meant to learn to express myself in a yoga video as unapologetically and raw as I have in my writing. That my yoga is meant to be: Record. Post. Share. Repeat! Just like my writing is: Blog. Post. Share. Repeat!
That teaching yoga is my new blogging, and that I am THIS close to getting my head or my fingers around it, and that I will THRIVE!
And then there are moments when I am utterly defeated and think that if it requires so much thinking, it’s tainted by definition.
That if I wanted and desired yoga the way I want and desire writing, it would not be this much work.
That every thought spent on it, is killing its very soul, and that the fact that it has already taken me years to “get” this right, means it is wrong.
That I should burn all yoga books, admit the past 24 years were one big mistake that did not teach me anything, and declare the word yoga forbidden.
Suck it up for one week, delete all yoga channels, domain names, and post a few “Sorry I fucked up” blogs and done!
No more yoga practice, no more yoga communities, and to let the impossibilities, the incomplete business models and the shit sandwiches of teaching real life, be the death verdict of all things yoga.
Even though yoga has been the absolute key element of all my professional expressions under my real name, for the past 3 years.
Kill it and move on.
Okay, that was ranty but I think I got the point across that I m torn between pros and cons.
With on this Saturday night the cons weighing heavier.
But here’s the secret, the reason why I think we should be very careful taking my instinct to destroy my career in yoga seriously:
Because I applied for a job exactly 10 days ago.
It was something I really looked forward to doing! It was very spontaneous, I had not planned on applying for a job at this point.
But I recognize the pattern of wanting to destroy my creative work, in response to having to work in a job.
If I cannot sustain myself, then all activities I have done are useless. In particular because they do make you vulnerable; Doing yoga online, or writing/ blogging.
If you have the choice of working WITH or WITHOUT having all that online stuff out in the world;
Which idiot would choose with?
The pattern of wanting to destroy the real work, the creative work, the part that I will look back on on my deathbed and understand that I did what I came here to do;
It’s such a familiar pattern that I want to burn it, when I am at the point of accepting a job.
And it’s also such a familiar pattern that I lose connection with who I am, if I have social events where I attend without having a profession that is “something”.
Like the 10 days I just wrapped up.
It was the perfect storm, and I tried to counteract by setting myself a yoga goal, a challenge to do yoga every day.
I think in an attempt to ground myself, and to feel good about at least one thing I had done every day.
But I didn’t.
I did for 2 days, and then my body was in such deep pain, that I was happy I could still walk.
It still is, even though I haven’t done yoga for 8 days now.
The yoga challenge I had set for myself backfired and made me feel even worse. Because now I had failed at that too.
I didn’t have a catchy profession, I would soon start a job because whatever it is I did was not making me money, I had wasted 24 years on something called yoga.
In ten days the thought of the job turned from something that would support me, and that would give me connection and a sense belonging, into a symbol of what a mess my life was. A symbol of utter failure as a yoga teacher, as a writer, as an independent, but mostly, as a human.
I ve done the ten days of social events, and I ve tried to get excited by the idea of teaching yoga and building my online yoga brand, next to my regular job.
But it s not working.
And the thing that would keep me in touch with my new yoga career, the yoga challenge, didn’t go beyond the first two days.
But do these two setbacks really explain why I think my whole life feels like one big mess and I want to die?
The only thing I am good at is writing. Correction: blogging.
And I used to like doing yoga, but that’s 15 years behind me or more.
Is that valid?
I used to like teaching groups, but I no longer have a studio and bla bla incomplete business models, I m not going down that road again.
The big vision I had to change yoga, teach large venues, revolutionize yoga; It is no longer my vision. Someone else can go do that.
There are moments when I see myself as the new Yoga with Adriene: Someone whose language is in yoga, in her body. And who communicates through teaching yoga.
This is the vision I ve had so often; Dreams even!
“Yoga is my art”
There have been times when I was absolutely certain I was ready to move from being an isolated writer, to the connection of teaching yoga. Forever.
There are moments I think it is time to ban yoga forever and start all over again. As a writer.
And this Saturday night is one of those.
An unexamined life is not worth living
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