Did I just save my work, or destroyed myself?

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

In our last correspondence I announced that I had once and for all quit being a yoga teacher.
And Boy, I meant it!

Still do.
And yet, quitting teaching yoga is not turning out as actually quitting teaching yoga. And for reasons I absolutely did not see coming, but that have persuaded me immediately.

Not to start teaching again, I would not call it that.
But the reasons persuaded me to go in and save my work, because it has all my heart and soul in it. And that work is not teaching yoga;
It’s the books that came from it.

A few years ago I have reissued the White Tigress Yoga Workbook, originally from Lauren Harteveld, under my real name.
The name where I also used to be a yoga teacher.
I also have a public online, collection of 52 (!) yoga schedules there, a ton of schedules still on my computer, about 15 early 21st century dvd’s I’d like to watch and make schedules for, and 5 vintage yoga books I’d like to study.

Yet perhaps I could have turned my back on all of it, if it had not been for the fact that I wrote those 52 schedules in my cute baby-handwriting, which I attribute to notes my dolls write, or the cats. Or as written by my cartoon character Love Duckie, which is what I did with these ones.

The 52 schedules are actually a yoga book written by Love Duckie.
And there is no way, and I mean none, I can turn my back on Love Duckie…

To be fair, it did start with the White Tigress.
It did start with realizing that if I no longer taught yoga, I would never be able to bring these 7 schedules that are the result of 20 years in yoga, to the public.
That was the first, that made me want to save yoga.

I thought about starting a website, just for the White Tigress yoga and lifestyle as described by Hsi Li in three books, and start making yoga videos again, just for that.
So that came first, and it still felt very partial. Very doable, non-threatening, to pick just that one booklet, and say: “This is all the yoga I will be teaching for the rest of my life.”
But then I shrieked, like the parents in Home Alone, not: “We forgot Kevin.” but “I forgot Love Duckie!”

Love Duckie could not be left behind.
And even though I was not abandoning the cartoon itself, I loved Love Duckie so much (who wouldn’t?) that abandoning the 52 schedules in his baby handwriting was unthinkable.

I don’t make a habit of connecting my real life work to this site, but since this blog relies so heavily on that work, I will happily share it, in case you want to check it out:
Book page under my real name, including the reissue of the White Tigress book. 
Love Duckie’s yoga book
And I once made an English translation of a Love Duckie cartoon.

So I am picking up making yoga videos on YouTube: The “Love Duckie yoga” on my Dutch channel, and the White Tigress yoga on my English channel.
And the third yoga-from-the-heart concept was Rock Star Yoga:
This too will return, on my English channel.

The above is just one version of the story. Another version is that I realized that I need yoga, just not as the tool of self-expression I thought it was.
The yoga itself is normal, not unique. And me making yoga videos is nothing special either. I even no longer consider giving public classes with rock music, mixing theatre with yoga, nothing of the sort.
So no, I don’t need yoga as a tool of self-expression. I was right about that, in my last post to you.

But I have used yoga in the past to express myself though: Through writing. Through making schedules.
The expression was there, just that the heart of it was not in the actual teaching.

And I have tried to express myself in the teaching too. Through using class themes, themed series, cards, blog posts, long relaxations, and video talks on YouTube, I have tried to weave storytelling into the yoga.
But I did it backwards because I tried to put the storytelling into the yoga, for as far as yoga allowed it. 

And that is what will be totally different now:
The storytelling will go first.

So instead of a yoga teacher, instead of a TED-talk like speaker, instead of a blogger, instead of a writer and instead of a mentor and business owner, I am just that;
A storyteller.

The stories come out, as they come out. Perhaps there is yoga, perhaps not.
I’m even thinking of ways to take the word yoga out of the videos to simply a story, and than the second half of the story is on your mat.

But whether I explain the past three weeks with finding back my White Tigress  work and Love Duckie, and not being able to leave them behind;
Or with my love for storytelling finally taking the main stage (optional link to my Birth of a storyteller post, a very longread under my real name);
Of course I’m scared.

Scared because the profession of being a yoga teacher brought me harm and took me out for 20 years plus.
I always thought I had one chance left. One chance, to get it right this time.
But with yoga on board it feels I decimated the chances of success.
Like I’m sailing with a bomb on board.

So in our call, I would like to talk about how to change that story and how to stop being scared.
How to dismantle the bomb, so that it becomes something I love. Just like I love yoga books, yoga videos, Love Duckie, and the White Tigress work.

There is a rule in film that if you show a gun at the beginning of the movie, you have to fire it before the end.
So I can’t depart with a live bomb on board, because I know it will blow. I know how the story goes, and to be honest, I would set it off myself if I had too.

I can’t depart with me failing being the most spectacular story..

An unexamined life is not worth living

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