Just do the damn thingSep 22, 2022
I always wanted to create and hold workshops. I knew this way back before I even became a yoga instructor.
You see, I loved taking workshops. I loved being surrounded by other people that loved to learn more about what they love.
And, I loved the way I felt after a workshop. They always revved up my enthusiasm for my practice, making me way too excited to show up and roll out my mat the next day.
So, I became a yoga instructor. Only to discover soon afterwards that you had to receive permission from Bikram Choudhury to teach workshops at Bikram studios.
“Well, that sucks,” I thought, knowing I had a workshop brewing in my brain at that very moment that would help my students understand key concepts way earlier than taking class after class after class.
I didn’t question it, though. It was just the way things were at the time when you were a Bikram Yoga instructor.
So, I dutifully continued to teach my classes hoping someday I’d get permission to lead workshops.
It was around this time I came up with the concept of a “Semi-Private Session.” It was a work around this whole, ‘no workshops for you’ decree.
These classes were for a group of about six to eight students and lasted three hours long. It wasn’t a workshop, but it was close. And, it was a ton of work.
But, it was a good starting point for sharpening my skills when it came to fine tuning and assisting someone with their practice. And, I did these for years.
Over time, the scandals around Bikram Choudhury ramped up. No one cared anymore about whether he deemed someone worthy of leading workshops, or not.
In fact, if I am really honest about it, no cared when I thought they cared.
But, I’m not a rule breaker. I thought I needed to wait for permission to do what I knew in my heart I was supposed to do.
And, this is when I learned one of the biggest, most hugest (is that a word?) lessons of my life.
No one was going to stop, place a crown on my head or deliver a certificate of honor that said, “You, my child, are ready. Go create and lead workshops.”
That was never going to happen. NEVER.
And, over the years I've had to learn this lesson again and again.
You have to ask for what you want in life.
And, I have a couple of stories to share with you this week that will show you what I mean:
Back when I was an actress, I was asked if I wanted to sit in on a day of auditions in New York with a producer I worked for often.
“You’ll learn a ton. Including, what songs not to pick for auditions right now,” I was told.
So, I sat at the table watching actor after actor sing their 16 bars. I sat through the callbacks later that day.
And, then when everyone had left and we were about to go out to dinner, I asked, “That role for the leading lady in the holiday show. Can you throw me into the mix when you begin to cast it?”
I had watched three girls spend their entire day vying for that role.
“I didn’t know you wanted it. It’s yours. I’ll send the contracts out next week,” I was told.
Sometimes you just have to ask.
Be prepared for a flat out, ‘No.’
But, more times than I can count I’ve been given an opportunity because I had the courage to ask for what I wanted.
If I had waited to see if the producer suddenly thought of me for the role, I wouldn’t have gotten it.
Sometimes you just have to do the damn thing.
There will be situations where you have to muster up the courage to ask for what you want, as I did with this acting gig.
And, there will be times when you just have to go out there and do it.
I find this true in my marriage, as well.
Yes, it would be cool if my husband understood my every need and want. That would be awesome.
But, he’s not a mind reader. And, his upbringing and life experience is different than mine.
So, how is he supposed to know that when I’m upset, I need a big hug and for him to not try and solve the problem, but just let me be upset for a little bit?
Or, how am I supposed to know that he loves to have a proper place for every single thing in the house so that it’s easy to find when he’s looking for it? (We’ve had too many “where is it supposed to be, babe?” conversations to count through the years.)
But we had to tell each other what we wanted. We had to ask. We didn’t wait for the other discover this about one another. We had to flat out say it.
And, this has shown up again and again in my life.
I didn’t wait for anyone to tell me it was okay to begin a yoga blog way back in 2013. I just felt like it would be fun and I did it.
The same went for publishing my book, putting together my first yoga retreat, creating my online yoga program, mentoring fellow yoga instructors, starting the podcast, and pretty much everything cool and joyful I’ve done with my life and career.
So, quit waiting for some fictitious magic moment when you are finally granted permission to do the cool things you want to do.
I know it’s cliché, but time goes by so quickly now that I’m in my mid-40s. I can feel the speed-up and how each day passes quicker than the next.
For all we know, we only get this one precious go-around at life on Earth. Don’t waste your time waiting for permission or never asking for what you want.
No one’s expecting you to be a guru. Or, perfect. No one, for the most part cares about how you spend your time on this planet.
But, it’s up to you to be a contributor and to do the things that make your heart sing.
So, this week, just do the damn thing already. Whatever it is.
None of us are getting out of here alive. But, only some of us are getting out of here having truly lived.
Sending you love & hugs,
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