I tend to be a slow thinker and decision maker. I spend more time than the average bear (over)analyzing and weighing all the options. If there is something I am interested in exploring or trying out, a lot of the times I end up talking myself out of it. I don't end up pursuing the thing I'm curious about because it might be too much work. Because it might not live up to expectations. Because I might feel discomfort. Because I might fail at it. Because maybe it's not for 'someone like me.' Because I don't know how it will turn out in the end.
A lot of bullshit excuses, I know.
But, this winter, I decided to say "yes" to something I've wanted to do for a while, and I enrolled in a 9-week, 230-hour intensive yoga teacher training certification program. I submitted my application for the training at the last possible second to take advantage of the 'early bird discount', despite the little whisper in my ear that argued giving up my weekends for 9 weeks, along with loads of reading and homework and regular weeknight meetings, was too intense a time commitment. That I might not click with my peers. That I can't do super complex poses, so what business do I have trying to become a teacher? That I am not exactly a Lululemon model. That I'm not exactly the picture of serenity and Namaste and all that touchy-feely stuff, because, let's face it, I've got quite the temper at times, and I say the word 'fuck' a lot. That I would likely embarrass myself, like, a lot of the time. That I'm not sure what I'd do with a certification when I was done...would I even want to teach? That it's a lot of money to invest...and maybe it's not worth the gamble....or, if I'm being really honest...maybe I'm not worth the gamble.
I'm so glad I decided to calmly and politely tell those voices to just relax, will ya? I've taken risks before, and I've lived to tell the tale. And as far as this particular risk, at a minimum, I would learn some cool new stuff about a practice that I love, and that in and of itself is a great reward.
And I did learn a bunch of cool stuff. And I did embarrass myself. And I did make some great new friends. And I did cry and get frustrated and feel a lot of self-doubt along the way. And I did grant myself the permission to let go of my pre-conceived "yoga teachers are all ultra bendy, healthy, Lululemon spokespeople guru" notions and just do my yoga thang and fuhgedaboudit! And I crawled waaaay outside of my comfort zone more than once. I mean, for real, I spent a day practicing contact improv and that shit's kind of weird. And I did this:
The program now is over, and a lot of people have asked "what's next?" or "so where are you teaching now?" While their intentions are good and pure, these kinds of questions also immediately rush me into some of my old, dangerous thinking patterns where I assume I'm probably a failure. Because I don't know what's next, and I don't have a permanent teaching position figured out. And, I know that's ok for now, even if my anxiety brain tries to convince me that it's not. I've taught a few classes here and there, both on my own and in co-teaching settings, and right now I'm just gathering experience while I figure out how I want to move forward. Like all other things, I'm going about this at my own slow and steady pace, and that's just fine by me.