When living your dream leaves you burnt out and facedown on your living room floor...
I started writing this blog post last year in June, it has sat for over a year until now, when I feel I am finally able to finish it....
I have always been an all in type of person, taking every opportunity handed to me and showing up as many different ways as I can.
At 21 I was working a job I hated as a dental assistant, I had anxiety everyday before work, and would often lock myself in the processing room and cry between patients. The only thing getting me out of bed in the morning was my yoga practice.
After trying to "suck it up" for a while I decided I had enough, I was quitting dental assisting to to test out this yoga teacher thing.
I left for Vancouver Island to take my 300 hour Moksha Yoga Teacher Training. I was in love; with the place, the people and of course the yoga, all day every day. After 5 intense weeks wrapped up in a yoga bubble I made my way back home to try and make it as a yoga teacher.
I was persistant and I worked hard, I was living the dream teaching yoga full time.
Except I was a mess.
I didn’t realize how much of a mess until I collapsed in a state of hysterics on my living room floor unable to move, and gasping for air. My boyfriend (now husband) had to pick me up, carry me to my car, and drive me to the studio to teach my classes. (Hindsight, I probably should have called the studio owner and got my classes covered)
I was teaching 4 or more classes a day driving over an hour to get to some of those classes just to turn back around and drive an hour back to my next class, I hadn’t taken a day off in months and I'm not sure my body even remembered how to hold a downward facing dog. But from the outside I was living my dream, I was lucky I got to do what I loved, and as I heard from everyone around me "it must be so relaxing teaching yoga all day.".
After this first incident of burn out I learned to slow down, at least until I was feeling better and then I was back to over committing myself my time and my energy.
Since before I even started teaching I had a dream of owning my own yoga studio. So a few years into my yoga teaching career I opened Be Free Yoga Studio with no experience and no money, but it was my dream and I was going for it now or never. I poured all of myself into my business and within the first year I was facing burnout yet again, this time paired with major depression. I had lost my self worth in this pursuit of trying to be successful on someone else terms, in trying to live up to some perfection ridden standards about what I should be doing, and how it should look. I was doing a good job of keeping up appearances, from the outside it appeared I had everything I wanted, a successful yoga studio, a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cute dog.
And I did have all these things, but I felt stuck inside of a life I had created.
Somehow within this I found the strength to reach out and get support for myself, my life depended on it. Over the next few years I slowly began to unravel the anxiety, the depression, and relearn who I am.
Through this I continued to operate Be Free Yoga studio for another 2 years, navigating how to run a business and care for my health. I had the absolute pleasure of getting to know so many beautiful and amazing souls through the studio, made new friends, and found new mentors. I grew as a teacher, a leader, and most importantly as a human.
I remember very vividly a conversation I had over a year ago with one of my best friends. I was in another burn out, I felt as if I was drowning and I was unsure how I was going to move forward. She asked my what my overall feeling state had been since opening the studio... My answer: anxiety. As much as I loved that space, and more importantly the people that showed up with in that space I was left feeling drained, anxious, unable and unsure how to care for myself, or how to live life outside of this state. I knew in that moment that this dream wasn't mine to continue.
I was scared, paralyzed by fear I tried to ignore this truth and purse forward, I felt as if I couldn't let the community down. But a few months later I could not ignore it any longer and I made the decision to close Be Free Yoga Studio.
It has been 8 months since I closed the doors to the studio, its hard to believe, but at the same time it feels like a lifetime ago. I am so grateful for all the support I have received since then, yes there was some backlash, yes there was some fall out. But there usually is when you are following your own truth. But mostly there was love, and support, and kind words, and people showing up.
I feel so incredibly grateful that I had the courage to follow my dream into that studio, I truly believe that space was magic. I feel grateful I had the courage to know when it was time to move on from that dream. As I am writing this I feel for the first time since closing those doors that I am not a failure. I feel for the first time since opening the studio an absence of anxiety, and a sense of self worth. That there are so many more dreams to explore, and so many different ways to show up in this wild and precious life.
As I move forward in my yoga teaching I am feeling a call to do so more truthfully. To bring in the aspects of yoga that I am passionate about, that I am interested in. To let go of trying to be something I think other people want me to be.
My husband and I are so excited to be welcoming a little babe into our family, and knowing this has given me a sense of urgency to let go of the bullshit stories I tell myself. Knowing that my actions and how I live my life, and how I show up in this world is teaching this human how to do the same.
So I am moving forward into this Free Woman Movement with more curiosity for life, in exploring how to show up for myself, my family, and how I am showing up for others. I would be so incredibly honoured if you joined me on this journey.