Have you ever wanted something for so long that when you finally got it, you couldn’t recall why you wanted it in the first place? I guess sometimes that’s the irony of goal setting. You want something so darn badly for so long, work ceaselessly towards it; and occasionally there’s a massive let down or disappointment. Perhaps this has happened to you. I know with respects to myself, this sort of colossal disappointment is normally reserved for when I go off my diet. I mean seriously. I eat so clean that when a meal or dessert that I’ve committed to fails to deliver, I am filled with anger and pissed I wasted my calories. Ok, ok, maybe the food thing was a touch over the top but it’s the truth nonetheless. However, on a serious note this whole thing is really about letting go when you’ve planted an expectation and reaped a disappointment.
Big picture, I am talking about giving yourself the permission and opportunity to create space and then walk away from something that no longer serves you.
Recently, I left a job I loved. Yes, that’s right. I left a job I loved. I wasn’t pushed out, promoted, and something better didn’t come along. To put it simply: as much as I loved the job, the negatives outweighed the positives.
The very hip and trendy millennial attitude is to not do things you don’t want to do. First off, thankfully I am too old to be considered a millennial, but there is some truth to not doing shit you don’t like, and don’t want to do. No, I am not talking about not paying bills or cleaning your house ‘cause you don’t wanna do it. I am talking about when you are able to release things that are weighing you down in life—let them the ef go!
Initially when I grappled with possibly giving up something I loved here were some things that made it so difficult for me:
- I wanted the job for YEARS
- When I tried to get the job in the past, I was rejected and told I wasn’t good enough. This made me only want it more, work harder, and keep at it
- I loved the people I impacted directly and whom interacted with me on social media. These people made me feel like I mattered in their lives
- I enjoyed being part of something positive for others. Whether it was building up their confidence, or just giving them a smile when I felt they needed it most, I relished the chances to be the bright part in other people’s days
Yet, in spite of all the great things about the job, it was gut wrenching to realize that I wasn’t happy. And to top it all off, the money was great. But friends, if you haven’t learned the ol’ adage yet; wise up: Money doesn’t buy happiness.
I took an honest look at my life. Where it was going and where it wasn’t going. I also evaluated things that made me happy, and things that I was doing that no longer brought me the same joy. Here’s what I came away with:
I lead a life that prevents me from actually living life.
Daily, my grind consists of leaving my fulltime job as a public school teacher to run to a gym or studio and teach fitness classes. At one point, my group fitness schedule swelled to 10 classes a week, and that was without my own workouts! I was tired, cranky, run down, and above all—not cultivating the relationship with myself I yearned for. I had no time to take yoga classes, to write this blog or work on my book, meal prep, spend time with my husband, be social, or really give 100% in my workouts [assuming I even had the time to sneak them in]!
I took a giant step back and looked closely at my life. I made a list of things I loved doing; my goals, wants, wishes, and areas that I felt needed cultivating and casting off to keep my thinking focused. When I gazed down at my paper and started discussing some of the things with close family and friends aloud, it became more and more apparent to me. I had to leave, it was time to cast off the burden weighing me down so that I could soar in my own endeavors.
I cried when I made my decision to leave this job that I loved.
I cried for the people I met.
But mostly I cried in anguish over something I wanted so badly and for so long. Finally, when I owned my decision and I mean truly owned it, a weightlessness washed over me. Instantly, I felt liberated from my self-imposed chains. Now, I looked at my life and my schedule with hope and possibility as opposed to the daunting challenge of where to find ‘Me Time’.
So, why was I holding onto something that was bringing me such negativity and holding me back?!
Oh, there are many factors friends. The biggest one though is the most shameful one of them all and it’s ego. That’s right—my ego. The prestige and honor of being associated with such a job/brand made me feel validated, like I had finally arrived in the fitness world. Again, the more I thought about this, the more I berated myself for this ludicrous thinking. How did I allow my self-worth to ever be tied up in something that had absolutely nothing to do with my performance in any capacity?! Moreover, why did I believe that I needed the approval from someone else to determine my perception of self? It really got me thinking:
Why in the hell do we do that to ourselves?
The more I thought things through, the more I realized that in order to thrive in this life in the manner in which I wanted; I was going to have to relinguish this life line to which I was clutching. This tether bound me, held me back and stifled my spirit. I must share with you all, releasing something that no longer brought me the same joy and happiness as it once did was empowering. However, I will say this about the job. It was a great lesson in truly living my yoga. Now, I know what you are thinking—that yoga is just making shapes and blah, blah, blah; but that my friends is where you are wrong.
It’s all yoga, baby.
Yoga is something that you live. It’s a lifestyle and a way of living so you uphold yourself to the highest level of self at all times. For me, this whole process WAS yoga. Maybe not in the way you get your yoga on, but was my yoga. Realizing and accepting that I couldn’t control the business, the staff, the managers, and more was the first step. The second step was recognizing the areas of control within my life, the places where I could alter the outcomes. So whether or not I wanted to represent that specific institution was indeed a choice I could make. In the end, I picked me. I picked myself because the time for me to start putting myself first was beckoning. And there ya have it, folks.
Yoga is everywhere.
Let that shit go that isn’t bringing light and bliss into your life.
Give yourself the opportunity to experience happiness on your own terms because you certainly do deserve it.