Lessons from 2018
Time for a round-up of everything that has happened to me this year – both the good and the bad, plus a few nuggets of wisdom (if I do say so myself) that I hope is helpful to you. This may or may not resonate with you, but if I can give you just a bit of insight into some of the lessons that I have learned this year, then that’s just great. Plus, if any of you are reading this and are thinking about becoming a yoga teacher or moving into any sort of self-employed role, then let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
MOVE FORWARDS WITH INTENTION
Looking back, 2018 for me has been about taking both little and large steps towards where I truly want to be. I started off the year in a job that I was quite comfortable in, though I always had greater ambitions for what I wanted to do. Working full time this year whilst having an ever growing yoga business that is challenging to say the least. However, I’m proud of how far I’ve managed to take my yoga whilst working long hours during the week this year. I think that as long as you are moving forwards with intention, then it doesn’t really matter how far you are along on your path. I’m guilty as the next person of comparing myself and my own path to other people in the weird and wonderful world of freelance, yoga and wellness. I have however learned to care way less about what other people are doing, and to focus on my own path. And when I talk about intention, I mean really going deep and figuring out what lights you up and most importantly, why, and then making sure every decision, every leap you take, is in line with that intention. I really recommend writing your intentions down so you have somewhere to refer to them if you’re having a bad day at work (we’ve all been there), or feel like you’ve lost your way slightly. Often we just plug away, rush around working our socks off without really asking, why am I doing this? What is all this leading up to? Is this truly what I want? However when we move forwards with intention, we already know the answers to these questions because we’ve sat and done the work, and asked ourselves these things before starting.
TRUST YOUR INTUITION
One thing that I have really come to understand this year is that no one can tell you what the outcome of a particular situation is going to be. No one can truly tell you if that house you are considering buying is a good investment or not, and whether to go for it. No one can tell you if that person you’re kind of into is good for you or not. No one can tell you whether you should take that leap and quit your job and go travelling and have the time of your life or whether you’ll live to regret it. And no one can tell you what path you should be on. The amount of times I have looked to someone else, some “expert”, to tell me what I should be doing is insane. Now I am not saying don’t seek advice from those that are qualified, not at all, because I know how invaluable investing in yourself can be. What I am saying though, is that only your intuition knows whether or not something feels right or horribly wrong. Sometimes it can be so hard to tune into our intuition, our gut feelings, especially if we have a tendency to ask others their opinions before we check in with our own. However I really believe that learning to trust our intuition is what will help to guide us through life. As cheesy as that might sound, it’s really just about leaning in and listening more. If you do something and it feels off, that’s your intuition speaking. If you take a new job and you feel like you’re in completely the wrong field, yep – your intuition talking. If you’re in a relationship and you’re feeling like there’s something missing, you guessed it – your intuition knows. So learn to trust that little voice inside your head and those subtle feelings you might just push away and lock in a box until further notice. I get it, it’s so much easier to ignore these feelings and just stay on the safe path rather than opening Pandora’s box, but trust me, those feelings won’t go away and will likely keep returning for the rest of your life until you face them.
TAKE LEAPS OF FAITH
I’ve always considered myself to be a bit of a risk taker, and often I don’t choose the easy path, which can leave me in some tricky situations sometimes. I’m also still scared of doing some stuff I want to do, but I’m working on it! Sometimes it’s hard to close the door on something that feels comfortable. But doing things that scare you, taking little or larger leaps of faith into something unknown is the key to your growth. If you’re not feeling slightly nervous, incredibly excited or have butterflies about the year ahead when you think about everything that you’ve got planned, then the likelihood is that you’re not stepping outside of your comfort zone. I have quite a few things planned for next year that I know I will start to freak out about when it gets nearer the time (I’ve already started worrying about one of them!). Will it work out? Will it even happen? How the hell am I going to do this when I’ve never done it before? These are some of the feelings that I am pretty familiar with now, and I’m learning (it’s a constant process, really) to lean into new things with a little more faith each time. Faith that everything will work out, that everything happens for a reason, and that with every failure, there’s a silver lining, with every closed door, a new door opens.
MAKE TIME TO CREATE
Ah yes, isn’t time something that we all wish we had more of? It’s so important to keep up your enthusiasm and creativity in between work. Whether you’re hustling on the side of your 9-5 and fulfilling a passion on the weekends or after work, or if you have a hobby that you absolutely love, make time to do things that have no real financial or business purpose other than your enjoyment. Even if it feels like no one’s listening, it really doesn’t matter. This creative time is just for you and you alone. Think of it as your creative space, a chance to just flow, whether that’s through writing, moving, yoga’ing, painting, drawing, singing, dancing, running, travelling, whatever it is that lights you up. The creative brain is like a muscle that needs working to stay fit, so if you’re only ever doing working on things for money or for your business, then you’re not truly flexing that creative muscle. Start to pencil in time to be creative, and your soul will reap the benefits. In the last year, I’ve reconnected with my passions more, and although there are a few that I wish I could fulfill on a more regular basis (traveling and playing the piano to name a few), I feel like I am really connected with what lights me up.
BE UNIQUE, BE YOU
There have been so many times where I’ve thought, “I just don’t think I fit into this box. Is there no other way?” Trust me, there is always another way. 2019 for me is going to be a lot about not squeezing myself into other people’s boxes, but carving out my own. For example, there’s the whole movement of moving from employee towards self-employed hustler and entrepreneur. But many people have made that transition only to find that they’re working long, hard hours and feel even more stressed as an entrepreneur than they were as an employee in their old 9-5. So what I mean, is that there doesn’t have to just be either or. Black or white. You get to decide what version of anything you want to be. Don’t want to be a highly strung, stressed-out entrepreneur working 6am-11pm every night on your business? You don’t have to. You can move slower, grow slower, work less hours and have more free time in between work if you want to, you’re still an entrepreneur. You’re just an entrepreneur who knows her/his worth and working in line with your intention. Yoga teachers don’t have to race around teaching 6am-6pm at twenty different studios to be called yoga teachers. Think outside the box, and redefine what you do on your own terms. Harder than it sounds, as it can mean going against the crowd, but so important and worthwhile. Plus, you don’t want to be like everybody else anyway, right?
WHEN PLANS FAIL, A NEW DOOR OPENS
Some things just didn’t go to plan this year for me, and without going into detail and boring you all, all I will say is that things have worked out way better than what I had originally hoped. Yes, at the time when that vision that I had my heart set on just evaporated in front of my eyes, it felt really shit and I thought my luck had reached a new low. However, things worked out, as they always do, and even though the new path looked slightly different and unfamiliar, I have absolutely no doubt that this was meant to be. I am a big believer in faith, and in letting life unfold in front of you rather than chasing something that just isn’t meant to be yours. I’ve learned that when we trust our instincts and intuition, we can start to loosen our grip on things a little more and let life start to flow, rather than trying to force things to happen. When something doesn’t work out, it’s so easy to start questioning yourself, your ability, your worth. But just know that this is often not a reflection on you at all, and most of the time it’s down to consequence and right place right time. Start to trust that when one door closes for you, another one will open. Just give it some time, keep showing up and keep the faith.
If you have any questions about any of this at all, or if anything resonates with you, then just drop me a comment below. If you like this, check out some of my other inspiration posts below too.