Sarah Fretwell

Yoga, Movement, Mobility, Wellness

Combining different passions without going crazy

MindSarah FretwellComment

So here's the thing. It is possible to combine all your passions and earn a living from them, if you want to make it work. 

I spent the best part of five years wondering what path to go down. Do I become a writer? A designer? A yoga teacher? Which one do I pick?! As far as I knew, I had to choose one career path. That was what everyone else was doing, what I was taught at school and university, what people were telling me to do. 

So I chose writing and marketing. But very quickly, I started to feel unfulfilled in my job. I needed more - different types of challenges, more variety, more than just working as a writer could do. So I started searching for other strings to add to my bow, and found yoga, enrolling on a teacher training course without the faintest idea of what it would lead to. All I knew is that there was more out there that was waiting for me and I needed to explore it.

Once I qualified as a yoga teacher, I knew I didn't want to go full-time with it. I loved writing and felt that if I took my teaching full-time, there was a danger that I could quickly fall out of love with teaching and my practise. I am someone that definitely needs variety in my life. 

So now, I combine a full-time job as a writer and copywriter with teaching yoga. My days are varied and I get to fulfil both of my passions, and both compliment each other in the best way. Though I work with other people, writing can be a very solitary job, and I definitely need the headspace to create.

Teaching yoga however involves a lot of face-to-face contact, hands-on adjustments, lots of chatting and laughing, and so much interaction between me and my students, which I LOVE! If I was just doing writing everyday, I would lean towards spending too much time in my own head and thoughts, whereas if I was teaching everyday as my sole job, I'd be constantly interacting with people and giving out and receiving a lot of energy, which I would likely find exhausting and too much for the part of me that relishes quality time with just myself. 

So what I am trying to say is you can choose both. You don't have to make a sacrifice. Sure, if you really want to just do one thing as your main job then absolutely go for it - there's absolutely nothing wrong with that and some people thrive on giving 100% of their energy to one thing. But if you're like me and need variety in your life and have more than one passion that you want to have as your job, then know that it is possible, and even beneficial, to have a multi-hyphenated job. 

Why put yourself into one box and give yourself a label? I tried this, and I always felt that it didn't fully sum up everything that I am. I love being able to write and create, knowing that I can then place that hat aside and put on my yoga teacher's hat. Both roles require a similar skills set, yet they still have their differences, which keeps me on my toes.

Teaching yoga requires me to continue to work on holding space for my students, being a great listener, reading people's energy, memorising classes, tackling problems such as injury's and much, much more. Being a writer takes patience, being able to communicate something clearly, taking a brief and finding a solution, thinking outside the box, being able to concentrate for extended periods...the list goes on. 

And know that there's not a cap on how many things you can combine, either. Sure, you can end up doing too many different roles and tiring yourself out. But women especially are usually excellent at multi-tasking and wearing many different hats. Mother, daughter, wife, teacher, listener, cook, friend - the list goes on and I am sure that many women do much more than just these roles - and men too, I'm not excluding you!

I've recently started painting more, and am loving the headspace and quiet time it gives me. I love being in the flow, which is probably why I like writing and yoga, and painting and drawing does just that - allows me to get into a rhythm and tune right into my right side brain - the side responsible for imagination, creativity and intuition. 

What different roles do you do or dream about doing, and how could they compliment each other? Comment below!