“Jump. Pick something you have been waffling about and jump! In other words, go ahead, take a chance, try something new or something you’re unsure about. Notice how liberated you feel.”
-A Year of Living Your Yoga by Judith Hanson Lasater
One year ago this week, I walked out of the Federal Courthouse and away from my steady paycheck and long standing, successful career. Although I made good money, I had been unhappy for a very long time prior to that last step. It took me (and my family) years to build the courage to jump. Let me tell you what has happened to me since I took the leap.
I spent years only sleeping a few hours a night. Sometimes because I just had too much to juggle with my full time jobs and my family. Other times I didn’t sleep because I was experiencing anxiety. If I missed my ‘window of opportunity’, which was be in bed by 10:15 pm, I was pretty much up all night. However, if I went to bed that early, I didn’t get things done around the house and I got no time to decompress in silence. One would think ‘jumping’ would lead to insomnia, but quite the opposite. The first month I spent pretty much sleeping, when I wasn’t teaching yoga. At first I wondered if I was depressed, but then came to the conclusion that I was insanely tired. Hmmm….I had never let myself feel that before! I now sleep at least 8 hours a night and most nights I go to bed at a ‘reasonable’ hour. I am no longer walking tired.
For years, I felt like I did lots of things good, but nothing great because I had filled my life with too many expectations for myself: climb the corporate ladder faster than others, raise my kids as if I was a stay at home mother, volunteer for things even when I didn’t have the time, earn 2 masters degrees, etc. I was good at all of it, but I was left feeling like I didn’t do anything great because I was always thinking of that other task when working on the one at hand. Now, I seem to accomplish just as many things; however, I have focus on 1 thing at a time. When I am with my family, I am not thinking of work. When I am at the studio, I am fully present for my students. I feel accomplished. I have time to complete projects around my house that have been on the back burner for years, like cleaning my windows so I have a better visual of my outer world.
I now have time to develop friendships. Before I often found myself lonely and a bit isolated. In the past, I may have been more attracted to people who wanted something from me, but offered little in return. This only helped to burden my time. In essence, ‘who has time for friends-not me!’ This past year, I have had meaningful lunches, talks, walks, laughs, hugs, cries and ultimately friendships with women who provide an equal, two-way friendship. It’s really nice to have people I can count on to hold space for me when I am having a sucky day. Coincidentally, my relationship with my family has also deepened because I am taking care of myself and refueling my energetic tank.
This past year, I have learned to live on a serious budget, but I have never felt like I wanted for anything. Yes, money has been tighter than in the past but it always seems to work out as long as I don’t stress about it. Many opportunities have presented themselves to me that show me that I have so much to give to the world and I am grateful for that every single day. I’ve had moments of working with clients, that have brought me to tears of joy. I love my life and feel that I am living my authentic life right now. Those moments make up for the ‘pay cut’ so to speak. Of course, I have an wonderful husband who provides for our family and gives me space to cultivate my new lifestyle. We have a deeper level of trust and respect for one another.
Am I telling you to quit your job and run off and teach yoga? NO! But, I hope that as my teacher above has encouraged, find something that you have have not committed to fully and jump in-both feet, fully rooted! Amazing things that you never expected to happen will manifest when you do. I would love to hear what you decide to jump into and how it unfolds! There are exciting experiences out there just waiting for you to embrace them!