I am elated to state: I FINALLY GOT A JOB!!! Not in the industry I spent the past 30 years in, but in the industry I began last April when I started the Yoga Teacher Training certification path. I am now the proud Studio Manager at a bustling, pedigreed, super awesome yoga studio here in Oakland AND I accepted a role teaching gentle yoga to seniors! Everything is coming up yoga!
Can you believe it?! I am so happy I could cry. Actually, I have cried a few times, this is such an incredible turn of events I cannot stop smiling, even through these joyful tears!
The past 6 months I have gone on umpteen interviews for food/beverage/hospitality senior management roles and along the way, was offered a handful of jobs- declined 5, accepted 3- but then something always happened right after I said yes to a role, never in my favor. Last month, I was offered a Catering Manager position at a location I absolutely loved, I accepted enthusiastically, my new boss said, “Welcome to the team!” and then I heard nothing back. Nothing. It’s been 5 weeks and there has still been zero return to my phone calls, zero response to my follow-up emails. I could relay more of my horror hiring stories but I won’t waste our time, on to better things…
And guess what? Now I am done with that industry! Shove it, Hospitality! I gave you three decades of dedication, had some fun along the way, produced so many amazing events, ate lots of incredible food, met some great people, and learned an unbelievable amount. I gave hours upon hours, worked myself to the bone, put up with a lot of challenging people and situations, and was treated horribly all to earn a pay check.
But now I am leading with my heart and it feels oh so good to finally be rewarded.
While I have never managed a yoga studio before, I have managed venues and event spaces so this new role is, I suppose, career adjacent. Managing a yoga studio also includes managing the staff of teachers which I am also used to- the HR part of my previous roles also included hiring, scheduling, training, supervising, disciplining, and firing employees so that’s the same in this job description as well. (I sure hope that the disciplining and firing part does not exist in the yoga world though… geesh, that would be awkward… well, only time will tell!)
Starting my teaching experience off with gentle yoga for seniors is also perfect timing, perfect role as I am still healing my neck injury and gentle yoga is exactly what my body needs right now. Going at a slower pace and utilizing props to create boundaries in the body where needed will be an absolute joy to teach, I hope to provide the students (ohmigod, I have students!!! I get to say that now!!!) with an accessible approach to feeling good in their bodies and minds. I cannot wait to get started!
Trading tables and chairs and chafers for mats and blocks and bolsters. Trading 12 hour days for 5 hour days. Trading an environment where I had to hide my pursuit of yoga education for a space that celebrates it. Trading that feeling of dread as I drove to work everyday for a feeling of excitement and contentment. Trading an existence that left me with no energy to pursue the things that I love to now living a life only in pursuit of the things that I love. Ahhhhhh.
I am amazed. I thought this was just a dream but I was happily wrong and am now living proof that you are never too old to begin again.
Above all, even when things got bad, I believed in myself. I learned from my former place of employment a hard lesson when I don’t listen to my intuition. From a place deep within, I knew I was on the right path when I began YTT. I just felt it. And I said yes to it, I leaned toward that voice in my head and finally heard what she was saying and believed.
Several things allowed that voice to become louder and louder. Foremost, I stopped drinking. Removing alcohol shifted my life more drastically than I ever would have imagined! My relationships changed, my priorities changed, my outlook on life changed- this is the definition of clarity. The body and the mind are synonymous so once my body was free from the damaging effects of alcohol, my mind became free as well.
I also developed a kick ass- if I do say so myself- meditation practice. For ten months, I have taken the time to meditate at least once a day. What began as teacher training homework is now something I can’t live without. Gifting yourself the time and space to let the mind be, as it is, without judgement provided me with immense self compassion. I have never loved myself as much as I do now. Mediation also gave me a tool to calming my nervous system and decreasing anxiety- I used to be all wound up tight and go go go; now, I am calm and even-keeled which allows for a lot more space to listen to others. The more I was able to quiet my mind, the more I keyed into my intuition as guide.
My former place of employ abruptly smacked down my Plan A, and I am (now) thankful as that paved the way for this Plan B. If they hadn’t let me go, I think I would still be working there and still suffering a job a truly hated. The way I was fired was painful but as I have written before, it was the pain that propelled my quest for relief. That last job took so much from me, I never wanted to go back to that kind of work. And now, as fate would have it, I don’t have to!
If you are reading this and in a place of seeking, as I was for years, I encourage you to create a quiet space to listen to your heart’s desire. The answer is within, one must simply open up to that voice whispering our truths. Give the conversation in your mind a microphone, and when you wonder, “Can I?” listen closely because your heart is answering, “Yes you can.”
I have lived the first half of my life with great suffering and from that grief has stemmed an understanding that I wouldn’t be who I am and I wouldn’t be on this path if I hadn’t endured my rocky past. I’ve survived mental and physical abuse, I’ve come back stronger from many setbacks, and I have found ways to work with my chronic pain. All of these hurdles, these challenges, all this pain has led me here.
And now, for the first time in my life I can truly say I am happy. I am happy to have learned these lessons and come through shining. My heart is full, love surrounds me, I give all that love to my people and my passion and they give it right back to me. Infinitely.
I always believed in me. I also believe in you. Listen to your heart’s desire because if you think it, you truly can do it. I’m proof.