Feel the fear....and do it anyway

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JUNE 24, 2015

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but was waiting for things to become…official. Well, as of today it’s official. After 10 years of working a career (that I was very fortunate to have but that did not satisfy my soul) and 31 years of searching for my path in life, I have finally decided to grab myself by the bootstraps, stop “waiting” for something to change and just MAKE SHIT HAPPEN. To be more specific, I have resigned from the company where I have been since August 2005 in pursuit of a dream - creating a life I love by teaching yoga and working one-on-one with people to help them heal and change their lives.

I have accepted a part time job with Cast Recovery, a wonderful organization in West Hollywood dedicated to helping men and women recover from drug and alcohol addiction, among other afflictions, and help them back on their feet. I will be conducting group therapy (finally putting my Master’s degree to use) and helping with administrative, marketing and HR needs while I focus the rest of my time on building my career teaching yoga.

I have lived the last 10 years of my life (if not more) from a place of fear. I am extremely fortunate to have amazing cousins who took me under their wings when I was fresh out of college, taught me the corporate ropes and allowed me to grow into a talented Marketing Director. Thanks to them, I learned the value of hard work, was able to obtain a Green Card and earn an advanced degree. I am forever grateful for that. However, the work itself was never my passion and over the last 5 years or so, I've struggled immensely with the knowledge that I am not making a lasting difference in anyone’s life. That is where I find my fulfillment, but I was too afraid to try and do something other than what I was doing. I had it good...why leave that behind for the unknown?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from 10 years of being unfulfilled professionally, it's that fulfillment trumps everything else. Financial comfort and an easy life does not undo a lack of fulfillment. While I clocked in and out, I felt like a piece of me would die a little each day that I did not pursue my dream. Except I didn’t even know what my dream was.......until yoga teacher training.

Honestly, this was the last thing I expected. But somehow, against all my logical rationalizations, I found myself at Goda Yoga in Culver City. I found my calling, my passion, my joy and my purpose. I want to help others achieve the transformation I have achieved (and am still in the process of exploring) through the magnificent practices of yoga and mindfulness.

If you had told me 5 years ago that this is what I’d be doing with my life (even for a short time), I would’ve laughed in your face. BE A YOGA TEACHER?! HAHAHAHA, yea, no. That’s not a “real” job. Coming from a family of business-minded entrepreneurs, it was instilled into me from a very young age that if it wasn’t business, it wasn't a viable career. We go to school, get a degree, get a "real job," get married, have babies, yadda yadda. That's what life is supposed to look like. Right? So I jumped on the bandwagon and couldn’t figure out for the longest time why I couldn’t just be HAPPY. I had money, I had a job, a car, a roof over my head, extreme job security - WHAT MORE DID I WANT? JUST BE GRATEFUL AND HAPPY, NAT.  I tried to live like that for years, counting my blessings and being grateful for what I had but I couldn’t shake the feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was living somebody else’s life.

Turns out, I’m not cut out for a traditional desk job and THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. While trying to live up to other peoples’ expectations, I put away everything that was important to ME. It’s virtually impossible to find true soul happiness like that. A few months ago, something inside me woke up and forever changed my life. It is crystal clear that I am meant to do something different with my time on this earth. I am meant to walk a "different" path. A path that my friends and family might think insane….but one that feels so right to me in the depths of my being that I simply can’t ignore it.

The universe seems to agree, because I have been showered with opportunities and openings since I shifted into this new mindset, and I do believe these opportunities are presenting themselves because this is exactly where I need to be. Who knows where I'll end up, but this is the beginning of something awesome.

This path is going to be difficult. It’s going to be financially stressful. It’s going to be taxing on my body and my mind…but I suspect that it’s going to be equally liberating in the same breath.

I signed my contract with my new employer this morning and will be slowly phasing myself out of my previous employment as I hire and train my replacement. I am both very excited and absolutely petrified at the journey that lies ahead. But what I know for sure is that I’ve spent my entire life being afraid of taking a risk like this, and I know that I will never create anything of value if I don’t take the risk. Had I made this decision in the past, I would have back tracked, talked myself out of it or otherwise run back to my comfortable life of mediocrity with my tail between my legs. Today, I am ready to walk right through the fire. I’m ready to take on the challenge and to watch myself flourish in the process, because I know I will. There is no other option.

And so the wheels have been set in motion. I traded in my gas-guzzling SUV for a small hybrid that will take me from yoga class to yoga class much more economically. I’m downgrading my amenities at home and trimming my expenses. I’m going to make this work, and I am going to excel at it.

I cannot even describe the pure JOY I have felt at the core of my being since I made the definite decision about a month ago. I am walking on clouds - albeit tethered to the ground by the sheer reality of what it will mean to truly work my ass off for a living, but I am SO ready for the journey and ready to finally step into my life. I always knew I would amount to great things but I’ve stood in my own way by hiding behind my fear. We are capable of so much when we get out of our own way!

I have read repeatedly that that which you are most afraid of is that which you should seek. Well let me tell ya - that is some scary stuff! But… I do agree. So off I go into the unknown, shaking in my boots but singing at the top of my lungs at the same time.

I can’t wait to see what happens next, and I hope that this inspires at least ONE of you to take a look at your life, be honest with yourself and realize that if you don’t GO FOR IT, no one will go get it for you. Life is too short to just go through the motions!! I have been so inspired by people around me who have had the courage and strength to create the lives they want despite the difficulties they encountered, and I feel that it’s my turn to pay the inspiration forward by putting my money where my mouth is and doing it for myself.

Change occurs when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing. My wish is for us all to get to this point, and to dare to change. Dare to grow, dare to veer off the traditional course and dare to be truly happy.