Starting a business is scary. Opening this studio is scary. Like honestly, when I stop and think about the journey we're embarking on I get thinking about how much there is to do, how much we have to manage, how much money has to be spent, how on earth I'm going to juggle a studio, a job and my everyday life. When I stop and think about opening this studio I feel a lot of fear - gut wrenching, not sure if I want to scream or cry, hold my hand please kind of fear. And admittedly, it's not the best feeling.
When I first took my yoga teachers training I wasn't even sure if I was going to teach. I enrolled in my YTT for personal reasons, I wanted to know my authentic self - I wanted to become a better person. One day at training, I was hanging out in the studio during our lunch break and a rather prominent face of the Edmonton yoga community walked through the front door. We got talking about the process of becoming a yoga instructor and about the hesitation I felt about teaching following my 200hr. Was I ready? I mean, if there's one thing I learned concretely in my YTT it was that I know very, very, very little. Right before he left he said to me, "don't wait, just start teaching, it's going to be scary but if you don't do it there's a chance you never will." So, I made it my mission to start. I could always stop.
The first public class I ever taught was at a gym in Lac La Biche. I advertised a karma class series and told everyone I knew to tell everyone they knew to tell everyone they knew. I ordered 12 mats, blocks and bolsters, my first "business" purchase I guess you could say. I didn't think I would need all 12...
Well, 21 people showed up to that first class. 21! The only thing I remember feeling while looking out at all these rolled out mats in front of me, people waiting for me to lead them through an entire practice, was fear. F. E. A. R. I was scared sh*tless. And then I taught it. I taught that class to 21 people. To this day that has been my biggest class. I know it was mostly supportive friends but still, the fact that my teaching adventure started with that 21 person class is symbolic to me. I needed to feel that fear and push through it in the name of what felt right.
We’ve all felt fear and then turned the other way. Because we can. And that’s the test fear proposes. We can either walk away from it or face it head on. It makes you think about how right something feels in your body, in your mind, for your soul. If the rightness isn’t powerful enough we can turn away and we can simply move on. Sometimes rather easily. We feel how uncomfortable that fear is and understandably we’d rather not deal with it. We can make it all go away by just turning our backs on it, walking away.
Then there’s those other things - the things that feel so right, deep in your core. The things that are so damn scary that the mere thought of them makes you want to walk away, but you can’t because of the rightness. Those things are the game changers. They’re the ones that make us put ourselves on the line. They’re the things that teach us about who we are.
That 21 person class was one of those things. I was scared and I didn’t want to do it, at all. But it was so right I didn’t really have a choice.
This studio also feels like one of those things, one of those game changers. A part of me knows it would be so much easier to just keep teaching classes here and there than take this on. A part of me knows it would be so much more comfortable to just cruise through life – work, leisure, sleep. A part of me doesn’t think I can pull off my end of the studio bargain.
Today I painted a studio wall. I felt that crippling fear, I heard what that scared part of me thought and I still painted a wall. And let me tell me you, painting that wall felt way more right than not painting that wall. Painting that wall felt like the continuation of this wild and free adventure yoga has granted me. The rightness I feel in yoga has me travelling to learn, sharing the practice with others, writing from my heart, painting studio walls. It’s all been scary. I have felt fear through all of those steps. Yet, I took them. I put one foot in front of the other and I took those steps. All because they felt right.
“It’s going to be scary but if you don’t do it there’s a chance you never will.”
I am so thankful I am learning to feel fear and do it anyway.
Fear is not an enemy. It’s an activator. It allows us to see from the heart, not from the mind. It teaches us to trust our authentic self.
Feel the fear and do it anyway. I may know very, very, very little, but I do know that greatness can grow where fear once stood.