Learn from your discouragements


Sometimes people ask or assume that my lifestyle must be totally stress-free because I'm a yoga instructor. All I do it meditate and chant and stretch and read books...right? Though I do mostly wear pajamas, I'm also proud to admit that I'm a mess, too. I practice and share yoga to heal myself and help others to heal, but we all have occasional meltdowns, stressful situations, taxes and bills. Though I wouldn't trade it for the world, being self-employed as a yoga instructor is not an easy choice.

During a particularly difficult day during a particularly difficult month for my business, I was meditating and praying and crying about my dreams. I wasn't feeling sorry for myself and I didn't want to give up on teaching yoga, but I felt burnt out from the hustle. I was tired of the unpredictable income and I didn't know if I was cut out to keep going. It was a rare occasion for me, but I admitted to myself that I felt discouraged. At that moment, I really felt God speak to my heart with the phrase: "Your dreams are not your own."

I was blown away by the simplicity and truth in that statement. It's not something I would tell myself because though inspiring, it wasn't totally soothing. Within those few words, I heard, "Get up. This is all much bigger than you."

Living our dharma (purpose) to the best of our ability effects everyone. You can choose to allow that fact to be either overwhelming or empowering, but regardless, your meaning, what makes you tick, your dreams and plans involve SO much more than just you...because we're all in this together. Whether your discouragement is emotional, physical, job-related or within a relationship, it always has something to teach us: change direction or change your mindset.

Yoga teaches us that our dreams and destiny are more than just a choice. We actually have a responsibility to live our destiny.  Choosing to play small or live someone else's purpose in our life is actually doing irreparable harm to the planet.

It’s better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.
— Bhagavad Gita

No one, no matter how stressed out, how lonely, how independent or withdrawn is an island. Think about just 3 people who have impacted your life in a big way. *Note that being impacted in a big way doesn't always mean a positive influence or supportive friend. Trauma or difficult people in our lives are just as necessary to offer powerful motivation.

Whether those 3 people are inspirational family members, difficult colleagues, strong mentors or friends, we've all been impacted by those around us. So what if even just 1 of those people did not exist to influence you in the way they did? What if 1 of those pivotal people had not had the experiences that THEY needed to end up where they are today? Now imagine: YOU are one of those people for someone else.

You impact people around you every single day by just existing.
And your dreams are not your own.

Learn from your discouragement and see it as an experience that you are being offered. Grow from it in whatever what you need right now. I was so inspired by my experience that I created this little design as a reminder for myself and for you. Please feel free to share it, print it or design your own t-shirt in my Spreadshirt shop.