The other day while teaching yoga I found myself saying not once but a couple of times,
“the time is now, don’t miss it”
What the hell? Sometimes I have no idea what comes out of me…and why. But I reflected on this and this is what I think I know now.
The time is now to act, to show up and to step into life. The dreams and aspirations will not just magically appear because you thought or dreamt of them but rather you showed up in mind body and breath. Here is an example. I’ve been yearning to teach yoga/wellness/meditation (well, let’s just call it an updated version of “Heath 101″) to High School students. It’s been something I’ve been visualizing and dipping my toes in to for many years. I just haven’t found the right door or timing or luck. So my niece Zoe is 16 years old and goes to Sierra Summit Charter School in the International District in Seattle. Now Zoe is a very humble, quiet, self possessed young woman. She will not just share outwardly and enthusiastically her LOVE for school. But, when poked she will come to life and give me what I yearn to hear from every young person in high school…”I love my school. I don’t have one favorite teacher. They are ALL amazing. I look forward to learning every day.” She goes on to tell me that four times a year the students have what they call “Expedittions” which is a 2 week intensive in electives four times a year. Last year she took eight weeks of Coding and Bike Mechanics. What is so cool is that her bike mechanics immersion course taught students how to fix bikes and then donate them to kids who couldn’t afford them. This summer she was hired by this company and is being paid as an employee..her very first job!
I thought to myself…wow, this seems like a school that would perhaps be open to a person like me coming in and offering a yoga/meditation/wellness expedition. I asked Zoe about it and she said, “Yeah, Aunt Jenny, I think my classmates would like this option.” Thinking about things is a whole lot different than acting and showing up. Have you ever thought about yoga and then decided to work, log on to your computer or do laundry instead? I know I have made decisions that in retrospect put off my real dream in life. Why? Well, that is another newsletter.
Let’s just say that I chose to show up on the last day of school at Sierra Summit Charter School. I walked in and asked to speak with the principal who seemed half my age and double in intellect. She called in the Expeditions Coordinator and there we were sitting together…I felt awkward and brave. Here I was asking for a job opportunity next school year that I was not completely sure existed nor was I really the “one” for the job. I said, “I would love to teach yoga and meditation, relaxation and human relations as an expedition next year here at Summit School.” I then tried to piece together and share my qualifications for this job – that I used to teach in public schools before I owned a yoga studio….I had moments of complete regression to when I was a teenager at a job interview for a “caller” at Costco with NO work experience other than the experience of being alive, curious, excited and scared to death! Here I was a 47 year old woman with four kids and a business and I felt so excited/scared for this opportunity. My body was present, my mind was playing all kinds of self doubt tricks and my heart was beyond exhilarated.
I showed up. I said to myself, “Jen. Now is the time. Ask for what you want. Share with the world what you love and what you feel passionate about. Be unabashedly YOU. Serve. Stretch yourself. Be uncomfortable. Let go of the outcome, Nothing to protect, nothing to prove, R E L A X….”
I’m showing up every day at the Yoga House or at the “temple of me” on my yoga mat for movement, breath, spiritual connection, physical and mental well being, devotion, curiosity and friendship. Showing up is saying to myself, “I am necessary, relevant and worthy in this world right now.” I think my exhuberance swayed the administrators. I knocked on the door and they invited me in! This to me is what life is about. The time is now. Your dreams, yearnings and aspirations need you to show up, knock on the door and bravely and humbly ask – Can I be of service? I am here! I also think that being of service comes in many different forms and shapes. For me where I am right now in my life it means showing up as a mom of four tween/teenager kids. It means showing up to my mom and dad in their mid 70’s who need more support and presence from their three daughters. It means self care beyond an hour of yoga and meditation each day…it means quiet time, nature time and reading time. Showing up means being the brightest and most joyous light I can be right in a world of worry, confusion and contempt. Showing up means traveling to places in the world that I know will change me at my core and transform me in unexpected and delightful ways – India, South America and Europe…I’m coming for you! I’ve said NO to India so many times that I wonder why? What is holding me back? This year I feel India is beckoning me. Why do we put off the the longings of the heart? Why do we stop ourselves from putting our hearts out there even though it may come with turbulence and confusion. I’ve said it too many times, “You can do hard things.”
Now is the time.
I’ll see you tomorrow!
With love and gratitude,