This past weekend, another group of students graduated from True FLOW Yoga Teacher Training.  This was the tenth 200 hour yoga teacher training that I have independently led. As I look back and reflect on the last few years of my life, it is very surreal.  Five years ago, although I was already teaching yoga classes a few times a week, I was also still pursuing a path towards a “real career,” or what I thought a real career is supposed to be.  Now here I am today, running my own small yoga business and doing what I love most as a career. 

I did not plan this out; I can’t take any credit for that.  Five years ago, I never would have thought that I would be doing what I am doing today.  The path that led up to this point consisted of a lot of random opportunities that seemingly “fell into my lap.”  I used to think that I just got lucky, but the more I pay attention, the more I realize that opportunities are constantly falling into all of our laps assuming our eyes are open and we are willing to rise to the challenge.  The one thing that I have done consistently that I believe has made all the difference is this: I always stay open to new possibilities.  When opportunities arise (often ones that seem really scary!), I am presented with a choice to either step forward into the unknown or to stay where I am.  Each time, I choose to move forward.  I am where I am today because I have allowed myself to take risks, I have allowed myself to fail, and I have learned what it means to get back up and try again. 

As we move into the holiday season, I have so much for which to be grateful.  Not many people have the good fortune of doing what they love as a career, and I am very aware that I could not possibly have gotten to where I am alone.  Every step of the way, it has been the support of my family, my good friends, and my inspiring students who have given me the courage to keep moving forward into the unknown and taking chances.  I am so incredibly thankful especially to my parents for standing behind me and always being my biggest fans.  Without knowing that I had the safety net of them to catch me if things didn’t work out, I might not have had the faith to take the steps I needed to take to get where I am. 

Perhaps most of all, I am grateful to my students for reminding me again and again why I teach.  When I am having a bad day and I have to muster up the strength to show up and lead a class, without fail I end up leaving the class feeling much better than when I came in.  Just the simple fact of feeling the energy and attentiveness of the students in some way heals me.  Students know that the teacher is there to help them, but I often think they don’t realize that it is truly a two-way street: they help me by being there.  We are a community and the relationship only works when we both show up.  There is not a more rewarding job in the world than to facilitate and be present for another person's self-discovery and awakening.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all those who have been part of my path and supported me along the way.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” ~ Joseph Campbell