“it is better to travel well than to arrive.”
about a month ago, i left my full-time, all-consuming job with a winery to pursue and fine-tune some dreams that have been brewing deep inside of me. namely, yoga and natural health. my schedule has lightened and is much more determined by me. my income sources have also lightened, so i’ve added “selling Pampered Chef” to my list of fun endeavors. all of this has left me on somewhat uneven ground, tilting back and forth as i try to find my sea legs and steady myself again.
a few of my less than shiny character traits have begun to rear their little heads during this time of transition.
recently, my shoulder has begun to hurt. a deep, burning ache that happens when i’m using the computer or driving and especially after an intense yoga class. feeling discouraged, i resolved to try harder. until one day, after class, my arm ached all afternoon. through two movies and lunch and shopping. ache, ache, ache. i hesitated to ask anyone, afraid i would need to lay off of yoga and all the things i’ve been working on. finally, i asked a teacher at the studio if i should just take a break.
“no,” she said, “not necessarily. you may just be doing something wrong. you should have a teacher look at your form.” my relief at being able to keep practicing was short-lived as i considered asking someone to not only watch me practice yoga, but also to offer critique.
i’ve always been incredibly insecure about my “performance” in just about any area of my life. in an effort to avoid commentary, i strive to do better than any expectations, to wow people before they can decide i’m not good enough or don’t have the skill. asking for someone to help me see what i couldn’t felt less like help, and more like judgement.
nevertheless, i knew i needed help and it wasn’t going to happen spontaneously. after class yesterday, i asked my teacher to come over, to watch me. a couple other students, overhearing my request and having similar questions, stood by. despite my fears, she listened and offered suggestion, noting my form and how my lack thereof was likely contributing to the pain. she gave me some exercises to gain strength and i felt humbled. in one of the best of ways. humbled that another human would handle my request for help with gentleness and respect.
another character trait that has been known to both help and hurt is my “all or nothing” modus operandi. “all or nothing” people are great and have a lot to offer. they go after goals with tenacity and perseverance. they are passionate and driven and, for lack of a better phrase, get shit done. but “all or nothing” people are surprisingly fragile, susceptible to burn out and running themselves into ground.
that’s where i found myself in my last work position. i accepted a job that had long been neglected and was in need of serious, deliberate attention. i called it my wild stallion. and initially, i enjoyed it despite the exhausting hours and sleepless nights. but over time, it took its toll as i worn down more and more. until i finally had to call it quits.
now, in my new season, i find the drive revving back up and my desire to hit the road running have kicked in. especially in the area of Pampered Chef, especially after our spring conference last weekend. i came back convinced i would be a director by July, setting my sites on that goal and going hard after it.
the yoga fell into the shadow of this dream, as did my studying for naturopathy. suddenly Pampered Chef became the destination, not the vehicle. i’ve joked that it feeds my need for instant gratification, as my dreams for yoga and natural health are things that will take years to attain.
this is not to say i’m quitting Pampered Chef or anything, as my “all or nothing” personality tends to dictate. but i do need to put it back into its place, to realign my perspective. i want to do PC well, to succeed and make money, but it’s not my life’s calling. it’s not that thing that’s recently awoken within me. it’s the vehicle for getting there and, who knows, may just pay for all my future dreams.
needless to say, life is busy here. like the winter, i find my life is in a bit of still hardness. soon the soil will be tilled, the seeds planted, the baby plants growing and thriving and putting off fruits to nourish little bodies. but for now, it is slow and hibernating and the perfect place to learn big life lessons with gentleness and humility.