I came back from The Big Island Writers Retreat in Hawai’i feeling more confident and solid than ever in my journey and purpose. I got to do two things I’ve come to love and which fuel my soul. I taught yoga and I wrote a lot, both in the retreat setting and on Facebook documenting my experience! It was all very well received and flowed quite naturally after a rocky start. However, in the months leading up to the retreat, I did not feel confident or solid. I was frightened and insecure about the retreat and an upcoming workshop 2 weeks after that. I hadn’t taught a yoga class outside of my studio since I became certified in February of this year and then I’d only taught 12-step friends or students at the studio. I desperately did not want to disappoint or fail the retreat facilitator Beth Bornstein-Dunnington. She had such faith in me, without having been in a class taught by me! And the fear of living up to quality writing in a retreat setting, a 3-day retreat was just too huge to acknowledge.
In fact, in the months leading up to the retreat, I spent a great deal of time and energy avoiding that fear by shutting down. What does that look like for me? Well, it involves feeding my feelings with a lot of junk food, lots of zoning out watching television, lots of not showing up for yoga classes except the one I taught on Sunday mornings, and missing a lot of 12-step meetings. Before long, I started gaining weight from all the eating and inactivity, and I started feeling like shit, physically and spiritually. On a deeper level, I knew what I was doing. The truth is I’d gotten good at shutting down without most of my inner circle picking up on it because they are busy with their own lives. Of course, I was still seeing my kick-ass therapist and I’d talk about what was going on with me in pieces. Our sessions are every other week so I was willing to look at the things I was doing one by one. Talking with my therapist coupled with the urge to get my shit together fueled a willingness to pull my head out of my ass. What does that look like for me? Pretty much the opposite of shutting down. I started going back to the yoga classes I attended before, 2 at my studio and 1 at my job that they offer on Thursdays during lunch. I’m back to attending at least two 12-step meetings a week and of course, talking to my sponsor/spiritual advisor every week that we are both in town. As for feeding my feelings, I lost the urge to constantly eat junk. I attended a Big Island Writer’s workshop in Los Angeles the first weekend of August and rediscovered the love of writing my stories.
So the retreat in Hawai’i was both a huge boost and a deep grounding in all the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of myself. I carried home the chill vibe of Hawai’i along with the courage of my convictions as a yoga teacher and writer intact. I wrote a blog the night I returned from the retreat and committed to posting a new blog once a week. Shortly after that, as God would have it, a cousin of mine who is a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur launched a consulting business. She is willing to consult or partner with small businesses, budding entrepreneurs or even people who were still in the development stages of their ideas. She sent me a Facebook invite to like her page and a day or two later the page launched a soft advertisement that included a survey, which I filled out because I do want to start to build my yoga and writing business over the next five years. She responded a couple of days later with a phone appointment for Saturday afternoon. The phone call was amazing! She was proud of me and so excited about my ideas, goals, and accomplishments. She is so perceptive and smart about the mental and emotional aspects of getting started. She gave me three assignments geared towards putting myself out there, like now!
Of course, these assignments and latest developments have pushed me to a new level of excitement, vulnerability, and expansion. I’m not kidding. I am stretching beyond my capabilities and experience… The truth is it’s all necessary and required in order to grow into who God is calling me to be. As for the blog title, who’s to say there is much of a difference between being on the verge or on a ledge?