How's your week going? Awesome, I hope. Mine's pretty good. Just a few days away from the next Lazy Wellness retreat, and I can't wait to get outta dodge. Aside from the cool people, the fall foliage, and the cozy-ing up by a fire in the woods, I'm excited simply for a break in routine. My teaching schedule is all over the place this week, and while I miss my regular classes/people, it's nice to mix things up. 

Last weekend I was hanging with my bestie, aka the incredibly talented jewelry designer Collette Ishiyama, and we were talking about what we'd do if we weren't doing what we're doing. I caught myself saying something along the lines of: wouldn't you just want to do like anything else where you can just show up to work and then go home and it's not like your whole life?? 


It certainly does feel that way sometimes - in good ways and in bad ways - for me and for her, and for anyone who's following their passion and trying to make a living out of it. It becomes all-consuming and I'll admit that sometimes being able to "mail it in" at a more boring job sounds kinda nice, although I know I'd last exactly 5 seconds if I tried to do that again. 

One of my favorite pass-times is sitting on my couch and watching shows like The Voice and So You Think You Can Dance. I often get choked up watching these shows, because PEOPLE'S DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE. You hear their whole story - and some people really came from a rough road - and they're finally making it. And sometimes I think: man wouldn't that be nice - they know they want to sing, and they have this obvious place they can go to try to make it. 

I think, in a way, it appears to fit neatly into a box. I like things that fit neatly into a box, but that's not real life. 

And as for these shows, I know it's not as easy as all that. These people worked really hard just to get there, and once they do, there's one thing that makes any contestant, on any of these shows, stand out and get ahead: vulnerability. They have to pour their guts out and leave them on the stage. They have to break down their own walls and limiting beliefs and pull something from deep inside of them because what everyone is looking for from any performance they might deliver is that human connection. That's what we want from everything. That's what we're here for. 

These singers and dancers are connecting to people and sharing a story. Their art will reach out and grab someone and make them feel a certain way, and to convey that emotion they need to find it within themselves. They really can't just get out there and dance. It just doesn't work that way. 

It cracks me up that I thought teaching yoga would be a pretty easy job before I started. Like, just do some yoga poses in front of the class and they follow along - how hard is that? But, like anything, there's so much more to it. And I don't just mean learning anatomy and making playlists (although those are super important, too). It's not the kind of thing you can just mail in; to be the kind of teacher that people connect to - the kind of teacher that can make an actual difference for someone - you have to dig deep. 

Whether you're teaching yoga, singing, dancing, running a lifestyle brand, or designing jewelry, you have to trust your creative instincts, you have to figure out who YOU are and what you have to SAY; you have to figure out who your people are and how you can help them with what you've got; you have to get over your fears of judgment, imposter syndrome, and that need for instant gratification. It becomes your whole life, not because you become a prisoner to it - no, not at all - but because IT is YOU. 

And so, at the crux of it, is that ever-challenging "figuring out who you are," and that's the part that gets tiring. It's facing everything that's in there, wading through it all, and pouring your guts out on the stage for everyone to see. It's stripping away the programming and no longer second-guessing yourself; it's thinking outside the box and creating what you want to create, even if it hasn't been done before, because someone, somewhere, will connect to it. Because somehow, you can make a difference by sharing your passion - that little thing that is super unique just to you.

{deep sigh}

Keep going. It's worth it.