It has been an intense start to this new year. Two weekends ago I hosted my first ever yoga and life coaching workshop, called Heartspark. It had some bumpy parts but generally was well-received and I felt pretty good about it.
But it was also tremendously scary thing to do. It was only six months ago that I started coaching, and I had this inkling that pairing coaching and yoga could have profound effects. So this is new territory for me, and I was terrified. What if no one signs up? Or worse, what if only three people sign up? Awkward! What if they don’t like it? What if it doesn’t work?
This past weekend I put up a work-in-progress sharing of a play that I’ve been writing for the last six months. Also awesome. Also terrifying. Really scary to be putting out a piece of art that isn’t even finished into the community for consumption. Like, I already know and see the ways that it’s not working and needs improvement, and yet, here it is for you, world! Yikes.
And so again the questions. What if no one shows up? What if lots of people show up and they hate it? What if I offend someone with what I’ve written? What if I’m not a real artist?
I called my friend (amazing artist Nicole Garneau) for a pep talk the night that the show opened. She told me, “The level of your terror is not inversely related to the quality of your work. In fact, the two have nothing to do with each other whatsoever. Putting your art into the world is always a scary thing to do, whether it’s awesome or awful, whether it’s brand new or totally finished. It’s scary because it’s vulnerable.”
Ah, so. Vulnerability. Yoga is a practice of making us comfortable with being uncomfortable. Comfortable, in this context, could be defined as complacent. Static. Stagnant. And so uncomfortable then, would mean moving. Growing. Blooming.
I woke up this morning feeling tired, tired of being exposed, of putting myself out there. And grateful that it was, for now, over. And then I remembered that tonight I have to have a talk with my long-term private clients about the fact that I’m raising my rates. I’ve had the same rates for private classes since I started teaching six years ago. And again with the questions: What if they say no? What if I’m not worth the money I’m asking them for? I feel good about the rate change, but whew, definitely a vulnerable space to put myself into again.
So what this points to, though, is the fact that I’m changing. Growing my teaching, my art, my business. My practice helps me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and in this way, yoga is a catalyst for growth. Growing can only happen when we step out of our comfort zone, and into the unknown, the space in which we’re not sure what will happen, how they’ll react, if we’ll be okay. We practice being uncomfortable so that we can keep stepping into that space. And we step into that space so that we can grow.