OOF. OUCH. OOPS.
I failed. I had an idea that I thought was a really good idea, but it turns out that it was not a really good idea. Or at least, it wasn’t a good enough idea. It wasn’t an idea that I actually loved, even though I tried to convince myself that I loved it. The story goes like this:
I teach 3 classes a week that are drop-in format. Two of them are always full of people and energy and life. The other one is erratic; attendance fluctuates wildly; energy levels dip and enthusiasm flags.
Meanwhile, my no-drop-ins, must-register-in-advance class is thriving. Students are interested and engaged. I love teaching this class! Why not switch the wonky Wednesday class to the same format, only modified for beginners? We’ll do six weeks of standing balance poses, I decide.
I think this is a great idea! I promote my heart out, make flyers, write blog posts, send emails! Surely everyone will love it!
No one signs up. (That’s actually not true. One person signed up right away. Thanks, Irene!)
I ask in one of my other classes if anyone was thinking of signing up for Wednesday but just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Not a single hand raised. I ask why not.
“It doesn’t fit with my schedule. I don’t get off work until after 6 pm.” “ My schedule fluctuates, so I can’t commit to six weeks in a row.” “I just don’t like standing balance poses.”
The last one makes me laugh. I ruefully think to myself, “I don’t really like standing balance poses either.”
One week out from the first class and only two people have signed up. I am panicked. I am dejected. Reluctantly I cancel the class.
I’ve certainly failed before, in all kinds of weird and spectacular ways (remind me to tell you about the time I got my car inextricably wedged between a telephone pole and another car in my own driveway...)
Maybe you’re thinking to yourself: It’s just a yoga class; this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal?! You’re right, and it’s not, but when I was in the middle of it, it felt huge and magnified. My classes tend to stay pretty full, and y’all (my students) are generally interested in whatever I have to offer, so this felt like a bruise to the ego.
When I look closer though, this is also an opportunity to dig deeper and get clearer about what I really want, and what will truly best enable us all to grow. Why did I try so hard to get people to sign up for a thing I’m not super interested in practicing or teaching? I got a little lazy in my thinking, a little formulaic perhaps, and no one signed up for the class. I stepped outside what is truly true for me, and somehow, you could all see that. A good friend reflected to me,
What a blessing that you don’t have to teach a class on something that you don’t even really like.
Yoga teaches me that it’s okay to flail and fumble and fall and be awkward and not have everything all figured out. It shows me how to get clear about my purpose, and to find clarity about what is most in alignment with who I’m trying to be in this life.
It reminds me that perfection is an illusion.
For now Wednesday night class is on hiatus while I finalize what’s next! Look out for more details next week about the future of Wednesday night classes.