What can I say, this feels like more of a journal entry than a blog post so please bear with me. In the essence of honesty and openness I'm writing about something that's been playing on my mind for a while now.
I trained to be a yoga teacher because I fell in love with yoga and what I got from being on the mat. I felt I had to share it with the world so they could feel how I felt and experience what yoga had given me. it was a spur of the moment decision and one of the best decisions I've ever made because it gave me something for life, something that can't be erased or taken away. But do I feel like a teacher? No! This may be controversial but I don't think someone with 200 hours of teacher training, a self practice and as many hours spent teaching yoga can be classed as a teacher or 'leader'. My opinions, I'm completely open to hear others!
Social media can suck you in to believing you have to be in a certain job and industry to make it and fit in and be successful. I don't live in London. don't workout or teach at swanky clubs, don't have the right friends and don't go to all the events I see on Instagram so I'm not making it right? This is the negative headspace I got sucked in to. I would trawl social media and the internet looking at these people and events and wondering why I wasn't there and what I needed to do to change it.
Maybe I didn't look right, maybe I needed to move cities, maybe I needed to get a manager or agent. This went on for months and gradually I started becoming less and less myself and more and more obsessed with why I wasn't 'making it'.
I started working out more, lifting weights again, dieting again. Don't get me wrong, I love lifting weights and I love working out, I just felt I had to follow a programme or do things in a certain way so I could achieve a certain aesthetic because that might make me popular. All it did was make me more miserable.
I couldn't figure it out.
So I took a long hard look at everything. I mean everything. I'm not going to pretend things clicked in to place over night or that I just changed my mindset and everything was rosey because that's BS. It's a process I've started of stripping everything back to basics. To understand what I want to achieve and to set about how to achieve it.
Overnight I stopped worrying about having the perfect Instagram post, or being in situations to be able to create one and I started living my life how I wanted to and documenting that. Yes we all like to look at pretty pictures and read inspiring quotes, but is that actually enriching our lives in any way? No!!! I realised that people were empathising with and following my journey and struggles and realising it was ok to feel crap some of the time.
I was painting a picture of a 'perfect' life when underwater I was struggling to stay afloat. Now this post isn't a woe is me. It's a 'guess what we all have shit going on' and we all deal with it in different ways but if we're more open and honest about it we can all help each other.
I also realised my yoga self practice has been almost non existent as I feel a little stagnant and I've been lacking creativity and my mat hasn't been calling me as much. In typical Zoe style I've tried to suppress these feelings and brush them off but it's time to face them and figure everything out bit by bit. Yoga saved me at a time when I was stressed and anxious with everything happening in my life but I'd been brushing it to one side when it's a tool I have that can help me. Slowly I've started to get back on the mat more. Gone are the vigorous fiery practices and in their place are slow and steady breathing and stretching. It's exactly what I need at the moment to help me to move forward.
It slowly dawned on me that I didn't want the life I thought I wanted. I never wanted to teach yoga full time. Going from studio to studio, class to class isn't my idea of sharing the magic of yoga. I tried it for a while and it just left me burned out and wanting to turn my back on the whole industry. In retrospect I was trying to fit in and do what was expected of someone who had just qualified and also trying to emulate what I had seen other people doing. As soon as I acknowledged and accepted that I had more room and time to look for what I did want. By having an open mind and inviting new opportunities into my life things have literally changed in a matter of weeks.
The stress has gone, the expectations placed upon myself lifted and magic has started to happen in the form of new opportunities I didn't think were available to me and didn't even know I wanted!
This isn't a finished piece, it's a 'to be continued' at a later date. I haven't figured it all out yet. I just knew my mindset had to change massively and when it did a few weeks ago a fog lifted and I'm starting to see the light again.
So this is episode 1.........