Looking Back on 2013

As I look back to April 7th, 2013 I remember it being a significant moment in my life.  That was the day I graduated from a three month, Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training. Going through this training was challenging, and yet so thrilling. It began to stir up my soul. It gave me hope that the life I had been living up to that point didn’t have to continue to stay that way.

 Last year (2013) brought major changes in my life. I knew I wasn’t where I needed to be anymore, but had no clue what to do next. The moment that really jolted me to just how stressed I was happened right after I had returned from a fantastic vacation to Turks & Caicos. To be honest, it was the first actual vacation I've taken in my adult life.  My vacation time was always spent flying home to visit family. As amazing as that time is, it's not as relaxing as sitting on a beach for a week with your cell phone turned off and connecting with the sand, the earth, the water, and enjoying the company of my wonderful boyfriend.

 After a week of being completely disconnected from work, I wasn’t sure what kind of chaos I’d be walking back into. I proactively started checking emails the day before I went back and became extremely anxious. I could feel my body reacting to what felt like all hell had broken loose. I literally was shaking and couldn't take a deep breath. When I walked back into work, I realized that I had been operating at that anxious level for so long that I had adjusted to it.  A week of detaching reset my system and allowed me to see how unhealthy this level of anxiety and stress was to my body, mind, and spirit. 

 I had lost myself.  I was no longer the sweet, kind, compassionate person I once knew. I had become angry and hard. I missed my old self. I was experiencing extremely low energy levels. I crashed every evening after work. My digestive system was a wreck. I was so stressed around lunch that my body couldn't process anything I ate and weekends turned into major recovery time. This way of living was not sustainable. It was affecting my relationships and the quality of my life. I am young. And, this was not how I wanted to live my life. 

 Yoga gave me hope.  When I began teaching yoga, even though I was nervous and scared, it felt right.  The kind compliments that I received would just blow me away.  They saw something in me that I couldn’t see, but I had hope that one day I would.  That encouragement and the physical need to make a change became crucial for me. So, the decision came to quit my job – after much thought and many conversations with friends and family. It was no longer fair to my boss, my company, the clients, but most importantly to myself, to continue operating at this stress level.  No one was benefitting from it. 

 I gave a very extended notice, three months, to help find the right people to replace me.  It turned out that 3 people were needed to do what I did. I have to say, those were three very hard and long months for me. It was so difficult to see everything you had given your life to for the past four years be handed off to others. I had to start letting go. I had to see that they didn't want to do things the way I had. I was in limbo between wanting to start my new life and see where that led, but still dedicated to making sure I was leaving my work in good hands. My work family was amazing.  That is what I miss most about the job – the personalities, the conversations, the foosball games, the support. They were so supportive of me pursuing my new goals and I’m very grateful for that.

 Now that I’ve been out of that job for 6 months, my body, mind, and spirit are agreeing with my new lifestyle.  Although the recovery process has taken longer than expected, I wouldn't change a single thing.  I haven't for one millisecond regretted my decision to leave.  Sure it's hard to give up job security, the pay, the benefits, but the sense of freedom I feel is truly worthwhile. The improvement in my relationships has made leaps and bounds.  I'm happy. Even though I have no clue where this journey may take me, I'm taking it one step at a time.  When I quit I had no jobs lined up. I had to accept the fact that I didn't have to know all of the answers.  That something amazing and life changing was in store for me. I’m on the path of helping others that now suits my style. When I'm happy and living my purpose by being there for others doesn't everyone benefit? 

 It’s amazing how powerful are our bodies and minds are.  How they are constantly giving us a signal of what is going to be best for us to live our lives in a balanced, joyful way.  Mine was telling me I had to take the leap of faith and leave my job. For my health's sake, my relationships, my overall well being, I had to leave.  I've very excited to be on this new path, this new journey and to be sharing it with you. It takes courage to do what we all do no matter what job or relationship is at stake, or what decisions we have to make. In my case, quitting my job was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, but the rewards are well worth it.

 If you are finding yourself in a similar situation and need someone to reflect with, I'm open to helping you figure out a game plan to become more balanced and happy.  Maybe it's creating time for you, or setting up boundaries with others. Maybe it's trying something new, or finding someone to talk to.  Whatever it may be we have the opportunity every minute of every day to see what signs our body, thoughts and emotions are telling us. Are the actions you are taking bringing you closer to your goals or further away?

 It's pretty crazy how much has changed for me this past year. I know I'll be looking back on 2013 and think it was the year that changed my life. The year that put my life in perspective and put me on the new path that I was created to live. 

 Namaste,

Laura

Laura HaugComment