it's never too late to start over.
a few months ago an opportunity more or less fell into my lap: the yoga studio where I did all of my training was closing - the owner need to move on, run her budding ashram project in pennsylvania. as soon as I heard, I knew I had to pursue it. how often does a business space become available that is set up almost completely for what you want? and she wasn't selling, merely turning over the lease. and so I sought out partners, knowing I couldn't do it alone. after lots of talking and planning, the three of us did it. we opened our own yoga studio....oh, did I mention that we did a complete top-to-bottom re-paint and took out walls and build shelves and stocked and cleaned and didn't sleep...and got it all together in two weeks?
it wasn't easy. but I felt like this was a once in a lifetime chance to contribute something to the community. to take on a true seva. to maybe even find my dharma (I'm in denial of what my actual dharma is, but that's a whole other topic). I will say, though, that I missed a few opportunities to listen to my intuition. I remember one instance in particular, where I was really feeling it in my gut - that paramatma whispering ever so gently: kadamba mala, don't do it. you already do enough. but I was already in deep - had invested so much time and money. I couldn't not do it at that point. so I persevered. we opened. I taught the first class. we had students. we were doing it. we did it.
I think, as I look back, I really underestimated how much work it would really be. I guess I didn't think it would be no work, but it was a lot of emotional energy. much more than I had anticipated. and so came the stress. my weekends gone (I was teaching both saturday and sunday). I was working seven days a week. on mondays in june I was literally working three jobs in a row: my full time job, teaching a studio class, and then going on to my adjunct class. I wasn't seeing my family. to say it was exhausting is an understatement. by the time june ended and july rolled around, I knew there was no way I could do thing long term. and even as time moved on and I had cut two classes off my teaching schedule... I just knew. my passion wasn't there. this wasn't my dharma.
I should also mention the one huge thing that was the shady umbrella over this whole situation: my fibromyalgia. I was formally diagnosed earlier this year, but I think that even though I live with it everyday - the sometimes overwhelming fatigue, the physical pain, the fogginess over everything - I think there's still a huge part of me that doesn't believe it's there - that one day I'll wake up and just feel normal. so even though I take a handful of herbs every day, I don't really take care of myself in other ways. and stress is the biggest trigger for me. even though I had made some progress in terms of feeling better after I was diagnosed and before I started this venture, once I was in it, I was flaring up regularly. something had to give. it was me. it was this.
I remember the day I decided that I was going to step away, I said to my husband that I knew it was the right decision because my sense of relief was so much greater than any sense of attachment that I had. so to be honest, I'm not sad. I'm relieved. once the agreement was reached with the person buying out my share, my soul immediately felt lighter. the business... the partnership... yoga... had all become an overwhelming burden. and now it has been lifted. and I am so grateful.
with that said, it wasn't all misery. we have an amazing staff, and I had even more amazing clients/students. I reconnected with one of my teachers from high school...how crazy is that?! so, it's not all regrets. it's mostly not regrets. but those things, those regrets, I don't see them as negative. these are the things I learn from the most. I learned a lot. I am grateful for all of it. every bit.
it's never too late to start over. today feels like that - a day to start over. it's the first day of the month, the first day in months that I didn't have to wake up to an alarm (though I slept like crap!), the first day of my vacation... so many possibilities. but mostly, the possibility to take care of myself. so that's the plan. a month of total self care. part of my plan is to write every day. maybe you can come along on this journey.