My last working day at my corporate job was February 12th 2016. When I made the decision to pursue self-employment, my vision was nothing more than teaching yoga classes and making enough money to ensure that I could feed my son, and occasionally myself. I knew that my environment was toxic and my wellbeing was more important. I also knew that embarking on your own statistically takes 5 years to become successful. In other words, I should not plan on anything more than breaking even and hopefully not eroding all of my savings. I made a conscious decision to ignore the five year statistic since I realistically couldn’t survive for more than three years.
For the first time in my life, ambition went out the window. I thought no further than the following month when I finalized what classes I was teaching. Despite that, my level of gratitude increased. I became more aware of my blessings which didn’t require finances or accumulation of materialistic wealth. And without expectations, I saw opportunities arise that I had never intended.
One year after leaving my job, I started to homeschool my son. Me who lacks any semblance of patience, who felt like pulling my hair out just from doing homework with him, decided to discard the few remaining marbles that I had and prove I was certifiably insane. Fifteen months later, we’re both still alive *bonus points* Has it been without struggles? Of course not! But has it been worth it? Most definitely. I have seen firsthand the changes in his emotional responses and his anxiety. In the past, I was always vocal about the negatives of our school system… the unnecessary pressures coupled with approaches that have been scientifically debunked as beneficial. Now I speak from experience.
While I continued to take yoga one month at a time, I saw huge improvements in our autism advocacy group. I saw our reach expanding almost daily. Our vision has always centered around empowering parents. We believe that parents are the best advocates for their children because who knows your child better than you? And as we have been able to reach more parents, we have also been able to educate a larger portion of the community. How else can you create greater awareness and acceptance if not without the support of those around you?
And then one night around midnight, I decided to start a blog. It seemed like a good idea at the time and five months later, I have over 1000 views and 700 visitors. But bigger than that was the opportunity to have two published articles through The Mighty.
The biggest success has been the growth of my yoga classes. My yoga mama said to me last week “you’re growing a business. What’s your future plans? What’s your vision?” And my initial response was “What business? No I’m not. I’m simply teaching yoga classes”. I also thought “this is adulting again! Somebody save me!” But after the initial shock, I realized the legitimacy of her statements. Without even trying, I went from a single regular client and two inconsistent ones to six regulars and additional jobs emerging daily.
Did I write this as a boastful chronicle of my successes? Nope. It’s a truthful but abbreviated narrative of the last two years. March 2018 was the first month that I felt financially secure in my decision to give up an established career of over fifteen years and two degrees that took me seven years to complete. This is an account of how my life changed when I stripped away all the non-essentials and found gratitude in less… when I changed my perspective from planning the next ten years of my life to instead a recognition of living and appreciating the moment.
My present list of achievements includes…
We are guaranteed this moment and nothing more. Make sure you make the most of it 😉
I haven’t written a blog post in over a month. I’ve played it off to some people as a bit of writers block or being super overwhelmed with yoga classes or life being good so I haven’t had much to say. The truth is I’ve had things to say but sometimes I need to take a step back. For me, it’s difficult to put myself out there. It’s a challenge knowing that you may get criticism, knowing that you are being brutally honest but some people won’t get it. It’s tough to lay yourself bare and wonder if people might misinterpret your efforts as pleas for sympathy or pity when all you’re trying to do is generate empathy through the journey in someone else’s shoes.
The reality is that I’ve received only encouragement and love for everything I’ve put out. And for that there are no words to express my appreciation and admiration. I am constantly inspired by my son, by brave lionesses, by strangers, by my followers. All I can say is that I am overwhelmingly grateful. However, fighting the thoughts in your head is an internal struggle that I don’t think any amount of external support can get rid of. It takes time, kindness to yourself. Knowing that any fight is not without wounds. Knowing when to walk away and knowing when to come back again.
I think I’m back 😉