Making decisions is never easy. And the harder it is, the longer we sit in crippling indecision.
It’s been over a year that I have been speaking with the studio owners where I teach yoga, asking them if I could change my schedule. I’ve been teaching on Sundays for years. Especially as a newer teacher, we tend to take whatever we can get, and the first time slots up for grabs are the ones that others have decided they don’t want. So I’ve been working Sundays for a long time. All that time I have had to remind my family and friends repeatedly that no I’m not free for brunch. No I can’t go away on Saturday night. No I’m not free for anything – unless I take the day off, get someone else to teach my classes for me, and miss out on the income that comes with those classes.
Of course I don’t HAVE to teach these classes. I’m of free agent to do whatever I please, that’s the beauty of being self employed. But these classes were meeting my needs.
Teaching yoga is the steadiest income stream I have. I show up at the same time every week and can expect the same pay at steady intervals for those classes. Also, teaching yoga gives my schedule a structure. All of my other activities revolve around my teaching schedule. I had the certainty of steady income and a regular schedule.
On this day I teach my two most powerful classes of the week. A hot power flow in the am, and a 90 minute vigorous practice in the afternoon. These are fun classes to teach! I get to explore creative sequencing, challenging postures, and play with students who feel open to trying new things. Also, this was the only day of the week that I taught at this one particular studio. It’s so fulfilling to me to change environments, to see different people, in a different vibe. I love the variety that comes from teaching at this studio, and in teaching these longer more challenging classes.
I’m good at teaching those more challenging classes. Regularly I have received recognition from my students and the studios about my strength in this area. It makes me feel special to offer these fun, challenging, and playful classes.
The Sunday vibe is awesome. Students have already had a day off to run their errands, they are feeling pretty relaxed by the time they come to their Sunday yoga class. No one is terribly rushed to get to class, or to leave afterwards. I’ve had many great chats and connections come from teaching these classes. I feel a sense of belonging in the community and feel the love from my students every class.
Every time I teach these bigger classes I grow. I express myself throughout the class as Grace pours through me, I stretch the teaching and myself through new limits and challenges. I have learned so much about myself, and my students in these classes, that the strong teacher that I feel I have become today, is in large part due to showing up every Sunday.
Teaching yoga is more than guiding students through an Asana (physical posture) practice. It’s about holding a safe space for them to be with themselves. When Grace pours through me and I let poetic words flow from my mouth, when I support my students through new shapes and movements in their bodies, when I create an experience that brings them to tears – I can feel the contribution I have made to their life experience. I feel a sense of purpose. I feel like I have helped others.
Grace pours through me. These classes are the longest ones I teach all week, and when I settle into the rhythm of the practice, Spirit, Grace, God, takes over. It is not just me teaching. It is me, in connection with something bigger than me. We do it together.
So if all of my needs are being met by teaching the Sunday classes, why would I ever want to let them go?
My Values. I value my relationship with my partner HIGHLY. I have chosen this Value, and put high up on my list. It is important to us that we spend quality time together, regularly. Lately, as his schedule has changed, we were both feeling that our need for love and connection with each other was not being met, as we have so little time together. With only one day off a week together, we were jamming all the things into one day. Chores, social commitments, family gatherings, projects, activities…. We have one day a week to do it all. It just hasn’t been working anymore.
Understanding our Chakra Needs is just one step in the formula to making decisions with ease and confidence. We also need to know ourselves and our personal values.
I recommitted to putting my relationship at the top of my value system. Once I did that, it all became clear. I was no longer going to wait for someone else to create an opportunity for my schedule to change. I’m just going to change it. Right now.
I no longer teach on Sunday mornings at that studio. It makes me sad to no longer be walking through those doors every week, but I know I’ll be back when the opportunity arises. For now, I am still teaching on Sunday afternoons, as I feel that just by freeing up my mornings, I will already feel so much better about my personal time. For now, all of my needs are being met. Until the moment when I see that they aren’t. Then I’ll come into reflection again and see what needs to happen.
It’s hard to let go of something I love so much. But I feel confidence in my decision. Once I looked at it all through the lens of my Chakra Needs, the decision came with ease.