This is what breaks my heart

Last week Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Love Warrior posted this on her Instagram:

“2 questions folks ask me the most:
How do I find my purpose?
How do I find my people?
Here’s how to find both.
Figure out what breaks your heart in the world. That’s your purpose. Find the folks working to fix that thing in the world and join them. Those are your people.
No bond in the world like the one among folks doing world changing work together.”

This week in the Chakra Needs 7-Week Program, we are in Anahata, the need for love and connection.  We are doing deep work on forgiveness and setting boundaries.  Next week we are moving into the needs of our Spirit and our work on really uncovering our dharma begins.

Our dharma (life purpose) is the key towards finding our people.  Friends being the family that we choose.

But how to know our dharma?  Look towards what breaks our heart in the world.  There is no right or wrong answer here – just what breaks YOUR heart.  If it breaks your heart, then it’s worthy of attention and love.  For some we may feel the deepest heartbreak over those in the world who do not have access to education and we MUST build schools and communities that try to fix that.  For others, every word of poetry is a healing capsule of suffering, love, beauty and peace, so they MUST use words to heal.

No vocation is too small.  No vocation is more grand.

As I sat with this concept, I began to see some parallels in my own life.  I have often judged myself for being a little too opportunistic.  I get a little bit of shiny-object-syndrome.  A great idea pops into my head and I follow it.  I become an ambassador for someone else’s project, I sign up to sell a product or an idea, or I hop on an opportunity to add a new service offering into my own business.

Often these ideas don’t quite come together like I had hoped they would.  So I asked myself “what am I really trying to do here?”  The answer has shown me my dharma.

For every exciting new venture that I’ve jumped into, they all had one thing in common.  I’m always moved by an opportunity to be part of a solution or a movement, that supports yoga teachers.  I’ve been looking outside, for a solution to what breaks my heart in this world – the struggle that it is to be a yoga teacher.

It breaks my heart:

  • To know that many teachers are struggling to make ends meet
  • To watch them burning out, teaching as many classes as they can
  • Struggling to find opportunities
  • Sticking with teaching gigs that don’t serve them
  • To see teachers being taken advantage of
  • To see that teachers lack resources and support systems
  • To observe feelings of isolation and separation
  • To see teachers competing with one another
  • To overhear teaches judging one another

I have been both on the receiving end of these situations, and I humbly admit that sometimes when lost in my own story, I have regrettably created these scenarios myself.

The teachers that I know have HUGE sensitive hearts.  They are passionate about bringing a little peace, well-being, and goodness into the lives of others.  They love the practice, they love the depth of yogas’ teachings.  They want to make a difference in the world – and they want to feel secure while doing it.

However, the number of yoga teachers is only growing. This ever expanding group of sensitive hearts are working hard to make a way for themselves.  While working through the motives of their egos, and the needs of their Spirits, competition, judgment, and isolation infiltrates the community.  Swept under the rug, and whispered about behind closed doors.

While walking through a busy yoga event space the other day with a yoga teacher and friend of mine she said something to me that broke my heart.

“I always knew it, but the longer I teach, the more I feel it.  This community is so… cliquey.”

As teachers band together with like minded friends, we don’t always see the unintentionally negative impact of that powerful coming together – it leaves other people out.  I believe we must all be finding our people, and this happens when we connect with folks with similar values and missions.  Unfortunately, there is a fine balance here, not to slip into judgment of others who DON’T share the same vision.

Acceptance and inclusivity are KEY.  They key towards a community that feels safe and supportive for all within it.

For every venture that I’ve tried on for size, the common theme has always been finding a way to bring yoga teachers together to build a network of love and support among us, to break down the barriers I see of competition, judgment and isolation that keep us apart, and to cultivate opportunities for us ALL to thrive, while fulfilling our dharma.

It breaks my heart that for so many, teaching yoga is a challenge – in ways that are easily remedied.  It starts with each one of us, coming back to love.  Coming back to our why.  And it continues, when we find our people.  Finding our brothers and sisters who have accepted this vocation of bringing yoga to more people, in new and traditional ways.

Together we are stronger.  Always.



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