“I see myself as being limitless. I feel empowered to make moves in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I still definitely get that feeling of being stuck sometimes, but now I know there’s a reason for it. Feeling stuck; going through what I’ve gone through emotionally – it’s all led me to the place where I am right now…The place where I value empowerment and using my existence on this planet to achieve something BIG for others.
I never used to be this way, though. I used to be pretty focused solely on myself – thinking about the next thing I was going to do for myself, the material things I wanted, how I was going to get the nice house and storybook life that I thought I wanted. I was always a really loyal friend and overall would have considered myself to be a good person, but when it came to down to it, my goals weren’t built around how I could show up for other people.
About two years ago, I hit a really low point. I don’t know if I would call it hitting rock bottom, but if it wasn’t I really don’t want to know what rock bottom feels like. I felt stuck. I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything or achieving any of my goals. I knew I had the power to do what I wanted and get things done and make progress, but I was so defeated that I didn’t want to face anything and use that power to make my dreams happen.
Out of college, my initial goal was to become financially sound & independent. I come from a background where I was conditioned to worry about money, and had this mindset that the first thing I needed to do was get a job and make money to be able to support myself. But, this can take time! Even though I had a great job, a few years later I found myself in a place where I was stressed out and burdened by the student debt I had to pay; I was living at home; my friends had all moved away; I was failing my actuarial exams, and I hadn’t done teacher training yet, which I wanted so badly to do, but it seemed like it was going to be this gigantic mountain to climb. I just wanted to start teaching yoga because I knew it would change everything for me, but felt like I couldn’t. I was so overwhelmed and felt like I had all these obstacles in my way but with no motivation to do them. So naturally, I became really depressed. I felt like I had no way out.
Through this low point, there were things about myself that I realized I didn’t like. And it took going to my Level 1 Baptiste Yoga teacher training to really realize I was judgmental, impatient, and easily reactive. At that training, I started noticing all of this stuff come up. And someone said to me, “That is who you were, you can decide to be however you want to be.” So I thought about that and knew I wanted to be a calm, easy going, non-judgmental person and most of all wanted to get rid of anxiety. I had been on and off medication throughout my childhood and young adult life for anxiety, and I didn’t want to rely on that anymore. It became clear to me that I really didn’t need it; I just wanted to live my life and be free of these problems that I was unintentionally creating for myself. From there on out I worked REALLY hard to get to a point where I could stop and think in situations rather than react with panic, anxiety, fear, or anger.
I wanted to be accepting, I wanted to be loving, and I wanted to be supportive – and those are things I was able to create myself as through the work I’ve done and continue to do through what I’ve learned from Baptiste Yoga. This work, this methodology…it really works, and it brings people together who have your back without question; supporting each other’s’ growth unconditionally. That’s what the Baptiste community is to me. There’s nothing else like it, no place with more trust, truth, integrity, and authenticity–it’s a place where people thrive.
The whole piece of ‘wanting to be of service’ came out of Level 2 Teacher Training. Paige Elenson said to us, “What are you going to do when you go home to show up for your community and the people around you? How are you going to take what you’ve learned here and apply it?” That was the first time I had really been introduced to the thought that I could take this methodology beyond myself, beyond traditional studio classes.
What Paige said really flipped a switch for me. I had a huge breakthrough and something hit me that told me that this was the real deal, and THIS; teaching is what I should be doing, how I should be of service. It brought forth the possibility that I could teach yoga and meditation to people in vulnerable situations: yogis recovering from substance abuse, yogis going through treatment for debilitating illnesses, and so many more, and I’m currently working to make this a reality. I also realized that being involved with Africa Yoga Project is a possibility for me, and I now intend to travel to Kenya someday (soon). It sparked this whole waterfall of ‘I can do something beyond myself’.
I’m much more conscious now about how I can do things for other people. I look for things to do to make a difference, big or small, via yoga or through other channels. I NEVER used to do that because it was always only about me and how I was going to get ahead, and make myself happy. But, NEWSFLASH! I never was happy with that mindset because happiness just does not work that way. Showing up for someone else is pure joy, that’s happiness–I know that now, and I live that now.
So, ‘fear’ is another thing. The theme for Level 2 was “Fear Not” and I bring this into my everyday life. When I am hesitant, anxious, or stressed out about something I just tell myself, ‘alright, it’s just fear, you’ve got this.’ I ask myself.. what am I fearful about? What am I scared of? What can I do to let go of that and trust that this is the right thing? How can I be at ease?
This has been really successful for me. Getting Lacey (my rescued black lab) at first was SO stressful, and I didn’t know how it was going to work. I was constantly worried she wasn’t happy or that she wasn’t feeling safe and loved or that I wasn’t providing a good enough home for her. I’d be thinking ‘she’s so bored when I’m at work’, and ‘what am I going to do to make her happy’, and ‘how am I going to train her, and how am I going to do this physical therapy with her on her recovering hip? I’m not good enough’.
So, I took a step back, and looked at the whole situation and thought, ‘what am I so scared about? What’s the worst that could happen?’ The worst that’s going to happen is that it takes some time to get used to this, and train her and etc, but nothing bad is going to happen. She’s going to have an awesome life, being showered with love and she’s not going to be mad at me or whatever–she’s a dog! So I stopped being hard on myself about it, and “magically” everything worked out. She is my best friend, the person I look forward to seeing when I come home, and I know the feeling is mutual.
Overall, 8+ years of yoga practice, going through teacher training, doing the work etc. has left me feeling like I can take on anything, and I know now that I can make big things happen without knowing “the how” right from the beginning. I always knew that I had the power to manifest my dreams…I had just been stuck in figuring out the right actions to take to get there. Now, instead of trying to figure out every little thing, I step back and let things happen without so much fixing or planning. I know now that the way will be shown–that I don’t have to figure out every detail of my life– and that was huge progress for me.
The idea of taking ‘inspired action’, not just taking action to take action, but taking the inspired action that you feel is right is different. It’s really the universe pushing you down that path.
Well over a year before I actually took any action on it, I made a clear decision to make a website. I didn’t even know what I wanted to call it. I just knew that I wanted a place to organize this part of myself: the inspired, empowered, spiritual part. I needed a place to write, which became the blog section. I also needed a place to offer myself up as a teacher, providing a platform for scheduling and communication, as I intend to grow into private yoga instruction & coaching. As I worked on putting all of this together, the name materialized out of thin air: ‘The Limitless Yogi’. The name emerged from one of my biggest discoveries since finding yoga, which is that limits are self-created, society-created, and in reality do not exist. I’ve been able to cause big shifts in my life after investing myself in this belief that with determination, authenticity, and integrity, we can live the limitless lives of our dreams. And that right there became the theme and purpose of the limitless yogi.com.”