Here's How You Can Live Your Dream
This morning I was a bit stiff as I woke up to teach my 8am yoga class in a beautiful beachfront studio overlooking turquoise waters and white sand in Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I was a little worn from teaching arm balances and inversions late the evening before and having little time to sleep and recover. I'm traveling, teaching nearly 10 yoga classes a week and pushing myself to soak up of every minute of this opportunity.
I stepped to the mat to begin teaching and began with some simple asansas to help my students warm up, but also restoring my own sore body. After a few deep breaths, it came to me: Gratitude.
I realized that my "bad morning" was the actually quite incredible. I mean, my work is to teach yoga on the beach in the Caribbean! I realized just how amazing my life really is, because I'm realizing a dream and goal I set for myself.
I flashed back to a time when I worked in marketing for large companies. I did this for 17 long years,12 of which were spent fighting traffic to reach a downtown office building each morning. I would wake at 6:30am, rush to shower, put on makeup, iron my dress clothes, scour to find panty hose that didn't have runs in them, pack a lunch and hurry out the door without eating breakfast. I would arrive to my desk, usually a few minutes late, and log in to my computer. For the next 9 hours, I would sit within gray walls of a cubicle (later upgraded to an office) and I would work hard as I watched the small clock in the bottom right corner of my computer screen. I would challenge myself to learn and improve my skills. I would work hard to earn a paycheck and even stay late each night with hopes each year of a pay raise. But I would not work with passion.
During the long workdays behind my computer, I would dream of traveling abroad and living on an island. I would think of ways that I could bring meaning to my life. At the time, I wasn't even practicing yoga. So I would dream of ways that I could help people, possibly volunteering and using my Spanish language skills from college. This daydream was relentless, and evolved into creating goals, and like I would do for large companies, I created a "strategic business plan" for my own life, complete with a budget and timeline.
Fast forward to years later. Years of life experience, years of work toward my goal, years devoted to yoga practice and years of teaching yoga and self discovery. I made countless preparations and took each step of my strategic plan, I calmed down and listened to my heart, and I find myself exactly where I dreamed to be. I reached my goal: making a difference people's lives and doing it in beautiful places all over the world. How could I ever wake up unmotivated when I think about how far I have come?
Each yoga class I teach, I begin by asking my students to create an intention (a present tense affirmation) for their practice and to carry that intention with them throughout the day and throughout their week. This intention setting is the first step to making self improvements and working toward goals and dreams.
While currently teaching many tourists in the Dominican Republic, I'm often asked with wonder after class how I ended up here-- essentially how I ended up with my dream job? It's my hope that by my example and by my yoga instruction, that I'm making a difference in each of their lives, inspiring them on their own path to pursuing what makes them happy. It's my passion to help others to find peace and wellness in their own lives, one-hour of yoga at a time.
If you are not where you want to be right now in your life, you are not stuck. You can make the right choices each day and put in the hard work to find a new outcome. Perhaps that starts with a daydream. Or perhaps that starts with taking those first steps to the top of your yoga mat and setting an intention. With determination and the right plan, you can find yourself exactly where you dream to be! Believe.