I bet so many of us get stressed in times of stagnicity, transitional periods, or developmental times of our lives wondering what our future holds… and I bet that especially happened for a lot of us when COVID-19 hit. Being a student is the perfect time to stress about the next chapter of our lives after graduation–I was just about to finish my master's degree in March 2020. I knew I wanted to move back to LA, I knew I wanted to teach yoga while building my career as a professional musician/freelance trombone player… but would I pull it all together?? The answer is…duh. But it never feels that way in the midst of the unknown. And of course when covid hit all plans/ guarantees went out the door. I started online teaching while looking for a job in LA. Online teaching gave me a chance to connect with friends from all over during this unknown time. As an intention for my students, I often offered a mantra that I came up with at the end of my yoga teacher training: “Inhale love, exhale doubt. Trust yourself, you are on the right route.”
Recently, I’ve gotten amazing opportunities and bursts of inspiration for both teaching and trombone playing, but even just a month ago I found myself often stressing out about what’s to become of my career, what I should be doing, am I doing enough, am I good enough… and on and on. It’s easy to get sucked into those spirals, but it can be just as easy to snap out of it (and get back in… but also get out of it again).
A wonderful friend of mine tells me, “when a caterpillar is about to become a butterfly, it must be terrified thinking it’s about to die. Little does it know what it’s going to become.” As I’ve started my new life in LA as a freelance yoga teacher, building community in my outdoor classes, and practicing trombone to be ready for more gig opportunities, I’ve found that I’ve needed to remind myself…. “girl, you may think this is an unknown, shaky time, but you’re about to bust out the cocoon as some maleficent-like motherfucker butterfly goddess creature woman that you can’t even imagine yet. TRUST YO’SELF”.
We are all in an unknown transitional time… so I believe that reminding ourselves of our truth helps. This led me to the sanskrit mantra: Aham Brahmasmi, translating to, “I am absolute.” Meaning, “I am the source, where everything comes from. I am the source where everything returns to. I am a part of this universe. Universe speaks through me. I am not different from my creator. I am absolute.” I feel inspired to take this and my own mantra into my yoga classes, to share with others (and remind myself) that we are absolute, we can trust ourselves, trust that our path is right even when it seems shaky with obstacles, and that we each have the power within ourselves to create our own amazing, kickass route.
The yama “aparigraha” (meaning non-hoarding, freedom from grasping) reminds us to let go of attachment to the outcome. I believe that if we can do that, we may find that the result is even greater, more joyous, so much more awesome and badass than we could ever plan for. When we find ourselves in doubt and fear, we just have to stop, take a few deep breaths and remind ourselves of the ultimate truth. Inhale love, exhale doubt. Trust yourself, you are on the right route.