I want to remind you of something you might already know. Or maybe you knew and forgot. Or maybe you never knew. Here is it: Do not put yourself in a box.
That goes for other people putting you in a box, as well. And if they insist, then bust on out of that box. Do not feel like you need to stay there.
And if you do, it will be by your own volition.
I led a retreat this weekend. A “yoga” retreat. Let me tell you, there wasn’t that much actual “yoga” done. Don’t get me wrong, the whole retreat was as yoga as yoga gets, but as far as the poses go, we didn’t do that much asana.
Sometimes, when I go into fear mode, I worry about the fact that so many people think of me as so many different things (Jen their yoga teacher, Jen the writer they follow, Jen the person I googled and found when I typed in “yoga retreat”.) Then, everyone arrives and the transformation is so complete, so profound, and I remind myself that it doesn’t matter what I am called.
What I do speaks for itself.
Same goes for you.
My dear friend, Caspar, is always the chef at my Ojai retreats. He is also an incredible musician and singer (among many many other things) so I asked him to come and sing to the group with his guitar. People wept. It was that beautiful.
Up until that point he was “chef.”
It was a gorgeous reminder that we don’t need to be labeled or put into boxes, that we can let ourselves shine no matter what our title is or is not.
I don’t know what you’d call my retreats. I don’t know what to call myself, and truthfully, it does not matter.
I am creating my own niche in the world. I hope you will consider doing the same.
When we feel that we need to be in a box or we need to be labeled it is usually, and this is purely speculation, fear running the show.
“What if I don’t fit in? I better do what everyone else does.
What if they don’t like me? I better conform.
What if no one comes? What if people think I am crazy? What if it doesn’t work? What is people say “who does she think she is?”
Keep being yourself unapologetically.
Be kind, do your best not to hurt anyone, love often, but be true to who you are. If you want to sing and you are an accountant, start singing dammit!
As I let go of the idea that I have to be “yoga teacher” (in quotes) I allow for inspiration.
Be boundless guys.
Get out there and roam. (That’s me speaking directly to your soul.)
Love, Jen Pastiloff, writer, yoga teacher, leader, coffee drinker, wine drinker, reader, poet, aunt, amateur photographer, slob, social media junky, friend, daughter, wife, inspirer, over thinker, yogi, sunset aficionado, human being.
ps, I have decided that I am indeed doing a 3 day retreat to Ojai over New Year!! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.