This is my life

holsteemanifesto

When I was still part of the conventional working world, I taped a printed copy of the Holstee manifesto (the image you see above) onto my office cubicle. I realize now that it wasn’t one of my brightest ideas. It probably gave people the impression that I’d rather be somewhere else. Of course, they’d be right: I’d be sitting there, typing away, trying to craft a coherent sentence, but my mind would be out among people, trees, stars, seas. I’d daydream about teaching yoga full-time, being among practitioners and leading them into calmness, health, and a happier existence. At the time, I’d been teaching several yoga classes before and after work, and loving it despite the lack of rest. My journey towards teaching was fraught with trepidation and even injury that when I finally got my certificate, I was filled with both happiness and dread. Was I ready to teach? What kind of teacher would I be? Could I make a living doing what I love?

Months after I quit my office job and plunged head first into teaching, I’m still waiting for the answers to those questions.

I wish I could tell you that all is peachy and bright in my world after I decided to go down this path. I wish I could say all my cares and woes dissolved after every exhilarating session I attended or taught. I wish I could say that most days I feel more courageous than stupid. On different times, I think my life is either a sitcom, drama or an episode of the Twilight Zone. Every time someone asks me “How’s it going?” I have taken to replying “I’m living by the grace of God.” Dramatic, yes, but true. I also know that each of us is living by God’s grace every day, not just when things are perceived to be great.

I suppose part of the dilemma is the newness of it all. Transitioning from a salaried cubicle dweller to a levitating yogini without a steady revenue stream can be terrifying for anyone. Trying to make a spiritual endeavor into something commercially viable while keeping it authentic and true is a delicate balancing act. And doing it at a time when the number of yoga teachers doubles every year makes it more daunting than ever.

Moreover, years and experience added to one’s life pave the way for a change in perspective. While I can still plow through projects that feed my body but not my soul, I can only do it for so long. Call it blind idealism or stubbornness, but what I do now has to mean something to me. When I was younger I could hack it by faking it – all the time. Now, I can only do that some of the time.  My hope is I get freed up to do the stuff I really enjoy: teaching yoga and taking on writing and editing assignments about projects, programs and people that make a difference in the world. I can’t prevent climate change, stop pillages and rapes, or eliminate poverty but I can make people feel good about themselves one person at a time. I also hope I can pay the bills and not worry about my finances while I’m at it.

I believe that money is merely energy changing hands, relationships made tangible. Despite the struggles, I want to report that, all things being considered, I’m doing well. Not as well as I imagined I’d be, but well enough to still think clearly and make plans. I’m lucky to be surrounded by supportive family members and friends as I navigate this brave new world. (Special shout-out to my mom, her siblings, and her friends. My own friends are awesome, too. If you’re reading this, you know who you are.) The Universe has been very kind to me by linking me up with people and transporting me to places that give me strength when it is waning. I stumble upon books that resonate with me, written by authors who are living authentic lives. I’m currently reading “Outrageous Openness” by Tosha Silver and found this quote:

“Why worry? What is meant for you is always meant to find you.” – Indian poet-saint Lalleshwari

I believe you, Lalleshwari. I truly do.

And, of course, there’s the Holstee manifesto. That piece of text that has become my North Star. I’d like to send good vibes back to the writers of the manifesto by pointing you to their website and inviting you to look at what they’ve got.

Do what you love and do it often. See where that will lead you.

(If you have trouble viewing the video, click here.)

Comments

  1. Kudos sis! I like reading your blog. Hope we can do yoga together someday :)

  2. Very inspiring, teacher Louie!

  3. lisa pilapil says:

    all my love, as always, nak :)

  4. You’re such a feel good writer and a feel good person, Louie! I was working on an article about our yoga class last month and stumbled upon this post. I hope you know how encouraging your work is. And your life, super inspiring. Thank you :)

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