When you know yourself you are empowered. When you accept yourself you are invincible. ~ Tina Lifford
Earlier this week our studio celebrated its five year anniversary. As a result I’ve been floating through the week feeling unbelievably grateful. Not only do I have two deeply fulfilling full-time jobs, I also have an AMAZING community of people surrounding me each and every day helping me to be the best version of me possible. This past week, I have been reflecting on what brought me here and dreaming of how many exciting changes and adventures the next five years will bring. Spending the past 20 years working as a flight attendant for a major airline has been exhilarating, empowering, exciting and sometimes absolutely exhausting. When I suffered a life-altering spinal injury in a turbulence accident six years ago (another anniversary which just recently passed), I was devastated. Despite all the ups and downs of the job (pun intended😉), I still truly loved it and a huge part of my identity was tied up in being a flight attendant. What if I could no longer fly? What would I do? How could I go back to a ‘normal’ job when my heart already had wings? Who was I without my flying job?
What I thought was a tragedy, though, became a tremendous blessing to me as well as my husband and our little growing business. Since I couldn’t change the situation, I needed to learn how to deal with it. There were really only two things I could continue to do even during a flareup or after a surgery – yoga & swimming. As a result, I immersed myself in both. My husband and I began training for long distance triathlons so I could still compete as a swimmer. I am certainly not the fastest swimmer around but my body feels little to no pain and I am enveloped in tranquility as I glide through the water. Yoga also took up a HUGE new chunk of my life. Although I practiced with varying degrees of consistency for almost 20 years, it was after my injury that I began my teacher training journey and I have never looked back.
Becoming a yoga teacher is the best career choice I have ever made. Not because it makes me piles of money (it doesn’t) or because I walk around in a perpetual state of serenity and enlightenment (I don’t). Instead, it has been the most profound way for me to get to know myself. To embrace my darkness and nurture the light that shines within. Turns out my inner geek is thoroughly stimulated by learning about the brain and nervous system from a yogic perspective👍 Years of unresolved trauma from domestic violence and eating disorders have been brought to the surface and I have been able to finally make peace with my past.
What I have learned is that I am not just a flight attendant or just a yoga teacher or just a wife, daughter, friend, coach, etc. I am just me and that is just fine by me. My heart is that of a karma yogi – I feel that my purpose in this life is one of service to others and loving kindness to myself as well. By watching my big corporate airline and following their altruistic and financially savvy lead, we have been able to grow a happy little business that offers support to many causes we hold dear and provides services to our customers that honor their needs and enhance their health. And we have also invested in ourselves with continuous education and constantly evolving fitness and yoga programming to give us the right tools to be better at our job and a better resource for our community.
Shortly before the start of this year, I designated 2018 my “Year of Collaboration”. I am incredibly blessed to have a circle of mentors, teachers, colleagues and friends who improve my mind, inspire my spirit and fill my heart. As a lifelong learner, I am attracted to education of all kinds and always look forward to learning new things. After a continuous education training, I am filled with energy, creativity and passion. My heart and brain are happy. I am excited to be bringing some of my favorite people and ideas to our studio this year to share with you some of what has made such a positive impact in my life. It has been five wonderful years and I am looking forward to many more years of living fully, learning always and loving completely this truly beautiful life.