She did feel a bit nervous, stepping in to the yoga shala at 7.30am on her first day of yoga teacher training. There was tension in her shoulders, her heart was louder than normal and she smiled at everyone including her own reflection in the mirror and a statue. She felt pressured by herself to fully be herself, to show her true colours and let herself be seen as she is. And she wanted to be perfect. Or at least great. Outstanding in some way.
In an effort to give her nervousness space, recognising her emotion without letting it control her entire being, she asked herself why she was nervous and realized it was not about spending a month with a bunch of strangers. It was something else. Her sense of importance around her upcoming achievements lived inside a bubble she recognized as her Future. Her nervousness centred around the idea that if she hated this, or worse – sucked at it, the bubble would burst.
She took a deep breath, filling her lungs with ”jungle air” as the yoga school was located in an oasis of greenery right in the middle of hippie-town Ubud, Indonesia. She reminded herself that even though this situation in some ways were a new one, this was far from her first life-transition, and she was not in completely unknown territories. It was more like coming back to where she had started, that place she somehow always had circled around or kept coming back to.
The group was small, 8 students, 3 teachers undergoing teacher-training- training, a beautiful course leader that moved like a prima ballerina, and the owner, a strong willed lady with passionate fire in her eyes.
She listened to the noisy roosters calling out to each other as they roamed the bushes around the shala. In the middle of the shala a beautiful flower mandala became the centre point around which yoga mats had been placed in a circle. They had been told to sit quietly in meditation, so it was tricky to get a feeling of who these people were. There would of course be some sort of introduction, where they would all have to say their name, where they’re from and something else – maybe their favourite chakra, or the colour of their aura (this is Ubud after all). She contemplated different ways to present her own current situation.
Option A. I’m Swedish, I’m in my mid 30’s and I’m about to move back to my mum’s house in Sweden. I don’t really have a job, but I think I know what direction I’m heading in. I love yoga but I stopped all the other hippie-nonsense about a decade ago, and I am now worried that I have regressed in a desperate attempt to find my footing again after a divorce that broke my heart and in many ways shattered my reality. I have two cats, and I want many more. But I can’t because I’m allergic.
Option B. I was born in Sweden but I have lived abroad for the most part of my life, spending the last 9 years in Singapore. Moving from a successful career in the corporate world to the glorious mayhem of starting up my own business in the health and wellness sector, I’m on my way to move back to Sweden. With a lot more than 10,000 hours of emerging myself in a fairly expansive selection of everything from crystals and healing with herbs, to self-help and the 4-hour approach, as well as religion, psychological therapies and scientific research – feel free to ask me anything about physical, emotional or spiritual wellbeing! I have two fur-kids, my cats Batcat & Robyn.
She decided that option B was the better one. And she remembered something Brené Brown talked about in her book Rising Strong. Permission slips. Giving yourself permission, and actually writing that down, keeping the note in your pocket. She silently wrote hers on a note to be placed in a pocket of her heart.
I give myself permission to try, fail and succeed.