Listening to our inner guidance is some times very difficult. Some people can go for years hearing the little “knowings,” the little nudges in life, but never trust themselves enough to listen and follow them. But the good news is that all of us have the capacity to learn how to listen to and follow that inner guidance. And once we awaken to that capacity, trusting and following this inner guidance becomes much easier. We learn to distinguish between anxiety and confidence, fear and love, so that this inner voice becomes a trusted ally and ultimately allows us fulfill the purpose for which our soul has incarnated. Michelle has one such story.
The Voice of Passion by Michelle
Fifteen years ago, I stepped away from a teaching career, health insurance, retirement benefits, a good salary, and a community of friends, to follow my passion. A passion that guaranteed none of the above.
What is it that allows a person to follow a passion like this? What is that KNOWING that pushes one forward into the unknown? For me, trusting my inner guidance has been key.
It has not been the easiest journey, but it has been the most fulfilling . . .
I am a Yogi, or more appropriately, a Yogini. From the moment I stepped into my first yoga class in college, I experienced a tangible energetic flow throughout my body and an even deeper connection to what I can only call a mystical or spiritual yearning for something more.
With each class I attended, I would experience this same connection to my body and yearning in my spirit. After I received my degree, I enrolled in a two semester teacher training program in yoga.
Teaching a yoga class seemed like a perfect complement to teaching secondary education, so much so that I offered a free after-school yoga class for students and teachers.
In many ways, teaching this one yoga class changed my life.
Often I would sit in faculty meetings and listen to teachers talk about their passion for teaching and working with students. I soon realized that teaching my academic classes didn’t arouse this passion in me nearly as much as teaching that one yoga class a week. Although I enjoyed meeting with students academically, the yoga class centered and energized me. I felt guided as I taught, and I experienced a flow and connection to life that I didn’t feel at any other time.
After a year of teaching, I enrolled in an advanced yoga teacher training program. Here I experienced the spiritual connection and awakening that I yearned for from the beginning. I was able to explore the deeper spiritual meaning of yoga. I entered a world in which I felt totally fulfilled, a world in which I felt “at home,” physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Meanwhile, back at my job teaching at the high school, the wrestling coach asked me if I would teach a yoga class to his team. He understood the value of energy and focus and believed that a strong yoga class would benefit his team. I just loved the idea. And so we began weekly classes.
After one particular class, a parent came up to me and said, “You are so gifted. You just love this work.” I realized at that moment that I wanted to devote my life to sharing the joy and passion of yoga with others. That spring I made the decision to resign from my teaching position and open a yoga studio.
I didn’t question this decision. I didn’t panic about insurance or retirement or a steady salary. I just KNEW in my core that my life was headed in a different direction. I KNEW I could trust that feeling: I must follow my heart and all would be well.
And the Universe conspired with me to make it happen. . .
A studio space opened up 2 blocks from my house, and on my 30th birthday, I received the keys to the space and opened the doors.
That was 15 years ago. Since then, I have continued to listen to that Divine Passion within. The Studio grew and blossomed into a wonderful center for movement and meditation. Ten years in, when the time was right, I sold the studio, and now continue to teach not only yoga and meditation but other forms of energy healing as well.
Have I ever felt afraid? Of course. Have I ever wondered if all the bills would be paid? Yes, definitely. But have I ever questioned my original decision to resign from my regular job? No. Have I questioned the love and passion I feel each time I lead a yoga class? No, never.
For me the key has always been to trust and allow that Divine Passion to guide my life. She has never led me astray.
Every time we listen to and follow our inner guidance, we strengthen what I call that Yes Muscle. By trusting and listening to the yes in our everyday lives, we gain confidence in our ability to follow that wisdom. Likewise, our Yes to everyday living helps us say Yes to those larger decisions we will need to make on our Journey: staying in or leaving a relationship or career, moving to a different state or country, making ethical choices in our careers or friendships, being true to our beliefs.
And so: What is your heart saying Yes to right now that your mind is perhaps saying “No” to, or “I’m not sure about”, or “Maybe next year,” or even “Could we not talk about this right now?”
Start with the small things: writing a letter to a friend, taking that walk outside, taking a day off of work or away from the computer. When you say Yes, feel into it. Allow any fear or guilt to slip into the background so that you can enjoy the Yes.
After you feel comfortable saying YES to your inner guidance in everyday life, see if you need to say yes to something bigger. Maybe renewing or releasing a friendship, changing something at work or in your career.