I am a mother, a wife, a friend, a writer, a Yoga teacher, a ding-a-ling, a smart ass, an airhead, and a hot mess. Sometimes I beat myself up and sometimes I know I am a ROCKSTAR. But through life experience and Yoga, I have learned to love all of me.
It wasn’t easy to embrace all of my FLAWSOMENESS. And it is a daily practice. Some days are easier than others. But in the end with self kindness and perseverance, I make my way back to ACCEPTANCE and SELF LOVE.
I admit it, I am a quote collector. I know it seems cheesy and cliche, but sometimes a word, an image or a phrase can be all I need to refocus and come back to my intention.
As a Yoga instructor, my job is to serve my students and guide them safely through their practice. It really has nothing to do with me “teaching” them at all. All I do is PLANT SEEDS AND LEAD BY EXAMPLE. This is a mantra that I come back to often…not only when I am leading a Yoga class, but also as I parent and any other time that I find myself frustrated by unmet expectations of myself or others. The truth is we are all doing the best we can at any given moment. The key is to realize that some days are better than others and we must stop ourselves from jumping on our soapbox when we are up, and, from beating ourselves up when we are down.
Another mantra that keeps me on track is simply stating to myself SOMETIMES, BUT NOT ALWAYS. These simple four words can bring me back from the depths of self annihilation…….a way I challenge my inner bully when she is calling me names. (ie Sometimes I'm lazy, but not always...)
Let me explain first why I decided to teach Yoga. I certainly am not a Master Yogi. I have been doing my own personal practice for 6 years and I still can’t “fly my crow”, I don’t have a graceful dancer’s body and I cannot send my leg over my head in a perfect bow. I don’t really care either because Yoga to me is not about getting somewhere or mastering something…it is about BEING……HERE…NOW!
I initially took teacher training to further self develop. I had no intention of becoming a teacher. I thought teacher training would be fun. I love learning and at the time my life had become a bit stagnant and I needed a change.
After completing training, I chose to audition for a job with my CorePower Yoga studio, a place I also affectionately referred to as my happy place.
Soooo, I have an awful fear of public speaking. Ya...really! I thought by auditioning and subsequently teaching, would be a challenge. It was and is. The reason I continue to teach and further put myself out there is because it helps me continue to grow as a person and allows me to give back to others. My hope is that after my class, my students better connect with themselves and have a place where they feel safe and belong. If I can remind one person that he or she matters and I can provide some tools to help that person listen to their inner guide, then I know I have done my job.
But knowing we matter and are perfect just as we are is one thing…..being ok with that fact and still strive for better is the bigger challenge.
Next year I will be 50. Writing a book has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Although I have had many first starts, it is only now with life experience and perspective, I can share my mistakes and process with you.
But to be clear, this blog and my book is far from a HOW TO. I am not an expert, nor claim to me. I can’t give you a recipe or instructions on how to find inner peace. All I can do is PLANT SEEDS and LEAD BY EXAMPLE and that is what my book is about. How I plant seeds and lead by example.
This blog reflects my thoughts, views and process. I write it to share a little of who I am and if you get some spark of inspiration from it…well…then like in my Yoga classes, I have done what I set out to do…
In Yoga we end class with NAMASTE…what that means is the devine in me honors and sees the devine in you. When we are both in this place of authenticity, we are truly one. You can replace the word devine with light, truth, teacher, student, but my favorite replacement is the FLAWSOME in me honors and sees the FLAWSOME in you.
-Jen Vallens 5.16.20