I’m quitting my job.
It’s been a long time coming, with a lot of long talks with my husband and hot subway rides where I hung my head and let tears roll down my cheeks
I had studied journalism in college and always wanted to write for a living. I paid my dues at internships, temp jobs, freelance jobs and I finally landed a foot in the door at a major news publication.
The only problem: After 10 years of hard work and perseverance, I realized that I didn’t want it anymore. I was stuck in a place with only one or two other souls to relate to and with little-to-no ambition. My team was difficult to galvanize and my boss, with whom I had a great relationship, had decided to leave.
It wasn’t a wake-up-and-everything’s-different change; it was a slow decay, during which many things changed for the worse.
But I turned to yoga, and I saved my spirit.
After returning from a zenned-out honeymoon in Hawaii in September 2014, I decided to seek out a local studio to reinvigorate my practice as a way to deal with a knee injury and manage my stress from work. I had done yoga on and off for 10 years, and it had been too long since I regularly practiced. It was like I’d neglected a friendship and needed to make an effort to renew that relationship.
I found Earth Wellness Yoga and started attending regularly. I struck up a friendship with one of the teachers and soon decided to invest some of our wedding money into getting my yoga-teaching certification from her. It felt like serendipity to meet someone with whom I had a great connection and who had so much knowledge to offer. My training began in January of 2015, and I’m set to finish in the coming weeks.
My life has been changed so drastically by a chance moment in which I decided to duck in for a class and by what I have learned since about the practice and myself.
Yoga has given me the tools to handle my stress levels. I was faced with so many scenarios at work that challenged my sanity and my clarity: my new boss’ temper, surly coworkers, an increasingly annoying and crowded commute, and to top it all off, the sinking feeling that I wasn’t fulfilling my life’s purpose. Establishing a regular practice has helped me let go of those stressors that I was chewing on day-in and day-out. I learned to breathe through those moments and not let it destroy my peace.
The teacher-training program also injected discipline into my daily routine. I had homework, and I needed to meet a certain amount of class hours each week. Before long, my schedule opened itself to accommodate my practice. With a combination of physical therapy, regular yoga and a commitment to the practice, I managed to heal my knee. I got healthy in body, mind and spirit.
Most important, I learned to listen to my gut. I was able to engage with my feelings about my circumstances. I was depressed. I was disappointed -- in myself and and how what was once the biggest opportunity in my career had changed. Maybe this was my quarter-life crisis, or maybe it was the universe showing me that I was ready to make a change, whether my head believed that or not. I’ve learned that my intuition is valuable, and to ignore it is to do a disservice to myself. It makes life so much harder when you struggle against what you know to be true deep down, but you’re unprepared to accept.
My two-week notice is in, and I’m prepared for the benefits and struggles of doing what I’m meant to do. It’s a scary leap out of the safety net of nine-to-five employment, but it’s a necessary one.
And yoga has given me the strength to let it go.
I will be forever grateful.