There is no culturally accepted and established barometer for success if you are a yoga teacher or an artist. I have spent the last 15 years trying to figure out how to be both and fit into a mold of cultural norms. I have found myself exhausted and overwhelmed too many times to count. I am traveling the road less traveled and discovering what it means to forge my own path, hack down shrubs in my path, sit silently in confusion and continue on quietly, diligently , build a home around a dirty and full kitchen sink .
I am inspired by those colleagues have absolutely given their complete all to their alternative professions-- the actors, the writers, the activists, the yoga teachers. To "make it" without a consistent paycheck or 401(k), you must give up an attachment to creature comforts and stability in the beginning, and maybe give them up forever. There may be years of sleeping on a relatives couch; eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; considering ketchup a vegetable; a night out is for happy hour; credit card debt running rampant. Practicing and teaching and thriving in a place of hustle, so you can make it to the place where opportunities are easier to come by.
I have chosen professions where I am told by the world again and again, my work, my offering is not necessary. There are too many actors, too many artists, too many yoga teachers-- every time funding is cut from school budgets for these programs or the National Endowment for the Arts, the message is clear: the world does not need what I offer. And so I continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep showing up.
If I could do anything else with my life, I would.
Practicing and teaching yoga is the vehicle that completes me, that makes me the best human I can be.
I am yoga teacher, whether three people come to a class or thirty. I cannot and will not base my worth on how many people show up-- because to support one person in finding their breath, a comfortable alignment, or a better sense of self, that is it. That is what I am here for: one breath at a time. And I love my profession because I will never be done, I will never have a perfect down dog, there is always more to learn. There is an unlimited need for each and everyone of us to plant the seeds of compassion and truth.