The one word to achieve any goal
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller
Yesterday, I became a certified yoga instructor at the YMCA. I have been doing my theory courses, shadowing teachers, attending weekly yoga teacher training, and teaching a weekly class at the YMCA since November of 2012.
I first started doing yoga in the fall of 2010 after a significant relationship came to an end. It was something my partner was into, and I decided to try as a way to reconnect with myself, healing my wounded heart and rekindling my inner strength. I fell in love with yoga right away, and still tell people that yoga saved me.
I have become an avid yogi, practicing multiple times a week, and am so grateful for the physical and spiritual development it has given me.
Looking back on the journey of becoming a yoga teacher, I realize that there were a few pivotal moments that made this possible.
The first took place in the summer of 2011. A few friends of mine and I did a road trip to Tofino, a small surfing town on the Pacific side of Vancouver Island. While we were there, we enjoyed evening barbecues, hanging out in the town, and of course, surfing; or in my case, attempting to surf.
After one session of surfing, a few of us were hanging out when someone suggested we do a yoga class on the beach. I volunteered to teach it.
So there we were, doing yoga surrounded by the sounds of crashing waves and seagulls, with only the ocean and endless shoreline in front of us.
Everyone really enjoyed the class, said they felt amazing afterwards, and said that I should become a teacher one day. I had always admired my own yoga teachers and looked up to them, but this rewarding and magical moment of teaching yoga on the beach really solidified my desire to do so.
The second thing that helped me decide to become a yoga teacher, was what a friend of mine, Adam, taught me about the language we use to achieve our goals. When we have a goal we want to achieve, we sometimes tell ourselves it is unrealistic by following this thought pattern:
“I want to be/do/have X, BUT, I don’t have the time/money/qualifications”.
A huge shift happened when I replaced the BUT with the word AND. Listening to my inner whisper of wanting to become a yoga teacher while saying “AND” I don’t have the time, money, or qualification allowed me to get creative in how I achieved the goal.
In my case, I had the time, but after recently graduating from law school, I didn’t have the money to do a $4000 yoga certification course or the qualifications to walk into an established studio and start teaching. This allowed me to think of other ways I could still be a yoga teacher, without having to do what is usually done to become a yoga teacher.
By thinking in this way, I realized that I could embody, live like, and be a yoga teacher.
I could read books on yoga theory and practice; learn from yoga teachers by attending classes, asking questions, and observing different teaching styles; watch youtube videos and podcasts to develop my yoga abilities; and learn more about holistic living and eat healthier.
This line of thinking led me to stumble into the YMCA, where as it turns out, they have a free yoga teacher training program where you simultaneously learn exercise theory, attend yoga teacher training, practice teaching your own class, and receive mentorship from teachers.
The one word that made all this possible was changing from saying “BUT” to “AND”.
This slight shift in language has helped me take a fulfilling moment I had of teaching yoga on the beach in Tofino, trust my inner whisper of wanting to become a teacher, and helped me find a way to make it happen.
So what have you been telling yourself is unrealistic? How can you change the language you’re telling yourself to get creative and find a way to make it happen?