Sunday, May 16, 2010

Leaving Las Rat Race

You’re giving it all up and becoming a yoga teacher – how exciting!”

“Aren’t you brave, that’s so fantastic!”

“We’re so happy for you, it’s great to be following your heart like this”

“We really wish you all the luck in the world!”

As you can see, when I told my lovely colleagues I was leaving my job in a busy, successful Sydney marketing agency, they were over the moon for me. Who knows, maybe they were looking for a reason to bid me farewell… but, no, I don’t think it was that. I mean I wasn’t that incompetent. I think one reason was their silent acknowledgement that if there’s one profession that would top the Sydney Morning Herald’s listings of Most Desirable Jobs for Those Escaping the Corporate Treadmill (not the zippiest of titles admittedly), you’d find the Yoga Teacher right there at the top, all pastel shades and glowing vibrant health, doing a cheery leap, whilst infuriating an entire readership of this imaginary feature, who are probably stuck on a train or bus heading off to their well-paid but somewhat soulless city jobs.

But let’s just take a step back. Let’s forget those pictures I’ve been painting over the last few months of me; beside the gently lapping waters, sitting serenely in meditation. All my ex-work mates’ kind words of 'good luck' and'bravery' were really just the honey which blunts the sting. They meant well of course but behind their sugar-coated salutations they could see that it will be a dusty, bumpy old road ahead, Yogi Bear.

(That's me in the middle wobbling through a Warrior 3, lapping waves yes! Image credit:

Misty rimmed visions of the perfect life don’t come served up and ready to eat like banana pancakes. This lifestyle you’re proposing is gonna take some work. So here I am, sharing with you the ‘journey’ – sorry I don’t like that word – ahead. Yes, I know most people would write their story with the blissful retrospection of it already having worked out just fine, thank you very much. But no, here I am with sticky stuff on my fingers and no immediate plan for escaping this honey pot I’ve found myself not exactly drowning in, but sinking slowly.

So, I have predicted that either a) I’m going to descend into madness spending all this time alone, with just my brand new MacBook for company (still not worked out much of the functionality on this machine, but damn its silky keys feel so good beneath my fingers) or b) my success as a yoga teacher will be heard like the roar of a lioness throughout the land; either way I wanted somewhere to share that experience.

This is the first time in my life when I really don’t know what’s round the corner. I just don’t. But I do know, it’s in my hands. If I sit here all day watching re-runs of Lost or Gavin and Stacey, I will not find that cheery, leaping me – however tempting it is to switch on the Foxtel.

But, luckily folks. I have yoga. Yes, yoga is going to be my faithful puppy, my guiding star and my patient partner (okay my husband will probably help a lot, but it’s surely too much for one man...) Over these past few years, I have religiously rolled out my yoga mat and accepted what happens in my practice – the good days, the bad days, the injuries that set you back, the moments when there’s nowhere else you’d rather be, the times of loneliness and pointlessness – yep, it’s more than just a 90 minute stretch out there. Now I really need to put this yoga thing through its paces and apply some of that very same thinking to these strange, lonely, wonderful few days, weeks, months ahead…

So, to put you in the picture of where I am right now (always good to have a benchmark to measure my roaring success/madness against...) Currently I am self-(un)employed. I am looking for work as a yoga teacher, wondering if I should try and go it alone, and trying to pick up some freelance writing work to keep the sanity/pennies in tact. Oh yes, I’m also writing a blog. There, that’s the Big Plan, which I spent the last two months cooking up.

Which brings me to the next point: where I have come from? I’ve just returned from a travel and yoga adventure in India. After leaving the corporate world I decided I needed to do some solo travelling (having never done that before) so the idea was to get me into the yoga-mindset of living each day as it comes, to learn from some of the world’s most experienced yogis, and give me lots of juicy inspiration for my teaching. And yes, It did that – it was fantastic. But that's for another day.

So, this is where I am right now. It’s early days, but I’m pleased to be able to share it with you Mac, my old pal.


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