Six months ago, I closed the doors of my thriving yoga studio.
People told me I was crazy and I must admit: that first week after closing the studio, it and I did feel slightly crazy.
After teaching most evenings for ten years straight, I felt a bit lost that first week. I found myself wondering what ‘normal’ people do with their evenings.
In week two though, I found out that connecting with my man, eating at regular times, taking the time to actually read all those books on my shelf or just baking cookies and watching Netflix were all pretty awesome ways to spent my evenings – and I discovered a whole lot more ways in the weeks that followed.
Closing the studio was a decision I made with my entire heart. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m not saying it was an easy decision (well, the decision itself actually was, but acting on it wasn’t entirely easy).
Letting go of my major source of income felt terrifying at times and having way more time to do nothing at all brought up quite a lot of old grief – there were days on which the tears just wouldn’t stop flowing. Which was ok though – those fears needed to be seen and the tears needed to flow anyway, someday.
Besides crying and witnessing my fears, I allowed myself to do what else my heart yearned for.
This past half year, I taught private classes, led workshops, coached yoga teachers, led retreats, wrote articles, worked on upcoming events, taught online classes, studied Ayurveda, tantra & women’s health and traveled to and trough Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, India and Greece. A week from now, I’ll be in the South East of the US. I’m looking forward to seeing my family, connecting with my man, hiking, studying and traveling for a whole month.
I spent more time in nature than ever before. I love being out in the forest, alone, without my phone.
I sing, dance, practice and cook a lot. The way I sing, dance, practice and cook grows and changes, just as I do.
Some things stayed the same: I still have the tendency to forget that there are only 24 hours in a day.
Doing what my heart yearns for always leads me to surprising and beautiful paths. It led me to saying yes when my man asked me to marry him when I was 18 years old. It led me to yoga and Ayurveda, to teaching, to leading retreats, to writing and publishing two cookbooks and to opening a beautiful studio in the greenest area of the Netherlands. It led me to countries I never thought I would fall in love with, but then did.
Following my heart was never easy, but it’s oh, so rewarding. It makes my life glow and shine.
So, whatever it is your heart is yearning for, my advice is to listen. And to go for it. To do what you long to do.
I’m not saying it’ll be smooth sailing once you do. There will still be heartbreak, you’ll still worry from time to time, you won’t be immune to pain or illness and the people you love will still suffer from mortality. However, you will never have to ask yourself why you didn’t take the leap. Your heart will never have to wonder why you’re not listening to her, him, it.
Ask yourself: how do I want to be living?
If you are not living the life you want to live, why aren’t you? Of course, sometimes there’s a crisis in your life and most of the time you cannot change that situation, but crises are not happening all the time. You have to be able to recognize when you are not in a crisis. When the crisis is over, what is your life like? Is it the life you want? If not, what’s uncomfortable about your life?
If you are not living the life you want to live, why aren’t you? And if not now, when?
Text: Irina Verwer
Image: Irina Vewer