If You Think It’s Too Late, You’re Wrong
It’s too late. I’m too old. I can’t keep up.
If you have ever found yourself thinking any of the above, I’m right there with you.
In my late thirties, I decided to become a certified yoga instructor. I neared graduation thinking that I would never actually teach. After all, I was “too old” or “too late” to be accepted by the yoga community. Weren’t most instructors in their early twenties?
As I dove deeply into what yoga was about, fathoms beyond the shapes, I quickly realized that yoga will never be bound by age or physical ability. Yoga is a dance of energy, awareness and movement. Yoga is for everybody. Everybody.
And guess what? So is the rest of life.
I couldn’t ignore the call to studio teaching. I kept saying that I was studying yoga merely to deepen my own practice, but the glimpses kept coming. What if I did teach a class here and there? What if I combined yoga with writing and offered workshops?
When I graduated, I didn’t think twice. I applied to be a yoga teacher, and I got a job right away.
My excitement was palpable. I began jotting sequences, practicing classes with my husband, and reading or practicing yoga more than ever. I was deepening my own practice in the most profound way by preparing myself to share it with others.
When I taught for the first time, it was a an early-morning class, and I remember thinking it was perfect because no one would be there. My former fears had crept back in, and I imagined people seeing me at the helm, only to walk right back out the door.
I was feeling more nervous about the way someone my age would be perceived by the yoga community than I was about delivering the content. But the yoga community is beautiful. My fears were not only unwarranted, they were completely off-base.
I taught the class, and I found connection.
Yes, as we age. Our physical bodies begin to weaken and slow in subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways. Meanwhile, as we age we also begin to understand our life’s purpose and ourselves. We understand the value of breath and movement. As such, some of us can come to new hobbies, careers, adventures or initiatives that we could have never imagined we’d undertake ten or twenty years ago.
Can a new undertaking be scary? Frightening? Yes! All the more reason to do it.
Fear of rejection can be ridiculous and all-consuming, but what I’ve learned is that we can move forward despite the ego’s nagging lies. Its exaggerations. In fact, fear of being rejected is ludicrous because it comes with the assumption that we know what others think and perceive.
I’ve learned at people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
By bringing passion and genuine intentions to anything, you are bringing value, and no matter what fears have been getting in your way, no matter what or who is telling you that you are too old, too late, not talented enough (or any other ridiculous thing) actively moving forward anyway is the answer. The key word is actively because it is only with action that we can find the remedy for our fears and limitations.
I am teaching a yoga and writing now, my two passions, and though slightly nervous some days before class, I am not afraid.
I am not afraid now.
I am not afraid because I know that I will offer value to those who attend my classes. By trusting myself and my experiences, I know that I can help others to feel just a little better, a little clearer, and a little more creative.
We’re all in this life together, after all. So let’s support each other throughout the journey.
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