Cannonballing into my (dis)Comfort Zone: A Lesson in Leadership

I’ll be honest: lately, I’ve been struggling.  I came back from Jamaica with a fire in my belly but it was extinguished by the snow and grayness at home. I could feel my creativity and inspiration faltering and I didn’t like it one bit.  I knew I was feeling lackadaisical and complacent and it was showing everywhere.  I was tired and grumpy at home with my kids and husband, I was unmotivated and lackluster with my business team, and I was feeling bored and restless with pretty much everything.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, when my friend approached me about doing a training for a leadership retreat for our businesses. (For those of you who don’t “know” me, I’m part of a fantastic health and wellness company which has been a total blessing in my life.) Now, training to me is not a problem, but I knew that I had to change my attitude and FAST.  I have a team of friends and colleagues looking for inspiration and I sure as hell wanted to be the one to get them pumped up and ready to change the world.  But here’s the real kicker, Stacy also wanted me to teach a yoga class to the group.  Gulp!

Sure, I’m a trained Yoga Teacher, confident trainer and have no problem speaking in front of big groups, but for some reason, this request had me shaking in my boots.  As soon as I had completed my YTT, I took my certificate and figuratively ran for the hills. While my fellow graduates were out finding jobs and setting up their own studios, I was avoiding the teaching part of yoga at all costs.  Telling myself: teaching’s not for me, I have other things going on, and whatever other excuse I could come up with that would keep me safe in a comfort zone.  I responded with a “sure, maybe, let me think about it” type response, fully intending to fluff her off and get out of the yoga class.  But of course, the more I sat with it, the more I realized I wasn’t been fair to anyone with that shitty-lame, never try anything new or scary or uncomfortable attitude. How could I sit here and call myself a leader and coach people on how to step out of their comfort zones, be vulnerable, feel the fear and do it anyways- when I wasn’t prepared to take those steps?  So I agreed.

I put on my big girl panties and with my heart racing, I stepped onto the mat at the front of the group and taught my very first yoga class.  And you know what? It was awesome, incredible, empowering, exhilarating and EXACTLY what I needed!  I was so jazzed up about the success of the class that I could’t wait to do my training presentation. I had to take a serious leap of faith (out of my comfort zone) and trust in myself, but it was so worth it.  I was left feeling of accomplished, proud and pumped up.

Am I ready to step out and become a full blown teacher of this ancient, moving, freeing practice? Maybe not quite yet, but I’m taking baby steps to get there. There being along the path of discovery, awakening, leveling up, challenge, vulnerability and growth.  Sounds like a good path to be on- so I think I’ll keep blazing the trail and be mindful to stop and smell the flowers.

Now I’m off to change the world! Namaste fellow trail blazers and leaders. 🙂

Here’s a some pics from the beautiful leadership
retreat I was blessed to be a part of! 

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O-live a little; Adventures in snowga!

Recently my dad gave me one of his recent food creations inspired by Thug Kitchen, made with swiss chard, balsamic glazed chickpeas and so much other deliciousness, that I couldn’t wait to try. My dad, a vegan for close to 5 years now and a man of little words hadn’t mentioned any other ingredients, so after a yoga flow in my living room, I eagerly warmed it up and dove in.  I found a mushroom, speared it with my fork and brought it to my mouth. A slightly rubbery texture with a bitter and almost salty flavour met my tastebuds instead.  It was delicious! I started looking for more of these briny rascals and after several scrumptious bites, I had figured it out: These weren’t mushrooms but olives! Hold up- now normally, I don’t like olives.  In fact, I avoid them at all costs.  A “thing” I’ve had since I was young. To say that I was stumped by this unexpected twist of events (I like olives- what?!) would be an understatement. How could I have spent all these years on this planet, thinking one thing (olives are yucky), yet completely oblivious to the truth (they’re actually downright tasty)?

It got me thinking about other things in my life that I’ve linked with my personality or have been quick to dismiss because of an outdated and possibly even ignorant notion. What other delicious, incredible, fun and possibly heart-thumping experiences have I turned my nose up to for no damn good reason?

Inspired, I decided to try something new.  I live in snowy Canada and though it’s certainly not the snowiest part of this beautiful country, for this sun loving bunny, it can be a bit much.  In other words, I’m not overly passionate about the snow. BUT could that be my ego and other passé ideas playing tricks on me again, holding me back from life experiences I may otherwise really enjoy? With this in mind, I bribed my bestie with a cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks and we set out to the forest behind my house for a little snowga. Have you heard of this? It’s essentially Yoga in the snow. Yogis love blending their love for nature with practice so this new way of flowing isn’t really a surprise. But it was a surprise to me (and my bff) when I showed up with this great idea at her door! And similar to the olives, it was far better than I originally thought. Fresh air, two friends, coconut milk lattes and a heck of a lot of fun!

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In trying something new and letting go of my stale thoughts which no longer served me, I pushed my own boundaries and got out of my comfort zone.  (Because let’s be real, comfort zones are not that comfortable!)  I expanded my definition of ME! I gave myself the gift of new experiences, new tastes and new laughs, all while enjoying the bountiful scenery provided (free of charge) by mother nature. I just had to open my eyes to it and see all the possibilities in saying “yes”. So now the challenge is to remember this lesson and apply it every day.  Want to try a new cafe? Sure! Invert into a challenging yoga pose? Totally! Should I wear that mustard-coloured shirt? Why not! How about some winter camping? Eeek, I’ll get back to you on that one! (Baby steps right?!) 😉

What are some of things you do when you feel those familiar walls holding you back? What haven’t you tried? And hey, what are you waiting for- Get out there and try something new! You’ll love it and I’ll bring the olives!

Namaste daring ones!

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