Empowerment · Inspiration · Yoga

Lessons in Life, Business and Yoga

There’s something I’ve been meaning to open up about on here (and in life). Not only to get it out of my own system and release the energy, but because I know there are other people that have been there.  Acknowledging this is like trying to roll a bowling ball up a hill with your tongue.

So. Fucking. Hard.

The last weekend in August, I took a road trip to P-town, MA with my former housemate for the bachelorette party of our other housemate. It was so much fun and such a celebration of love + friendship.  In a drunken profession of heterosexual love I confessed to her that somewhere along the way, I had lost myself, but it was ok, I was coming back to life again.  (I realized this quite some time ago,  but she was the very first person I admitted it to, out loud).   Her only response was… “well I’m glad you’re back, it’s about fucking time, I missed you.”  Then there were tears -big, fat, juicy, drunk tears.

People that have known me for years know that I am a little mouthy, a little bossy and a little sassy. I’m fiercely loyal, ridiculously stubborn and 9 times out of 10 my volume is dialed up as far as it will go [in public].  For the past few years the ‘me volume‘ has been buffered. I transformed into something that wasn’t authentically me. How did it happen? How did I get there?

The Bhagavad Gita says do another’s dharma to your detriment. I experienced this first hand.  I chose to follow the dharma of another.  In the process I lost my voice. The essence of what was truly me; type-a, over-achiever, energizer, volume on high, f bombs and all.

When I was asked to join Live. Breathe. Grow., I was over the moon excited about it.  While my heath + yoga coaching practice was blossoming, I was lonely and totally tired of chugging along on my own. (Lesson Number 1: always have a support system in place – you need a support posse that has your back). The excitement of launching a new company was infectious. I was drunk on the innovation of new ideas and the creativity of designing business organization.  I couldn’t help but to fall in love with the ideas of what could be and I didn’t think twice about sending out an e-blast to 2000 subscribers telling them I was closing up shop.

I walked into the partnership in love and friendship (Lesson Number 2: never take your legal thinking cap off and always enter into partnership agreements).  I didn’t have the start up financial investment to be an equal partner, but we were friends so ‘on paper’ it was 50/50. Subconsciously, the unequal footing tamed my opinion. It was always her company, I was just jumping on board. I deferred at all times to her opinion. I quieted my voice. It was her dream, I was just along for the ride. In failing to be truly open, I became more like my business partner and a little less like myself. I dialed my volume down.  Instead of fighting for the sparkle and spotlight (something as an only child I have done all my life) I was content to walk in another’s shadow. I felt less like me. I was embarrassed to have effervescent opinions which lead me to feel dreadfully inadequate. The irony was, I was selling t-shirts that inspired and empowered women to:

Stand in your personal power and strength. Honor your voice, that source of intuitive wisdom that shines like a beacon on light inside you. Have the courage to decide how to live your own life. Go inside to find your guide, then harness your energy to shine your light outward. Be confident in who you are and tell the world I AM ME. Live. Breathe. Grow. …into who you are meant to be.

The LBG Manifesto is gorgeous. It’s soft and supportive. It wraps its arms around you and lifts you up with compassion. It’s purely Nancy and perfect for her company.

It’s not purely Terra. Purely Terra is loufulld.
Determined.
Audacious.
Gold Sparkled.
Fierce.
Visionary.
She doesn’t coddle you, she tells you to walk it off [wings. talk. hustle!]. If there’s a theme song in the background, it probably came from Yo MTV Raps. She doesn’t need to be reminded of her personal power, because she’s already fucking there. Or at least she was before she gave up her own path to do another’s dharma.  

When Nancy told me she didn’t want to do it anymore, that she wanted to let it all go and turn LBG into a blog, I was devastated.  I told her I would take over, work on buying her out and continue down the path we had forged together. And I tried. But nothing, and I mean nothing worked out. The Universe tossed out red flag after red flag and I kept ignoring them, volleying back ideas to keep her on board and to keep LBG alive. (Lesson Number 3: Ignoring the Universe is a really fucking bad idea).  I was heartbroken and frustrated. Tired of trying to balance two people on a unicycle, I finally gave up and walked away.

I immediately threw myself into a Masters to PhD. program that I wasn’t jumping up and down about. I needed to fill time and space. I was totally and utterly lost.  I had completely forgotten what I was like to be me outside of LBG. In following another’s dharma I lost my own identity.  If I wasn’t one of the owners of LBG, what was I?  Without LBG I had no fucking clue.  A lawyer? A yoga teacher? Life Coach? Health Coach? Entrepreneur? [LBG Terra would never say fuck in a blog].

I didn’t have the answers. I retreated. I severed ties and let go of my network. I broke up with Yoga, the one thing used to bring me me clarity and peace.  I struggled. I cried daily. I flew into fits of rage and bitterness.  My once open and vibrant personality became dim and introverted. Finally, with guidance I learned to surrender. The only thing that brought me back was letting go. Letting go of the business, letting go of the partnership, letting go of the networks, letting go of the  friendship. (Lesson Number 4: Sometimes you have to surrender and let go to move forward).

Eventually a few friends coaxed me back into my yoga practice. I found a studio that didn’t know me as a teacher or that I was associated with LBG (Let me tell you, that was NOT easy, I had to wait until a new studio opened up). And in yoga, I found myself (yet again). I’ve put my own shoes on (they’re gold Sparkle Toms). And most importantly, I’ve tapped back into that thing that makes me, me. For the first time in over a year, I actually feel alive, confident, and happy —all at the same time.  It’s amazing how once you let go, clarity is instantaneous.

Nancy decided not to turn Live. Breathe. Grow. into a blog and it continues to grow.  I still feel awkward when people ask – my voice is there, but my heart is still raw.  Mostly I just say we were heading in two different directions. She continues on her path, and I’ve hopped back on mine.

Doing another’s dharma was to my detriment – I lost friendships, time, two businesses, a vibrant teaching practice and the most detrimental – my voice.  Through it all I gained clarity and now I know my true dharma, to help yoginis, energy workers, peace makers and earth keepers live abundant lives.

I can’t wait for The Darshana Collective to launch.
It’s coming soon….

The Darshana Collective
The Darshana Collective
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28 thoughts on “Lessons in Life, Business and Yoga

  1. My love. This breaks my heart and inspires me. Even on the path, there are so many moments of doubt and loneliness (for me) and I forget that you are out there being you and probably having a similar moment/struggle/doubt/desire. Thank you for reminding me. And thank you for reminding me how strong, brilliant and incredible you are. If only the world had more – and opened up to more – loud brilliant women. Ah, what a wonderful world it would be. And you’d be Prez, obviously.

    Love you. Love you. Love you.

    1. Sabrina – you are one of the only ones who truly knows how loud I can be- having been there during my very obnoxious, formative years. I adore you and miss you tons. That hour between us is no excuse. Keep shining your light and I’ll keep shining mine. thank you for being my friend for almost 20 years. xoxo

  2. Terra, reading this brought up so many things for me.
    1) it takes a lot of courage to be one’s authentic self, to speak your truth. Bravo for putting it out there and letting us in on it. (I’m pretty sure I’ve spent much of my life just wanting other people to think I was cool…!).
    2) what does being one’s authentic self mean? Does it look a certain way? On one hand I think it seems to be an ebb and flow. Or maybe it just IS and doesn’t look like anything, as part of our God-given heritage, waiting to be aware of its’ own perfection.
    3) I love you and I miss you. And I really hope to see you soon!
    There were a few other things, but it’s time for me to hit the evening commuter traffic.
    Adios!
    Love and hugs,
    Lolly

    1. Love you Lolly – you’ve certainly experienced my bossy, authentic self. Surprised you didn’t catch the ‘wings. talk. hustle.” teaser 😛

      I think that what makes a voice truly authentic is being able to use it while feeling comfortable in your own skin. Not cowering in insecurities, inequalities or fear. For me, it doesn’t look a certain way – it FEELS a certain way. Comfortable – like a friend you’ve known since you were 5 ❤
      xoxox See you in few weeks – can't wait!!!

  3. All my love to my big sister, my #1 mentor, to the girl who made me realize following my dreams and bliss isn’t just a dream if you want it bad enough.
    YOU taught me to have the guts to get up and shake up my life, to move to places that I’ve always wanted to live and to find myself when I was so so lost in a life of sadness and regret.

    I am so fucking glad your back, I love seeing your genuine smile and your sparkle. I love loud Terra F bombs and big love puddles of Reddletown- two friendships that changed my life and my heart forever.

    Most of all I just love you.
    Can’t wait to see how you change the world- bc I’ve always known you will. ❤️

  4. Terra–this is awesome and you should be proud. I have been reading your blog for a while and today is the first time I feel like I know and see you. We all struggle. We all want our authentic self to shine. So many of us have buried it beneath years of “shoulds”. I say enough! I have found my authentic self again and am working to help as many women as possible find theirs. We need more stories like yours to guide us. None of us are alone–we just tell ourselves we are. Great to meet you!

    1. I think it’s incredible how even as a health and life coach who “should know better” I had the ability to lose my voice and dim my light. It just shows how important it is to follow your true dharma – and that we have to work at it every. single. day.

      Thank you for following. I am so very happy to be seen.
      xox

  5. Brilliance arrives when we can recognize the darkness that was behind us and separate it out from the light… This kind of stuff is not easy to admit or put out there. Great post. I like loudmouths. You live in the perfect state too 😉 … and you kick ass. 🙂

  6. Beautifully written. Having previously walked down ” the paths of others” while ignoring my own, I totally get that feeling when you find yourself again! Excited for your ventures!

    1. Thank you Kat!
      I still can’t figure out how we let ourselves do that – especially when we should know better… :/

  7. Nice!!! And what a truly valuable life lesson!! One of those lessons that it was NO way you could have EVER escaped. You needed to understand this, obviously. And since you walked away, lesson learned, with your voice still alive in you – I have to say WELL DONE!! A similar partnership gone bad situation hurt me for years – but now not a single day goes by without me sending gratitude for the experience. The awkwardness will soon fade and you’ll get to the space of gratitude soon enough. Trust me on that one 😉

    1. thank you Hanna!

      So true. I learned so much. – where my talent truly lies, how it should be developed and I how I can use it to change the lives of others…I never would have realized that without working for LBG. It’s just like when I worked as a Pharmaceutical attorney and realized I was a holistic weirdo. hahaa.

  8. Well said, Terra. I have something that I need to let go, but haven’t yet. I’m not exactly sure why as I know I will be much better off in the long run, but I just haven’t gotten there yet. I keep pushing it off, avoiding the inevitable… Change is hard and it takes guts… good for you for facing it and making your life better. You are an inspiration my friend! Wish we lived closer…

    1. Letting go is so very hard. Honestly, I struggle with it daily. It’s two steps forward one step back most of the time.
      I wish we did too ❤

  9. Terra, I just loved reading your story…not that it was so hard, but that you survived so brilliantly. I know you probably know this but some of the hardest things we go through are the very things that enrich our lives and enable us to give to others in the most authentic way…from experience. I cracked up at “Acknowledging this is like trying to roll a bowling ball up a hill with your tongue.” Can so relate. Years ago as I was in the throws of confronting and trying to heal my issues with “struggle” a dear friend told me…”It’s like you’re climbing up a hill with a refrigerator on your back. You’ll eventually get there…but it’s so much easier if you put the fridge down first!” never forgot that. Great post….glad to celebrate your coming out party!

    1. thank you Silvia!
      LOL I chose the bowling ball analogy because it seemed nearly impossible – but I suppose with determination it’s possible. Same thing with my experience. Letting go of the hurt and resentment seems nearly impossible…but I am one determined chick 😉

  10. Terra, loved this. What an authentic assessment of the situation and of life. We do lose ourselves, sometimes because we take on another’s (fill in the blank) life, needs, dream; sometimes because there is another path to follow but we don’t yet realize it. Either way, what a beautiful return to you.
    Wendy

  11. Hi Terra loved this entry. Love how real, how raw and how honest you and it are. Good for you for being in a place where you could acknowledge what was happening and be able to move back into an authentic you.

    And yes, I’d love to hang out!

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