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 loud.
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….