No, I Am Not Superwoman…
In the last 5 years I have been flying, and changing my outfit - a lot.
In scene one, I am wearing eyeglasses with thick black rims, a dress and tights, high heels with my hair pulled back in a bun, my brain is turned on to thoughts that are filled with numbers, figures, and “stakeholder” needs.
Scene two? Tight black leggings. No eyeglasses. No high heels (thank goodness). My hair is still pulled back, but my thoughts have changed to freeing movement.
Five years, almost six, I’ve been waking up at 4:30 AM, changing in my car, learning the back roads to circumvent traffic, packing extra snacks, clothes, and planning each week the week before to maximize my time.
Honestly? I would not change a single day of this organized chaos.
I am a yoga instructor and a marketing guru, and I’m blessed to know the hustle of working both - sometimes at the same time!
With everything, change is needed in order to grow.
Two years ago, I was asked a few questions that has stuck with me, and now I see through a different lens.
“What are your values?” “What do you wish to be known for?“
I started this exercise off with the typical “kindness, love one another, family, etc…”.
By no means am I suggesting that these are not important, they of course are. When it comes to “business” if you will, what are your values?
Instead, looking through the lens of already knowing the fundamentals, like kindness, love and family, what else matters most to you?
The values that when you find yourself doing them, make you feel unstoppable, like the stars are aligned, and the whole world in some odd way has frozen time. There is just nowhere else you could imagine being at that very moment. You simply are the best version of yourself and your entire being screams it when you are doing these things.
Conversely, when you are not following these values, you feel out of alignment, cranky even. You don’t feel like yourself when these values are missing. And the catch? Yes, there is a catch, and please, really think about this - your values cannot be based on what others (your parents, your boss, your friends, your family) think they should be.
Your values should come from your inner compass and North Star, not from what you think others think they should be.
Do want you WANT to do, NOT what you SHOULD. In addition, when you figure this out, you can align your choices and your behaviors so that your path forward becomes clearer.
I started to listen, to really listen. I also started to watch. I learned so much. Some of my actions were based on what others wanted, what others expected, and they weren’t always in alignment with what I wanted. I could feel it.
This was tough to swallow. At times, I wasn’t operating based on my own values, but instead operating under what I thought would make others happy. For example, in my head, I believed I would be “worthy” or “valuable” if I made a lot of money, had a sophisticated title, got to wear cool clothes everyday, and sat in important meetings all day. The reality was that these things didn’t make me happy, nor did they energize me in a way that made me feel good.
I am not mocking any of the things I just listed. Instead, what I have recognized, for myself, is that I thought that these things were important, for me, but they aren’t motivators for me. At all.
I have many successful and happy friends that are motivated by being in a corporate setting each day. One in particular who has been very successful in this space. He told me once “Lauren, it never feels like work”. For years, I didn’t know what that was for me, until I starting teaching yoga.
When I took the time to pick my head up and look around, I knew I was running hard. Though happy, it was a pace that I didn’t want to continue.
So, I re-grouped, re-organized, and I dug deep. When I listened and watched what “lit me up”.
It was rooted in helping others, having meaningful connections in my life, and keeping a light heart.
It’s important for me to add that I learned that some of these things were my values after a work interaction, where it was suggested that I not be “too personal” in my work. This comment hurt, and made me realize that I’m a passionate person who puts everything into all that I do. Inevitably, my work IS personal to me. (If you are a “Four Agreements” person what I am suggestion is different than the “Don’t Take Anything Personal”. My work and the job that I do, my efforts, is a reflection and piece of myself)
Once I knew what my core values were, I could begin to operate in a way in which everything I did aligned. Very quickly, the habits that didn’t fit within these values began to rise to the surface.
Fast forward to two years later, where my “business woman” persona by day, and “yoga instructor” by early morning and late night life continuing to wear on me. I realized my Superwoman days needed to come to a close.
I have been in the “corporate” world for approximately 20 years. I’ve been around the world about a dozen times, I’ve seen just about every continent, and done things from eating a fine meal in Italy with the people I work with, to recently going for a desert ride in Dubai – with lots of adventure and hard work in between. Not to mention the long plane rides and weeks away from my life, family and friends. (Again, I ask; how can our “work” not be personal when we spend more time with our co-workers at times than our own family?).
I wouldn’t change the past, in fact, I am incredibly humbled and grateful for all the opportunity. But in order for me to grow and live my core values, my future needs to look different.
I know, that no matter what, I will never stop teaching yoga or being a student.. Ever! When I step into a studio to teach I am hitting all three of my values – helping others, creating a meaningful connection, and keeping a light heart.
And when I learn? Whoa, it's like a spark that turns into an inferno that can be used to light torches for others.
So, no, I am not Superwoman, and YES, I am trading my high heels, eyeglasses, and designer dresses (with tights during the winter here in New England) for black stretchy pants 90% of the time.
At times, this big leap has been scary as heck, but when I go back to what I am rooted in, and what I wish to be known for when I leave this planet, it is much easier for me to get grounded and remember why I am on this journey.
Recently, friends, family, students and co-workers have been reaching out at a fair bit, asking me “How are you doing all of this?”; “Are you still working your “day job”?”; “What is going on?”. They can sense a shift and it makes me feel incredibly supported and pretty damn good, so, thank you.
I have also been asked “How did I know?”. My Spidey sense tells me, just like with most things, others have had this same internal battle of trying to decipher between what they “should be doing” (the thing that is financially secure, safe, or stable), versus what they “want”.
Listen, I am not suggesting you all run out and quit our “day job” all at once, and set forth a new path, cold turkey. But I will give you this bite-size nugget to chew on – this is your life, right now, right here, today. Just like you learn in every yoga class you take, you have everything you need right inside of you to make things happen. Keep putting out in the universe what it is that you are seeking, and little by little, the path starts to reveal itself.
Maybe start with your core values. What are they? I’ve attached some resources below for you to reference if you want more info. You can also always reach out to me via email or social media.
Oh, and in case you are wondering how I am feeling about all this wildly exciting change; I cannot f**king wait, and I am just getting started….who knows, maybe there is a little more “Superwoman” in me than I thought ;)