When I started Hanuman Yoga Retreat seven years ago, I was as fearless as I was naive. I had no business model or marketing plan; had been teaching for less than a year; didn't work at a yoga studio. A friend unkindly remarked that I needed to build my client base over several years before offering retreats. A few others told me that no one is going to book a retreat with a teacher they don’t know.
I started having a lot of self-doubt. I’m doing it wrong. I need to stick to the rules. I won’t meet people’s expectations. I don’t know what exactly kept me going. Perhaps I didn’t think of it as a big deal. That it was an exciting adventure, much like traveling was for me.
I still remember the day I got my first-ever booking. It was for a Bali retreat that I had organized. My reaction went from excitement to surprise, to throwing up and crying in panic. “What have I done?!” I asked myself. Then the “What If’s” started lunging at me. I was in completely uncharted waters.
Somehow, I managed to stay focused and stepped into this new space. My 14 years of being a classroom teacher embraced the role of retreat facilitator and organizer with joy. Over the next seven years of my business, I failed hard, succeeded sometimes, and learned a lot. I trialed and erred, consulted oracle cards and pendulums, and Googled thousands of questions. I let go of control, battled with my ego, and placed boundaries. I started practicing a middle path approach-- balancing logic and intuition, self-warmth and self-care, receiving and giving.
During the recent New Year's retreat in Mexico, our group also delved into new territory, individually and as a collective, sometimes going deep within the inner self to the outer. The strong container and trust that we built naturally allowed us to be more: more open, brave, playful, heart-centered, and insightful. We were wrapped in such a beautiful connection that we rode the wave of whatever presented itself-- the power outage, a rainstorm, a visiting spirit, and intense spiritual awakenings. I was unprepared in facing my own unresolved trauma that came up, yet it arose because of and within a space of safety, trust, and unconditional support. I made it through and already feel significant shifts.
For 2020, I invite you to let go of fear and doubt. Find your ground and take a step. Whatever you may be moving towards-- freedom, forgiveness, your dream, or perhaps loving yourself-- let it in. And then keep letting it in
Happy New Year. May it bless you with more than you ever imagined.
Tammy is a location independent yogi.