I remember when my drivers test appointment was booked. My mother told me, don't tell anyone that you're going to take your test. I was puzzled by her request because I was so excited to be able to envision driving all alone, and she said well if you fail, no one will know either way. Although that may sound harsh about the prospects of my success as a newly minted driver, I believe I've approached many things in my life in this way, careful to share or express excitement around something that may not pan out. Well, let me just say that for the past couple years and the preparations of the past 6 months on my path to completing my advanced yoga teacher training, I had forgotten this advice. well partially that, and partially I was so joyful about my path, I'll talk about yoga and my passions within the practice to anyone who shows interest, and because of this excitement - overlooked the stakes of being approved in one more step towards certification.
My workshop date was set during a training weekend and all plans were in place to present. I also got to invite a few students to attend outside of the teacher training and invited my very close friends and students to attend. I was nervous, excited, and loved the process and challenge of preparing and putting together presentation materials (which included a button!), sequencing, adding in our advanced themeing elements and also just got a big joy out of telling people about my workshop. "What the Prop?" ways to incorporate yoga props into your practice.
I was feeling as ready as I was going to be for the night. Everything that I could possibly have done to be prepared I had done. It was the strangest day that held a half hour long blizzard in the middle of October which knocked many of the beautiful fall colors and leaves out of the season right at the time that I had to unload all of my props and materials for the presentation. No snow accumulated but it was enough to pause and think of how truly unpredictable mother nature can be. I set up the room, and then it was time to start. I was bit too nervous at first but eventually found my groove and taught my workshop. I received wonderful feedback. One of my attendees brought me flowers. It felt great to be teaching! I felt fantastic and that I really shared some new insights for everyone that evening, and since I was so nervous the few nights before I also got the best night sleep afterward.
The following week I presented again because a few friends who couldn't attend my initial workshop wanted to see what I shared. I was tired, I hadn't really caught my breathe from the previous weeks experience but I also enjoyed presenting it again.
Than on Halloween (Wednesday) we had our feedback session it was me and 3 of my peers who also presented phenomenal workshops that weekend, meeting to discuss our feedback and be reviewed by our mentor. I received much positive feedback about my workshop, but overall, I didn't quite make the mark for adding in all our advanced training elements. I think it's unfortunate sometimes how our human minds work, because despite all of the positive feedback - I came away from that meeting feeling a failure. (not in actuality mind you, but my mind and heart just went there). as many of you have or maybe you can imagine, have since asked how my presentation went, I'm so grateful for you and to have thought of me, because I'm still processing not meeting my mark of the event, It was been some very heartbroken sad days for me. I have very teary eyed had to explain my failure even though I haven't fully comprehended how to meet those marks in the future.
So how do you comeback from failure? Well after a couple of days of once again little sleep and lot of distress, I reached out to my mentor just to explain my interior experience of it all. I have maintained to be honest about not reaching the marks that I so dearly had wished to reach even if it means I will have a few tears explaining that in conversation. I have already decided what I want to offer in a new workshop down the road, and I have chosen to share this experience with you.
I've been reading Brene' Browns latest book and have been focusing on the rumblings with my own vulnerability. And if you are in need for a few ways to find your way through failure, here is what I have been working with:
1.Compassion: a fellow teacher of mine said you give so much compassion in your teaching - it's time to find some for yourself. what would be the compassionate thing for you? For me it will be taking a yoga class, and having coffee with a friend this week.
2. Connection :your square squad. One of my favorite tips in Brene's book is to write down my square squad. get a one inch by one inch piece of paper. it needs to be small because it forces you to edit, write down the names of people whose opinions of you matter. fold it and put it in your wallet. then take 10 minutes to reach out to those people - your square squad- and share a little gratitude. send a simple note or message their way.
3. Create: Crumble/Construct - I think we put so much attention on the need to say everything is fine and perfect. but to be honest a day and a half of sadness, crying and being with those emotions really allowed me to emerge from the internal crumble as opposed to carrying it with me for a long time. I than started to make my new plans for how to proceed- I started to think of new workshop ideas and I reached out to my mentor to just express my dismay over it all, it was so helpful to hear a different perspective on the outcome. It also has lead me to believe that this will make me a better human/and yoga teacher in the end. I just needed this process on the way to get there.
I'm Valerie, Yoga Teacher and following my Sankalpa!