Defining moments are an interesting thing. There are the moments that cause you to shift perspectives or courses without realizing it. These are the moments that years later you look back upon, with gratitude, and realize that if it had not been for that moment you wouldn’t be where you are right now. I find that they are generally a collection of moments that have steered you down a particular path.
Then there are the moments that come blazing down the road at you. The moments you see coming and instinctively you want to duck and take cover. The moments that quite frankly come up and slap you in the face and make you take a hard look at yourself which ultimately prompts a willing change. I find these moments come when you’ve had your head stuck in the mud and refuse to take it out, even though your ability to breathe has been compromised and is only getting worse.
This is about one of those moments. The slap you in the face moments. 7 years ago I was told, “I don’t think you are a big enough bitch for this job. I need the employees to hate, fear, and loathe you.” I was on interview for a high positioned job with a prestigious company. It was the type of job, salary, and company society praises. The type of job that logically makes sense. It was the type of job that many people dream of. However, it left me with a sick feeling in my stomach and only one question; do I want to be in a field where I am asked to be a bitch?
I choose to make a change, a big one. Now you may be thinking this is the point where I tell you I chose to be a yoga teacher, my life is wonderful, and you should quite your job and pursue your dream. Well I’m not because that’s not what happened. Sure on the outside it may appear that way. Instagram and all the pretty pictures help paint that picture. I am a yoga teacher and I do love my life. But what I chose that day was Me. I did not start chasing down a dream. I did not rebel and do a 180. I simply made a choice, followed by a series of choices, all relating to what mattered to me.
Now I began talking about moments. But these moments are really just choices. Every day you make choices. Some are big, some are small. Experiences and circumstances do surround them. Ultimately though YOU are the driver and YOU make the choice. It’s often easier to say a situation or circumstance led you down a road. Slap the words fate, defining moment, chance, etc on it and avoid taking ownership. It’s also easier to hide behind phrases like I’m waiting for a sign or the universe will guide me to what I should do. But no matter the situation or circumstance, how you got there and how you respond is your choice. Both action and inaction are choices.
Now don’t panic on me. I’m not saying that there are not things outside of your control that occur on a daily basis. I’m simply saying YOU have the sole discretion on how to respond to those occurrences and everything else. Yoga has taught me to not only make choices but to take ownership for them. No one knows for sure nor can one control how your choices play out. But you can be honest with yourselves, admit you made a choice, and allow yourselves to feel empowered by that.
This blog came about when I looked back and realized I had been telling a story of signs and fate on that so called “slapped in the face” moment day. It was easier to tell that way because it allowed me to have a false sense of security. It allowed me to believe that the decision wasn’t mine and if it didn’t work out I could have something to blame. Then I realized I was making a choice to disempower myself. I was taking away acknowledgement of a big choice I made and all the subsequent choices that followed. I was not allowing myself to stand tall in what I created. Sure, this choice was followed by mostly positive situations. But when I did the same for the not so positive situations, guess what? I still feel empowered then too because I realize I have the ability at any time to change anything. All I have to do is make a choice.
So, step out from behind the curtain. Stand tall in the choices you make, good or bad. Because at the end of the day, no matter where you find yourself, YOU have the power to make any choice you want and do something about anything.