I have always resisted being defined as one thing. I am many different things. My creativity doesn’t fit into a box. When I was young, I felt this intuitively and struggled with the expectation to choose a lane. I internalized a lot of these pressures and assumed that growing up meant growing into what I was supposed to be.
When I graduated college, I abandoned my creativity for the *right* job on Wall Street. Looking back, it was the right job. It roughed me up in the right ways. The trading floor thickened my skin, gave me some grit, and helped me focus my drive.
When I quit Wall Street to pursue teaching yoga, I slid into a clearly marked lane. As I strived to fit the mold, it didn’t feel right. Much like my gig as a trader, it became clear that I was pretending to be something I wasn’t. In trying to *be* a yoga teacher, I wasn’t being myself.
I started a blog called H(OM)E® where I could express my creative passions. I wrote about all the things I love: cooking, entertaining, style, and life. I was no longer compartmentalizing myself. I was veering off the *right* path and it felt better—more me. People would say, “What the hell does flower arranging have to do with yoga?” Their doubt fueled my work. I let go of the *should’s* and started to trust myself.
I think sometimes there’s an unconscious pressure to do what everyone else is doing, but the truth is you will only ever be successful as yourself. I get asked all the time how I carved out my own lane. Yoga teachers especially want to know how to integrate who they are into what they do. My answer is this: To be yourself you need to know yourself. Pay attention to what lights you up and then follow up. Pay attention to what challenges you and dig deeper. Honor the practices and people who remind you of what’s inside. Go your own way. Authenticity takes curiosity, courage, and a sh*t ton of vulnerability because it’s hard to walk your own path. But here’s what I know: THIS is yoga. This is the practice. Don’t squeeze yourself into a shape—or a box. Do your work. Be yourself.