It’s been a while, I know. Almost a year since my last blog post. Yikes. I’m finally ready explain where I’ve been.
You know how they say “do what you love and it won’t feel like work”? Yeah, I’m all about that. I think the concept was first presented to me in The Four Hour Work Week. I didn’t read it cover to cover, but I read enough to understand Tim Ferris’ point: if you love what you do, you won’t be “working” 40 hours week.
Welp, I’m here to tell you I found my four hour work week. And I want to tell you how I (we) did it, and to explain where the heck I’ve been (i.e., not blogging.)
This is going to be a bit of a new-agey hippy-dippy ride, so buckle your seat belts and climb aboard my unicorn. We’re about to a take a little trot over the rainbow of dreaminess and wonder.
Enter The Secret, early 2011. I watched and then listened to that movie over and over again. Yes, some parts are a little cheesy, but the underlying message really spoke to me.
(This awesome message is painted on a wall right here in my own neighborhood!)
I loved the main concepts of The Secret so much that I often put it on as background noise (like, when cleaning, cooking and painting my living room) and let “The Law Attraction” seep into every corner of my brain, oozing its way into every fold, crevice, wrinkle and cell. Mmmm. Brain wrinkles.
What you think about, you bring about.
My biggest take away from this delightfully cheesy movie/book –> thoughts become feelings, feelings become actions. THINK GOOD AND IT WILL BE GOOD!
Zak was totally on board. He wanted a four hour work week too and we talked about The Secret a lot. He wanted to work for himself with the freedom to set his own hours, be home with us more, do more of what he loves with more time and flexibility to prioritize his own health and wellness. This was something we had wanted and talked about for a long time – we just had no idea what it might look like or how it would come together, but we never stopped believing it could happen.
Fast forward two years to the end of 2013, Zak left his day job and started working for himself. His “how” doesn’t really matter here (and is too specific to be helpful to anyone.) For him, it was more about watching for his opportunity, and then acting on it when it presented itself.
Right around that same time I started yoga teacher training (and I never wrote Part II like I said I would! oops.)
Yoga teacher training changed my life in more ways than I ever expected. But there was one moment in teacher training that felt like a tipping point. I remember appreciating just how knowledgeable one of my teachers was, and feeling a little envious of her awesomeness. She just knew so much about yoga and was so good at teaching – but she’d also spent two decades studying and practicing yoga… still, it made me think “what the heck have I been doing with the last 10 years of my life??”
Oh right. I was busy raising kids. Being a stay-at-homeschooling mom. Volunteering my time for birth and breastfeeding related non-profit groups in my community (ICAN and La Leche League) and helping other new mothers find their way – all because I truly loved it. None of it ever felt like work.
And that was my A HA! moment. Do what you love, right? I love helping other moms with the challenges (and joys!) of early mothering. I loved prenatal yoga when I was pregnant with Kaz and preparing for my VBA2C in 2012. I love talking about, thinking about and reading about birth, breastfeeding and gentle mothering.
So… what if I run with this yoga thing and combine it with all these other things I’m already really knowledgeable about? What if I could weave it all together with prenatal yoga? It’s everything I love all rolled into one: birth, parenting, health, fitness, wellness, mindfulness.
And suddenly my path became a little more clear.
Around this time I stumbled upon this Mother Teresa quote, and that’s when I let go of dreams of becoming some blogging super star and decided to focus my efforts and energy a bit more locally.
With teaching prenatal yoga on the brain, I started to poke around the interwebs to get a feel for what prenatal yoga teachers do and offer. I noticed that many prenatal yoga teachers were also birth doulas.
Hmmm. I had a doula. Twice, in fact. Maybe *I* could be a doula? Oh hey whatddaya know, there’s a doula training right here in my city next month! And it’s happening on a weekend I’m not at yoga teacher training? How… AMAZING!
This is where The Secret comes back into play. It’s one thing to think about what you want and believe that you can have it, even if you don’t quite know how it’s going to come together – and that’s when you ACT. Trust your gut, jump on opportunities when they present themselves, let go and have faith that it’s a step in the right direction – even if ends up being just a small step. Progress is progress, no matter how small.
So I went for it. I signed up for doula training through DONA International with the thought that I’d attend the three births required for certification and then shift my focus to teaching prenatal yoga.
And that’s when things started to snow ball in the best possible way. Today, and for the past year, I’ve been working with a fabulous group of like minded women supporting new and expecting mothers through the childbearing year. I’m a birth doula (16 births later, there is no turning back, I LOVE supporting women in labor!) teaching a weekly prenatal yoga class (and a regular yoga class too) and have recently begun teaching prenatal breastfeeding classes and offering lactation support to breastfeeding mothers who need help. It rarely feels like work, and best of all, I am still able to be home with the kids the majority of the time while also making my own substantial addition to our income stream doing work that is wonderfully rewarding and fulfilling.
So that’s where I’ve been. I promise that I didn’t tell this story to brag or to come off sounding self-righteous or looking for pats on the back. We have had our share of ups and downs, believe me. I am honored to be doing the work I’m doing today and am so very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given. It took us a LONG FREAKING TIME to get here – but we’re here. For those of you who “get it”, for those of you who want to be self employed or in some other way want something better for yourself – it can totally happen. Ultimately, this is what I want for you, dear reader – a life you love. If I can do it, you can too.
Think. Feel. Act. Respond with gratitude and believe that you deserve it. Because you do.
So anyway, that’s my story. My hope is to be back here again soon, writing again more regularly (because I miss it!) and I know I’ve said it before, but my hope is to write more free style posts and musings about whatever I’m currently into that’s health related – food, fitness, yoga – you know the drill.