Image found via Pinterest.
I have chosen to take a yoga teaching sabbatical over the month of May. My youngest daughter graduates from college in the beginning of the month then we leave for our 16-day European adventure four days later then my niece graduates from high school at the end of the month.
I thought about just getting subs for the days I needed but then this idea of having a month off from teaching began to percolate.
At first, I brushed it away. All my usual fear-based thoughts clawed their way to the surface:
You can’t afford that.
Why should you get to take a whole month off?
Who do you think you are?
I am quite familiar with this chorus. It’s the Chorus of Unworthiness. All these voices that pop up to remind me that I am not worthy of money or time or attention or love or (fill in the blank). We all have these voices. They are often labeled the Inner Critic, Inner Judge, Inner Bitch, Inner Mean Girl.
Luckily, I am also quite familiar with recognizing these voices when they appear. Recognizing them as stories and seeing through them. See past them and into the fear behind them and into the truth that lies beyond the words.
Twenty years ago. I studied with Natalie Goldberg for a week. She spoke about resistance. Resistance to writing, to meditating. She said that resistance is the Guardian at the Gate. Every time we stand up to it and get past it to write or meditate (or whatever it is that we are resisting) we gain power. We prove our mettle. We prove how much this matters to us.
I see this Chorus of Unworthiness in the same way. Each time I stand up to them, each time I do the thing they don’t want me to do, say the thing they don’t want me to say, dream the dream they think is too audacious, I prove my mettle. I embrace my worthiness.
So, I am standing up to those voices yet again and claiming the month of May as my own.
It will be a month of adventure and milestones.
A month of being a student rather than teacher.
It will be a month of exquisite self-care. The sabbatical itself is an act of exquisite self-care. I’ve given a workshop on self-care and often talk about it in my classes. Now, I am walking my walking.
I am taking care of me because I am worth it. Because I, as much as anyone, deserve my own love and affection. And taking care of me is not just a hashtag—it’s a way of life.