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Adapt To Thrive, Repeat

Dear Friends & Students,

Two years after I moved to New York, I quit my job in magazine publishing and went to live abroad for 6 months. When I returned, the US was in the middle of a big recession, and I couldn’t find a job in my field. So I become a secretarial temp.

I traveled from assignment to assignment, company to company for the next year and a half. It wasn’t lucrative, but it paid the bills. And ultimately it really prepared me for the next stages of my career by teaching me things I didn’t even know I needed to learn: I learned how the corporate culture of where I worked made a big difference to my motivation and emotional well-being, and I learned how to get practically anywhere in New York on the subway. And that led me to a pretty successful period of living/working in NYC for the 10 years after that. Through temping, I found the place I wanted to work and got a full-time job. I climbed the corporate ladder. I made a bit of money. I met my husband. I became a student of yoga. Those are consequences that ultimately got me where I am today.

Like that recession, this global event we find ourselves in the midst of is an opportunity to figure out how to adapt in order to thrive. What seemed like an interruption in my magazine publishing career turned out to be the crossroads leading to a new profession. It wasn’t always fun while it was happening. I spent too many Sundays worried I wouldn’t get an assignment that week and wondering how I’d pay my rent and eat. I worried I’d one day be caught out for not really knowing the word processing software I claimed I did in order to get the job. I felt ashamed when I had to tell people how I made my living. I felt panic at the thought I’d have to admit defeat and move back in with Mom & Dad! It took quite a while to find the silver lining in the struggle. We're all still adapting to these strange circumstances. Teaching online wasn't at the top of my mind, but now I'm thrilled to have it. While at first struggling with livestream yoga classes, I’m starting to really appreciate things about this new format. I can continue to teach my students, even when they fly back home after Snowbird Season is over. Zero commute time for my students means they hardly ever miss class! An hour-long practice goes a long way, and we all get to have dinner a half-hour earlier than usual on yoga night. I hope to continue the Zoom classes in some capacity even after we can all return to the studio. I anticipate there will be two schedules -- the one for online classes and the one for in-studio classes. I'm adapting, but as of yet, it doesn't feel like thriving. Students of yoga learn quickly that adaptation is the key to success. We modify poses to fit our bodies, rather than forcing our bodies to fit a pose. In situations like a pandemic changing the way we live, we hope those hours of learning to adapt become second nature. It will take time, but we will learn lessons from this strange time that will take us far in years to come. I’m inspired to adapt and evolve even further. I’ve been hard at work developing some new online course offerings, and will be excited to share them with you soon!

In the meantime, don't feel bad if change doesn’t feel like a good thing. You don't have to like it. Just remember that growth is uncomfortable, and we cannot know now how this time will result in helping us find something bigger, better, more fulfilling, etc. We simply have to trust that it is. Over time, we will adapt. And adaptation will allow us to thrive once more. As Lousie Hay would say, we just have to keep repeating the mantra “The Universe is always working out for me.” Keep it up, Universe. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

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