Rest, what the hell is that?
Had you asked me my experience with rest just a few short months ago, this would have been my response.
What is rest? Is that that thing you do from 11 PM – 6 AM? The thing I do in savasana for a total of 10 minutes? The thing I do while listening to a podcast?
It was a foreign concept.
At the time, my husband and I were coming off a four year marathon of exhaustive effort. Here’s a brief snapshot into our lives……
We were both in corporate careers. Me in marketing and him in a high pressure project management position that demanded 60 hours per week of his time. I worked a typical 9-5, but also taught numerous yoga classes, while maintaining my commitment to creating and nurturing this community.
We filmed yoga content almost every weekend because we needed the daylight, causing our social life and personal interests to become nonexistent.
We got married, and so did every close friend of ours, meaning every bit of free time was devoted to wedding celebrations and formalities.
I mustered up the courage to create an online yoga program that required 8 months of preparation (BMS Detox), which also proved to be the beginning of a thriving business.
And then there was the crazy idea to say fuck it, let’s walk away from the rat race, sell everything, and travel the world before we have children.
I wanted to move to Australia and backpack through Asia.
He wanted to circumnavigate the world via sailboat.
We sorta-kinda met in the middle, meaning we now live on a sailboat.
But it was this crazy idea that birthed a new era.
Our energy massively shifted to manifesting this idea. It became our obsession.
We started following full-time travelers. Researching the best sailboats. Visiting marinas. Learning about successful online business owners. Taking courses. Creating more yoga content. Launching new yoga programs.
We went all in and then some.
This exertion of effort began 4+ years ago and until now, it never stopped.
No rest. No pause. Only forward.
And it worked.
We’ve been successfully sailing the Caribbean for a year, living by our rules (like waking up with no alarm clock), creating the life we want, and not what someone else wants for us.
But here’s what didn’t work.
My relationship with this community and my business.
I hit a wall, like a big fucking wall, and it hurt.
I attempted to avoid the pain, to pretend like it wasn’t impacting me, but when you’re a yoga teacher who guides others to live their journey through witnessing and transcending that which isn’t aligning……it became blatantly obvious I had to stop running.
I wasn’t happy. I was uninspired. I was creating from an empty cup. I was scared to let go and lose my place.
And I was so tired.
So I decided to tell you the truth, while also giving myself permission to stop working and learn what the word rest means.
Did you miss the truth bomb video? Watch it here.
For the first time in 4 years I walked away from this community and my business, and lemme tell ya, this girl needed it.
I needed s.p.a.c.e.
And lucky for me, I live on a sailboat that naturally provides space in all the right ways.
No internet. No TV. No Amazon Prime. No Target. No fast food. No easy access to anything. Just me, my husband, a journal, a yoga mat, books, sunsets, and a never-ending ocean.
It was the perfect combination of elements.
So now, here we are.
I am days away from returning (or shall I say, re-emerging) and as such, I’d like to share what I learned from this experience. I had no intention of sharing these thoughts as they feel very private, but I also know how powerful and impactful sharing can be.
It sends a message to me, a reminder that these lessons matter, and to keep them painstakingly present as the journey continues.
It sends a message to the Universe, hello I am ready for you.
And it sends a message to you, a message that speaks to my values as a yoga teacher and community leader, and that you can pause and take rest too.
5 #LIVEYOURJOURNEYLESSONS I LEARNED:
Lesson #1: I love my work! I love this community! I love being an entrepreneur!
This first lesson might sound silly, but when you’re completely burnt out and wondering if quitting is the better option, this is a profound lesson to learn and feel. Here’s what led me to it.
I was listening to two online entrepreneurs (Jill + Josh Stanton) who were also struggling with loving their business. These are two people who I look up to, learn form, and am inspired by, and their explanation of what led them to “not loving their business” made complete sense and deeply resonated with my current position.
I had stepped away from the CEO/visionary role of my business, and instead took on the role of an employee.
I was treating my business like a job, like a 9-5, like something I had to do, not something I had chosen to do.
Now let me be frank, there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes that isn’t pretty, just like any normal job – admin work out the ass, customer service, website maintenance, video production, marketing creation, accounting and finances….you get the picture.
But regardless of the pretty stuff, it’s imperative that I still show up as the boss.
It’s a mental shift that I hadn’t fully embodied within my business.
I have to show up as the CEO, not the employee, and the moment my business becomes a job, it’s a sign that something isn’t aligning.
So no, I don’t want to quit this incredible community.
I am obsessed with #thejjcommunity, it’s part of me, and as such – I am returning with a new love for what I do, who I serve, and how I show up.
Lesson #2: My personal body, mind, soul practices are a non-negotiable.
I did a lottttt of journaling during my time away, like pages on pages, and one specific question came up while working with the chakras.
What is the vision vehicle that carries my dream into reality?
I wrote, wrote, and wrote……attempting to understand my vision, coming up with all sorts of vehicles that were great ideas, but not quite the right answer.
Until I landed on this vision…..
My personal body, mind, and soul practice are the vehicles through which I create and share with each of you, so the presence of these practices is invaluable to my personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of this community and my business.
There it is baby.
The vehicle that carries my dreams into reality is my dedication to the practice.
There’s no other way around it.
I cannot teach you and thousands of others to live their journey through yoga, meditation, breathing, writing, sharing, connecting, and learning if I’m not doing the work too.
Therefore, my practice comes first, no matter what, always.
Lesson #3: Fun and pleasure are necessary ingredients!
Confession: I’m not a naturally fun person.
I lean towards being a hermit and am more than happy to stay inside, read a book, roll around on my mat, cook some epic food, and listen to a podcast.
Buttttt, I need more than that (and so do you).
Since moving onto the boat, Myers has taken on the role as fun ambassador, and any time there’s fun to be had, I have to drop what I’m doing and have fun.
This means we snorkel more, we go for dinghy rides just because, we sit out in the cockpit watching the sunset, we jump off the boat again and again like little kids, we float around on noodles, we walk around town with no purpose, we rent cars and go hiking, we enjoy happy hour at picturesque shacks, we sleep in and have great morning sex, we have days of doing absolutely nothing productive.
These things might seem obvious to do while living on a boat, but they became not so obvious and the excuse of “there’s not enough time” began to surface.
I learned that fun and pleasure are necessary emotions and experiences to keep the creation machine running, they’re like oil to the gasoline that helps the machine run without resistance.
This work – our yoga practice – is serious stuff, but the end goal is enlightenment which ultimately means to lighten up.
Lesson #4: Trust my gut, listen to my intuition, see with my inner vision.
Oh baby, this is such a good lesson (for you and me).
First, let’s address the comparison train and how if we’re not careful, the train will run us over every damn day…..or even every damn moment.
Comparison robs us of our true nature, it dims our uniqueness, and it silences that which we feel curious/interested/passionate about. It successfully sucks our potential.
And, it’s one of the most difficult things to avoid in present day society.
However, we hold the power to put down the phone, to close the computer, to turn off the TV, and to tune into what matters.
What matters for me. What matters for you. What matters for our family. What matters for a stranger.
What matters is that we follow our gut, our intuition, and our inner vision – it’s these elements that create change, not copying one another because we’re afraid to believe in ourselves.
Which leads me to the second learning within lesson #4.
My life purpose is continually evolving, one day it feels crystal clear, and other days it pivots and looks nothing like it has or what I had planned. The acceptance of this ebb and flow and following my heart over my ego is my greatest challenge.
A challenge that requires BIG ASS BLINDERS if I am to move forward, so as to not compare myself to others – their numbers, their social media feed, their imagery, their content, none of it.
I have to be ruthlessly me.
There’s no other option.
Lesson #5: I can do hard things when my energy is aligned.
Last confession for this blog post, I used to loathe the people who talked about alignment, energy, vibrations, frequency, and everything in between.
It felt blahhhhh to me.
I’m a natural type A human, a get errrr done kinda girl, a hustle and grind till the work is done woman.
Can you relate?
I didn’t believe in the whole energy thing when it came to business, I thought it was reserved only for my yoga and meditation practices.
Admittedly, I was wrong.
I’ve come to realize that I can do hard things, like really hard things, when my energy is aligned.
Hard things like hiring people to help me, like writing 75 page documents about the chakras, sailing the open ocean in heavy conditions, booking my next yoga training even though there’s no money coming in, having difficult conversations with my husband, creating meaningful yoga content that has purpose, and pivoting within my business.
My energy matters. My alignment matters (can’t believe I’m typing that). My dedication to alignment matters.
These are the lessons I learned.
I took a break from my business, which first felt terrifying, but now has become my greatest teacher.
If you’re part of this community and you ever feel like I’m straying from these lessons, I give you full permission to tell me. Reach out. Send me an email.
I am only as strong as the people who show up, practice, and live their journey beside me.
Thank you for being here. I am forever grateful for your presence.
All my love,
Hey! I’m Allie.
I’m a self-growth student, freedom-seeker, yoga teacher and the founder of a tight-knit online yoga community: the Body Mind Soul Studio. I’m here to teach you how to transform your life on-and-off-the-mat with a holistic yoga practice.
I wanna learn it all!
The Yoga Reset Guide is my FREE 7-step journey to deepen your practice and recenter your body, mind and soul. Self-paced, no equipment necessary, perfect for beginners AND veteran yogis.