Two years ago, I wrote a post entitled “Who I Am” right around this time of the year. Perhaps it’s the inevitable “back-to-school” vibe in the air or the knowledge that summer is truly over that makes us want to take inventory of WHO WE ARE. Whatever it is, I get the sense that we are all trying to find inspiration to carry us through the next phase of our lives.
My summer was a bit of a whirlwind: I proudly (or shamefully?) announced to anyone who would listen that I had “bitten off more than I could chew.” I was working at my full-time job in the mornings, teaching a graduate course in the afternoons, teaching my yoga class twice a week, and helping my sister plan a spectacular Labor Day weekend wedding.
But what I realized after it was all said and done was that by trying to do everything, I was doing nothing very well.
I realized this the second week of my graduate course when the vibe in the classroom suddenly transformed into resentment. Some of my students were clearly not satisfied with my teaching style. While I thought I’d adequately prepared the subject matter (and that I could rely heavily on my ability to “wing it”), I soon realized that I had let my students down by not being 100% present nor the best person to teach the course. I also learned that my motivation for taking on the course was founded less in my passion for teaching technology to educators and more in receiving reimbursement and recognition.
But that’s okay. Because the power of self-awareness—as we learn in yoga—allows us to recognize our faults and mishaps. And rather than beat ourselves up about them, we can instead learn how to grow more humble and more willing to ask, “By doing this, am I taking care of myself?” Our self-awareness strips away self-judgement and allows us to understand what doesn’t work so that we can carry on with what DOES work.