5 things I’ve learned in a year – Nick

m3yoga teacher training

This blog is one in a series in which teachers and others reflect on their first full year with M3Yoga. 

Over the past year I have learned soooo many things, so it is hard for me for me to narrow it down. Some days it is difficult to think that it has already been a year, and some days it feels like three. I am so grateful to the Athens community for supporting me in my passion and dream and can’t wait to see what the years to come have in store for us as a community. So here goes:

Remain a student – of yoga, of business and of life
One of the amazing things that has transformed my yoga practice and my life is remembering to remain teachable. I do not know everything, nor will I ever, and that is a liberating thought. I have been privileged to have some of my favorite yoga teachers embark on this journey with me and I get to take their classes as much as I want. But I have learned as much from them as I have the new teachers who have joined us as well. Knowing that knowledge is an exchange and transaction has helped me grow. I also have learned an enormous amount from our students. Your dedication and commitment has really inspired me. I have been able to take this off of the mat and feel more ok with not knowing. It has allowed me to grow as a person, as a business owner, as a partner, and as a friend. I embrace not knowing (most times) and this frees me up to be ok with the unknown (again mostly) and to learn in to all my experiences and interactions.

Community is everything
From the community of teachers we have who believe in M3’s mission, to the community of Athens that has supported us as a business, to the community of students who have received us so openly. I have never experienced this level of community in my life. I genuinely love to see each and every one of you each day walk in to our studio and commit to this beautiful practice. I have had a lot of ups and downs personally this year and have been overwhelmed with the support during the downs and the celebrations during the ups. I couldn’t have done this without each of you and M3 is what it is because of you. I knew we would need to develop community when we opened but I had know idea that the community would eventually grow itself. To see our M3 Warriors get to know each other after class and truly care for each other really makes my heart going thumpity thump thump. Thank you for giving me this community, and most importantly thank you for being so open and welcome to each other.

That being open-minded isn’t a fixed state, it is an evolution
I have learned that I thought I was open-minded to begin with, but we have to continue to expand our minds, it isn’t a destination. From business decisions, to partnerships, to owning my place in this world. One of the tenets in the Rocket Yoga practice is “live in the question”, the epitome of open-mindedness. But a lot of times, I want answers. Immediately. I have many times tried to compartmentalize and file away feelings and situations. Owning a business doesn’t go that way. I have had to transform my way of thinking over and over again. I have tried new things, new fitness opportunities, new relationships, new business strategies, and got really vulnerable with people (something I hate). If I can’t remain flexible (uh-huh, see what I did there) in business and in life, I will become miserable. There are soooo many new things out there, and I have learned in order to experience them I need to open my mind to not knowing. You never know what relationship you foster may become your business bestie. You never know what business risk you take may seed and flourish. You never know what new thing you try may become the best thing you ever did for yourself.

To own my fucking truth unapologetically
Full disclosure, this is something I am still learning and something many of you may not know. At times over this past year I have felt very unworthy of the little place I have carved in this vast world of yoga. I have felt like I didn’t deserve to have opinions or have a place to own our own “style” of yoga. I have felt that I was not worthy of being successful.  I have always believed that YOU ALL can pursue your capital T Truth and live in your own power, but I have not always believe I am deserving of that. I have taken doses of my own medicine at times, listening to the things I tell students in class and thinking, “Why am I also not able to live from this point of view as well?”. I have been inspired by the work the students and teachers do everyday. I am in the process of discovering my Truth (aren’t we all) and learning to own it. I don’t need permission to carve my space in the world, and neither do you. I have learned to be ok with being uncomfortable and leaning into that feeling, but also leaning into you all. I am learning that my Truth is no less or no more than anyone else’s. I am learning to own “it”. I am learning to be more confident and secure in that I matter too.

To follow my passion in however that transforms
It was very hard for me to justify to myself leaving a ten year career in nursing to be a business owner. What drives me is helping people. It sets me on fire. My passion is yoga. I started M3 to weave these two together. I was terrified, and sometimes still am. I was used to doing a job, clocking out, and getting paid for it. A lot of doubt and insecurity comes from opening a business. But despite these things doubts, I did it anyway. I would NEVER go back and change it. I wanted something that really scared me and I went for it. And it worked. You all have allowed my passion to come alive. I would never be able to experience life the way I have now if it wasn’t for that. And there have been failures, don’t get me wrong, but that comes with it.

So if you are doubting yourself, my advice, GO FOR IT. You may be successful, you may fail, but what matters is you GO FOR IT. We learn so much about ourselves from taking risks and jumping off a cliff not knowing how far down the bottom is (not literally, please don’t jump off an actual cliff). I am so grateful for the community that has allowed me to dream big and supported me in my craziness. I have learned that it is so important for us to just effing do it. To be scared, but to do it. I will never allow doubt to stop me from going for it again. Life is too short and precious. I want to live in what sets me on fire, not watch it from afar. Thank each and every one of you for creating space for that to happen and manifest. You all have helped me live out a dream. And I am beyond grateful and beyond humbled for it. I am able to continue to pursue the best version of myself because of you, thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you all.