The most amazing thing happened this past weekend. I completed a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training - something that I've wanted to do for the past 10 years. And not because I wanted to be a yoga teacher but because I simply wanted to deepen my knowledge of a practice that has changed the trajectory of my life many times.
During my freshman year in college, I found myself enrolled in a for-credit yoga class at UW-Milwaukee. I wore jeans to the first class, that's true, but soon I was wrapped up in this new way of moving my body and found myself feeling healthier and more vibrant than I ever had before.
In those first years, yoga was very much a physical practice. But as I progressed, adding on daily meditation, I noticed how it helped me through the many stages of my life: international relocation, grad school, marriage and more. Even though it was a huge influence, I always considered it to be part of my extra-curricular life, something that wasn't related in the slightest to the hectic, deadline-driven world of marketing that I worked in every day.
Of course, that way of thinking changed when I dove into yogic philosophy.
In the yoga classroom, the teacher serves as a guide to the students. Imparting their knowledge of the poses as well as tidbits of philosophy and ethics. But the path is ultimately open for the student to choose, giving the teacher one of the greatest gifts - having that opportunity to share your passion and expertise with someone who is there to receive it.
Can we not say the same for business? We've all spent these years in school, jobs, networking, activities, etc. to build this incredible knowledge base that is unique to each one of us. And why do we do it? For our own personal benefit?
Or perhaps there is something deeper that drives us. Something so unbelievably opposite of selfish that we may be embarrassed to admit it. Something that across the daily commute, constant e-mails, lunch meetings and mini-stresses, we tend to forget.
Let's take a moment to recall it now. And just as at the beginning of your yoga practice, set your intention for your workday. Make every day as purposeful as your movements are in a sun salutation. Remember why you do what you do with every breath you take.
This is what yoga has taught me. This is how yoga has made me a better businesswoman. Sure, I want to sell my services. I want to have more clients to be able to grow my business, hire more employees, go on exotic vacations. But it's more than that. It's about having a unique purpose in life, one that drives me every day to get out of bed and open my computer. One that drives me to put aside my timidness and network with complete strangers. One that has led me down many paths to ultimately end up here.
I love telling stories. And I want to help you tell yours.
What's your purpose?