When I first began to think about stepping into the unknown, I reached out to a number of people to learn about their experiences and the path they traveled. I talked to fellow teachers who had made the transition to full time yoga-ing. I met with other fitness professionals who were carving out their own unique niche. I reached out to working mamas to ask about work/life/kiddo balance. Each person's story added another layer to my depth of understanding about the joys and challenges of going it alone.
Fast-forward to the present: While I still have much to learn, I find myself on the other side of the table - invited to share my story by new teachers, teachers-in-training, and those considering their first steps down the teaching path. Every time I am asked for guidance, I am grateful for the opportunity to return the favors so graciously granted to me.
A few weeks ago I received an unexpected call from a senior mentor teacher who has been an encouragement from the very beginning of my journey. She has a successful brand of her own but wanted to sit down to brainstorm new ideas and seek feedback. When she reached out I was excited (what a fun opportunity to return the favor!) but also humbled and a bit intimidated: what on earth could I offer to someone whose experience and wisdom so clearly surpasses my own?!
We sat down to talk over tea and soon began scribbling furious notes to capture the flurry of ideas. Our conversation was great fun and led to new ideas for collaboration and individual pursuits. But perhaps the greatest lesson for me was the reminder that everyone has a unique perspective and experience that is worth sharing. Just because you are newer to a profession, hobby, or pursuit than others doesn't mean you don't have something to offer. We too often - and too quickly - dismiss what we can contribute to a conversation or situation.
Whatever your position in life, be intentional about paying forward the guidance and assistance you have received - and have the confidence to pay it back when the opportunity arises.
How are you reaching out to help the next generation? How can you repay those who gave you a hand along the way?