It’s been one year since I moved from the somber burbs of Michigan, to the brightly lit skyline of Chicago. I had created a life for myself that was comfortable in many ways, yet somehow felt unsatisfying. I wanted to move for so many years, but would always find reasons why it wasn’t the right time or how it was a ridiculous idea. I was working in private practice as a psychologist and teaching yoga at one of the hottest studios in town. I was also engaged. Yet, none of this felt “right” to me.
Last year I finally got the courage to break from my familiar life in Michigan to pursue the unknown of Chicago. Why would a sane person in her mid 30’s do that? The most important reason was this; I didn’t think I could. My fear was that I would fail and have to shamefully move back home. Facing our fears presents opportunities that give us the ability to feel truly awake. Moving was one of these experiences for me. I had to rebuild, rearrange, and most importantly re-invent. I had to become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
My crash course in big city living began with transportation. I was awarded numerous parking tickets. One day I was even towed from the whole foods parking lot. I was convinced my car had been stolen. When I ran back inside to frantically report my missing wheels the hipster checkout girl answered me with only an expression of complete pity. I cried the entire cab ride to the towing lot where I paid $200.00 for my car. That was the most money I’ve ever spent on a Kombucha. When I wasn’t illegally parked, I was busy getting lost on my way to...everywhere! Obviously driving can be a disaster here. The traffic is always insane! You can actually feel the fast pulse of the city beating from the the pavement. All this car-drama, yet I avoided taking the bus like it was my job. Sooooo, I spent a small fortune on cabs. When I added up my weekly cab fare It was clear what had to be done. Must. Ride. gulp* BUS. I celebrated my first bus ride success by texting my CTA-savvy friends pics of my bus driver.
On a larger scale I was also re-defining myself as a yoga teacher. The yoga classes had a different flavor here in Chicago. This was both exciting and intimidating. On one hand, I was bringing something unique to the table which had appeal. On the flip side I was worried that because of that, people wouldn’t be accepting of me. It was an opportunity to create whatever I wanted though. So I had this level of anonymity which felt like freedom. I had started over with an empty cup. I've been fortunate to begin filling it with some really special people who continuously bring so much energy, strength and beauty to my life.
During this past year, it was my “mistakes” that were responsible for re-shaping my life. I wouldn’t describe it as “comfortable”, but it is interesting and awe-inspiring. Isn’t that what feeds our souls, and helps us to evolve to our highest selves? When teaching handstand , I show my students how to fall out of it safely. If you can become comfortable facing the fear of falling, your mental strength and confidence help to actually build the physical elements needed to support a handstand. Fears are presented to us to use as tools for our growth and to enrich our lives. Try doing one thing everyday that scares you. You will be surprised by your capacity to continuously rise to the challenge.
AUTHOR: Erica Lupiloff