Earlier this week, I wrote a post that I planned on publishing today. Then, when I was looking through this website, I realized this week is an anniversary. It felt pretty important, so I decided to hold off on my original post and to write about my anniversary instead.
On August 14, 2014, I launched my YouTube channel, Jasmine Petals Yoga, and this website, Jasmine Petals Thoughts. I am proud of myself for having the courage to start these two sites and I am proud I’ve stuck with them. Neither of the sites is doing as well as I’d hoped but I feel good about the energy they’ve stirred up.
When I meet new people, I now introduce myself as an artist, a yoga instructor, and a writer, not necessarily in that order. I am confident in my growing skills in all those areas and I give thanks every single day that I am able to present myself in those ways. Best of all, over the past year, I have seen myself evolve.
Art came back into my life almost exactly six months after I walked away from the corporate world. Within months of my return to painting, I was encouraged to submit work to multiple exhibits. I was accepted into three of them. That level of acceptance from people who didn’t even know me was mind blowing. I almost cried the day I looked at my instructor and said, “I do have talent.”
My painting is moving in directions I never dreamed of. My work has always had a lot of energy, but I think my curiosity and joy in painting are also beginning to show on the canvas. I love standing in front of my easel playing with colors and light. When I am able to transmit what I’m feeling on the inside onto the paintings, I have a feeling of joy that is really indescribable. When a painting turns out differently than my original vision I have learned that there may still be value in it to someone else.
I started teaching yoga fourteen years ago. I taught other types of fitness classes before that and it was an easy transition to add yoga to my repertoire. I have always been comfortable in front of groups of people, and I knew I was a good teacher.
In my previous life, I worked full-time and taught 3-4 classes a week. Now, I teach 11-13 classes a week. I expected to become bored with teaching as my class schedule grew. Instead, because I teach to such a wide variety of people with such a wide variety of needs, I am never bored. I’ve learned how to modify, how to watch for clues more thoroughly, and how to explain the poses in ways I wasn’t capable of doing before. It’s such a cliché’, but I truly feel like I’ve learned more from my classes over the last year than I could ever dream of teaching to them.
My writing is improving every day. I sit down and write every single day, even if it’s just to journal. I continue to push past my comfort zone and write about things that are close to my heart, even if it means revealing more of my inner-self than I would normally be comfortable with.
I have written about my personal journey as a woman who is trying to find my own path in a world that would prefer I stayed within the confines as defined by society. I have written about what is going on in the world and how I feel about those things. I have written about my family and some of their challenges and achievements. I have written about life as I see it. I have been told that sometimes what I write feels a little raw to some people. I am okay with that.
This week I received my first bad review on this page. The comment basically said that my post, “Vacation Lessons,” was crap and it had all been written before. It was from someone named “eat shit and die,” so I didn’t concern myself a whole lot about his comments. I’m actually okay with being told those thoughts are derivative: I’ve spent a lot of time reading other people’s work to help me along my path. If some of my writing reflects what I’ve learned, then so be it.
I know I am working hard and putting good work and energy out into the Universe. If you like what I do when I paint, teach or write, I am glad I was able to bring you pleasure. If you don’t like what I do, I appreciate your opinion, but I don’t let it influence who I am or what I do. Either way, what you think of me is none of my business.
And that, dear friend, is the real story of my evolution over the last year.