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Chapter 1 - Living a Life You Love

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

The blog below is something I wrote in 2013 - seemed like a good point to introduce myself. Things have changed over the past 5 years as I continue to pursue living the life I love. Take a read and will catch you up in Chapter 2!

The moment I decided to write a blog for Cleveland Yoga I instantly began to doubt my ability to complete the task. My thoughts raced, “I’m not a writer,” “I’m not qualified!” and of course, “What should I read to prepare?” Yup, all of the doubt that we tell people to let go of in class came flooding into my world.

As I contemplated the research I was going to do in my blog preparation, I couldn’t help but start to laugh at the paradox. The lesson began. I sat back and began to teach myself yoga, reassuring my ego that all I need, I already have inside. All that I have inside is gold. It’s so much greater than an interpretation or regurgitation of some self-help book.

So what was inside – haha – Baron Baptiste! Well, the countless hours of training spent with him and lessons learned have become part of me. I recalled one of his Eight Universal Principles: Don’t Try Hard, Try Easy. This has always been a struggle for me.

My life has been one of following rules, working hard and ensuring what I do, I do the best way I possibly can – even if I don’t want to be doing it in the first place. Does that resonate with anyone else?

That “try hard” attitude landed me as a practicing CPA for 8 years – not to mention 4 years of college accounting courses and 4 months of endless studying for the certification. I should have known something was off when my mom told me, “Jenn, accounting is the last major I would have thought you would pick!” Well, I wanted job security and my ego was in competition with highly successful family members who I love and admire. At such a young age, I was not in touch enough with my inner wisdom to realize that living from that place would not serve me well.

Trying hard got me money, book knowledge and status, but did it feed me? Well, it fed my anger, frustration and sadness as I continued to work my very hardest at something that robbed my soul of joy. I believe what kept me in this environment for so long was the wonderful people I worked with. I can say with all honesty that my colleagues truly cared about my future and well-being. However, the nature of the work itself was not going to change, so I had to.

The year of my 29th birthday, 2009, is when real decisions had to be made. My husband and I had coasted along together as D.I.N.K.’s (Double Income No Kids) for 6 years at this point. I knew there were two roads I could take. 1) Stay on partner route with the firm, travel to amazing cities, be a powerful executive and yes, make more money. 2) Put on the breaks and create an environment that would allow us to have a family. I must disclaim these decisions have nothing to do with the “traditional” male/female roles. My husband has professed over the years he would happily be a stay-at-home father. However, when I commit to something, there is no halfway. Starting a family means being there for my family.

In August 2009, it did not take much convincing when a job opened up for me as the Director of Operations for Cleveland Yoga. Many thought I was throwing away a career, however, it was good to hear that those closest to me were actually ecstatic for the change. I held onto the positive and finally, I did not care what the naysayers thought! I trusted that I had all I needed to do this job and succeed and I chose to take the leap!

Does working at Cleveland Yoga require work? YES! However, I finally felt that sense of “try easy.” I began to understand that willpower will never work in the “try hard” scenario. Baron refers to something called “soul power.” It is power that comes from doing what you love in life and leading a life of joy. It is operating from your source.

How did I know I was NOT operating from soul power in the past? It was clear every single morning when I woke up. While I brushed my teeth, I contemplated what else I could be doing in life. It was a freeing moment when that internal battle was over.

Experiencing soul power looks like letting your guard down, getting your brain out of the way and allowing intuition to blaze a path of personal empowerment. It means living a life that is directed by gut instincts, one that seems risky in your brain and so right in your heart. My soul power has led me on an amazing journey of not only self-discovery. Part of that journey has included motherhood. Paxton, now 2 years old, reminds me daily of the purity of life, the graciousness of innocence and reaffirms I have made the best decisions for myself.

I continue to bring my dreams to life as I witness the studio flourish. I am in completion of my certification as a Holistic Health Coach and am furthering my yoga training to deliver my best at every class I teach. Above all, I am able to enjoy amazing, quality time with my family.

It’s not easy unprogramming years of learned behavior. Daily I have to check in with what is not working and question the tasks that are taking me off my path and not contributing to my joy. It’s not easy taking financial risks; it requires a deep trust in one’s self that you will not fail yourself. It’s not easy putting your voice out there as others will judge, disagree or criticize – but speak/live your truth anyway! Try Easy. Share your passion with others. Be willing to make mistakes in pursuit of living a life you love.

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