[01:08] Hi and welcome back to the Yoga Girl Podcast: Conversations From The Heart. I am so happy that you’re here. I really hope that you’re having a good day. I hope you’re feeling good in your body, good in your soul and in your mind. If you’re not, that’s okay too. I was sharing the other day [laugh], you know, we tend to say so much to each other. You know, “Have a really good day!” If we’re not having a good day, it’s okay to just have a day. It doesn’t have to always be good. But I guess I hope that wherever you’re at you’re able to immerse yourself in it fully and feel it.
[01:50] I have had some really, really beautiful feedback on the past couple of episodes of this podcast. And the last few episodes that I’ve shared of this show have been a little bit different for me in terms of the energy that I’m speaking from, I think. I feel a little bit more vulnerable even sharing the last few episodes and opening up some pieces into my past. And it feels really good to share. But I also don’t know if I’m as eloquent or kind of to the point that I feel like I can be in other episodes. So the last times I recorded, I actually left feeling like, “Hm. I don't know if that was good.” [laugh] Which I do sometimes with the podcast. And if I leave and I feel like, “Oh, I don't know if that was a good podcast,” sometimes I’ll scrap it and I’ll re-record. But oftentimes I try to tell that inner critical voice that tells me that everything I do isn’t good enough, I try to tell that voice, like, “Hey, take the back seat. Let’s bring out the inner best friend so I can just appreciate that, hey, I did good.”
[02:48] And some weeks I gotta cut myself some slack in that not every single thing that I produce has to be amazing and the best, you know, leaning on last week’s podcast on this limiting belief that I have that I have to be great at everything. So, that’s not the case. I can release a podcast and feel like, “That was okay.” And still, magically, I feel like the last few weeks I’ve had better response than normal. I don't know, I’ve received more heartfelt response than I have in a really long time. So, I just wanted to say thank you for listening from that heartfelt place as well. A lot of the information that we digest in a day, you know, we can choose how we’re taking that in. So of course if we’re listening from an open-hearted place, if we’re listening From The Heart, we’re also going to take it in in that very loving way, and we’re going to resonate and feel. So I just wanted to say thank you for being here with me. I really really really appreciate you. And I appreciate … this is something that I haven’t gotten to appreciate in a while. I appreciate knowing other people are feeling similar things as me. And sometimes, especially if you’re kind of in the world of social media or this podcast, I’m kind of speaking into the ether right now. I’m just sitting in my bedroom with my microphone, not sitting face-to-face with you, looking you in the eye, making that human face-to-face, heart-to-heart connection where I can see how my words are landing with you, and then get a response. Which is, of course, the best way to have a conversation [laugh] is with someone face-to-face, heart-to-heart. And I don’t have the ability to do that, so I’m here and I’m kind of speaking into space, somehow.
[04:29] So for me to get the response of hearing people share that they are feeling similar things, that they are struggling with similar things, it makes me feel less alone. And you guys continue to remind me that I am not alone in my experience. I am not alone in my feelings. My experience is valid, actually. And I’m on the right path. So, yeah, if you’re listening to this now, you’re a really big part of my healing journey, and I just … I just wanted to say thanks [laugh] for being here.
[06:26] I’m feeling a little bit giddy today, I don't know if you can tell. I’m sitting here right now with a huge smile on my face. I released a really big endeavor. Today was the launch, the announcement, the launch of a big project that I have been working on for a really long time that I kind of planted the seed for many years ago. So yeah, I’m going to share. Maybe you know already, but today I released my very own collection of jewelry called the Yoga Girl Collection, and it’s 18 pieces in 18 karat gold-plated brass and sterling silver, all inspired by the moon, all inspired by my own healing journey of loving and letting go. And it’s so gorgeous, you guys. It’s literally … man.
[07:13] And to move through this project, so if you know me at all you know that jewelry is a huge part of my life. I’m way more of a jewelry person than I am, like, shoe person or fashion or clothes. You know, I wear clothes, I love clothes, but for me it’s like I spend time in front of my jewelry corner, like, every day, taking a moment to really feel like, “Hmm, what am I feeling like today?” I don’t do that same thing in front of my closet. [laugh] I’ll just throw on whatever is there, but then I really take a moment every day. So I have really specific taste in jewelry, and I find for me I love, love, love having a piece of jewelry that means something to me. And it’s not so much about … it’s less about what it looks like and more about the intention that I have infused into that piece. So, I wanted to create a line, of course, of really really beautiful jewelry, but that each person can have a moment to sit and set an intention with so that every time we wear this piece of jewelry, we are furthering that dream, or we’re putting ourselves in the same vibration of the thing that we want to create. Whether it’s, you know, I mean mala beads made by cherry quartz, which is this very very heart-healing type of crystal. For me, cherry quartz, I have this long story about why I chose that crystal for the malas. But so that you can infuse your own intention. For me, every time I wear it, I am reminded of how far I have already come on this journey. Of all of the healing that I’ve already done. And also knowing that the crystal itself is this very purifying, clearing crystal. So, it absorbs any negative energies. If I’m around a lot of people or I’m feeling heavy, I’ll wear the mala. And I can really feel the intention that I put into wearing that piece, it changes my vibration. And of course this goes with everything, all of the material things we surround ourselves with. But I find that jewelry is special because we can really make it heartfelt, and then we can be reminded of whatever it is that we’re looking to remind ourselves of every day.
[09:15] So there’s a lot of love in this collection. So if I put everything else aside, the fact that yeah, this is a jewelry collection, I’m also selling something, it’s a line of products that I have designed and created and I’m selling it on my website. All of this stuff. There’s a whole kind of business side to this that I would love to tap into as well, because it’s been a very enlightening journey for me to move further into this space for the first time. But all of that aside, I have literally had a Pinterest board … I don't know if you guys are super, if you’re into Pinterest or not. I have never been a massive Pinterest person. But what I do, I don’t use it to engage with other people or to spread or something. I don’t even think I have a public account, I don't know. But I use it for inspiration or whenever I’m starting a creative project. And I have a Pinterest board literally called the Yoga Girl Jewelry Collection that has been a work in progress for like four or five years, for a really really really long time. And I’ve had this dream that I wanted to make jewelry just because, one, it’s the thing that makes me me. You know, I think a lot of people can recognize that there’s specific types of jewelry that I would like to bring into the world that I could really infuse my personality into I think? I think it would be so much fun to do it, and I would love to share my own ideas about design and intention with the world.
[10:39] So I’ve had this Pinterest board. In the board there’s like paintings that I love and there’s amazing photography, and of course a lot of moon-related things, like beautiful photography of the moon. And then I have my own pieces of jewelry that I have at home, some of them that I’ve had my whole life. I have this little … actually I don’t even have a jewelry corner, I have a jewelry closet. [laugh] I’ve shared it on Instagram once or twice. I don’t share it too often because I feel like people think I’m crazy. But it’s like a floor to ceiling closet where I keep my jewelry. It’s not like we’re talking solid gold, diamond, expensive stuff. I wouldn’t need a safe [laugh] for this kind of jewelry. It’s not that it’s expensive or has this high material value, it’s that I have so many beautiful pieces of jewelry that have such emotional value for me that I was either gifted during a really hard time in my life, or that I somehow picked up when I was traveling, and it was at this time in my life where I was enjoying something specific, or it reminds me of a friend, or it’s something that I share with Dennis, or it symbolizes something that I’ve moved through. For me it’s just this … it’s like a very, very sacred corner of my house.
[11:55] And creating this line and sending it out into the world feels like a full circle of a lot of things. One of them being that for a really long time I was so terrified to do anything commercial. Which is strange, because a lot of things I do are commercial. I have a business. Even if I’m just “teaching a yoga class,” I charge money for that yoga class. It’s how I make a living, right? So in a sense, a lot of things that I do that I’ve already done for a really long time, of course it’s a business. But I have been really scared, in a sense, to do something that feels commercial, like putting a product out into the world.
[12:37] And I don’t … it took me a while to figure out why, in a sense. So for a really long time I felt really comfortable sharing my yoga practice. I felt really comfortable sharing my teachings under the umbrella of yoga. But I didn’t get there on my own. I didn’t get there easily. It wasn’t like I taught my first yoga class and I went, “Hey, I’m great at this! Let me be a yoga teacher and feel super clear and great about that.” I went through this whole long process of first, in the beginning, feeling like I shouldn’t charge for my classes. Yoga, for me, was this very very sacred thing. It was a personal thing, my personal practice, my personal passion. And I just, in the beginning, felt like, “Man, if anyone wants to listen to what I have to say, if I can share a little bit of this healing with anyone, with the world in a little way, that’s so sacred. I can’t charge for that.” Which, if I guess in the way I was doing it then, I didn’t have a career of any sort. I didn’t have a plan for a career of any sort. I didn’t care about … I didn’t have the need to focus on making a really good living. I was really content having nothing. I was living in Costa Rica at the time. When I taught my first yoga classes I was in Costa Rica. And super poor, totally broke, didn’t have anything, no savings account, nothing. And that was fine! Right? That was fine for a while. That was just really fine and I thought it was a really fun thing to share the practice of yoga with friends or with family or this other company that I worked for a little while. That was not problem.
[14:14] And then I moved to Aruba, and for the first time in my life I had to kind of decide, “Oh man, I have a whole blank page. I met this love of my life, this guy I know I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. I’m on a new island, new place, new country, don’t know anyone.” And I suddenly had a way bigger need to make a living, because Aruba is way more expensive than … I had a totally different living situation than I had living in a shack with my best friend in Costa Rica. So to get by, I knew I’d have to make a living and not rely on this guy I just met, obviously. So I was waitressing, I was bartending, I was doing these things that I had always done since I was a teenager, waitress and bartend, basically. So starting work late in the afternoon, working all night, serving people alcohol, not necessarily a high vibrational environment to be in. At least that’s how I really felt at the time. But I did that, because that’s what I knew how to do. I had a couple of weeks doing that on the island here. Dennis was working, I think, 9:00 … he started at 9:00. Maybe 8:30? Yeah, 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning until 6:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon. And then I would start work at 5:00. Yeah, he would close the surf shop he worked at at 6:00, and I started working at this restaurant, I would start at 5:00.
[15:26] So we didn’t see each other for the first couple of weeks that I had moved to Aruba to be with him, and we didn’t see each other. And then for a few weeks, just realizing, “Hey, this is totally unsustainable. If I moved here to be with him, I should be able to be with him.” So I realized, okay, I need a day job. I need a job that has normal working hours. So maybe I should branch out from doing these things that I’ve always done, which was waitress and bartend. And I had a moment, or I had a morning where I went to the beach and I set down and I really really really sat down in meditation and I asked the question out loud: What do I want to do with my life? What do I want to do? What do I want my future to entail? If I want to build a life here, what do I want that to look like? And I realized that I don’t want to work in that kind of environment. It’s not a … it wasn’t for me, at the time, an uplifting or a healing environment.
[16:21] And the answer that came was really strong, really powerful. Yoga. I want to teach yoga. And it was something that I had already done a little bit of. I knew it came quite easy to me. I had this feeling, like, maybe there’s something here? Maybe I’m good at this? I don't know. But when I started teaching here in Aruba was the first time I had ever, you know, charged anyone for a yoga class. And the first time I did that I felt like a total fraud. I felt like … like a total, total fraud. Like really, I felt guilty charging people to come and take my classes. I think I had this feeling … I was trying to think of how long did this last, this feeling that I had that I should teach yoga for free. I don't know. Maybe half a year? It wasn’t for years and years or anything like that. But for a few months, a while. And I would even be so uncomfortable accepting money from people for the class, that if there ever was someone who … I don't know, I would kind of go out of my way to try to explain, like, “You don’t actually really have to pay me, you know?” But I had to kind of put this price down because I knew, at the end of the day I knew, hey, if I’m going to pursue this as a thing, if I’m going to pursue this as a line of work, taking yoga teacher trainings, which are thousands of dollars, and investing time and energy and money into education and into growing in this area, that’s investment from my part, I logically understood that yeah, there needs to be a return of that. I’m putting out energy, there needs to be a return of that energy. So I think at the time I was charging 10 florins a class, which is I guess 6 dollars a class, you know, teaching on the beach and I was teaching at this hotel. I was charging 5 or 6 dollars a class, which is nothing. Look at it now. Go to any studio in any major city and you’re going to pay, like, 20, 25, 30 bucks. So I was charging 5 or 6 dollars then. And I would go out of my way when someone wanted to pay me to be like, “It’s okay. Did you like it?” If it didn’t change your life, you wouldn’t have to pay for the class. [laugh] And what I was doing, and I think this is common when we’re a new teacher, which also makes sense. If you haven’t invested enough time, money, education in the thing that you’re putting out into the world, maybe you’re feeling like a fraud for a reason, right? Maybe it just means that, hey, before I start charging for this, before I really make this into a thing, I need to invest more time in my own education to make sure that the thing that I’m putting out into the world is legit, right? That’s a little piece of it.
[18:49] But, you know, six months into my teaching I had paid a lot of money for this yoga teacher training that I had done, and invested literally all of my time. Not just every day into learning and studying and taking workshops and all of this stuff, but everything that we’ve learned in our lifetime … that’s the thing about teaching yoga, it’s such an emotional thing, and we apply the life skills that we have absorbed throughout everything we’ve done. And all of the output of energy that we put into something, we deserve to get back, of course. Of course. But I had it enforced by so many people, and also by a teacher that I had at the time that, you know, we should be so careful. Which of course is true, because yoga is a very internal practice. Yoga, it’s a practice of looking within. So how can we ever equate that or connect that to business somehow?
[19:43] So what I say now, when I’m with my yoga teacher trainees, for instance, in the yoga teacher trainings that I teach. And it’s really true. Unless you are planning to do this as a thing that you want to keep within your family, maybe. Maybe you want to once a week teach yoga to your best friends, or you know at family gatherings teach a little yoga class for your mom or your siblings, keeping this a very very very personal thing, and you’re not planning to invest your own time/money/energy into creating something here, then maybe you feel okay teaching yoga for free. Teaching yoga for free can be a really beautiful thing to do out of the kindness of our hearts as a means of service. There’s beautiful areas in places and communities that are underserved that need yoga taught for free. So that’s something we can do.
[20:32] But if you’re looking to become or be a yoga teacher, or a teacher in this field, and if you’re planning to invest time and money into your growth, into that area, and you want other people to take you seriously, you deserve a return of that investment. Of course, you know, financially yes, but also energetically, the energy you put out you deserve to get in return. So this idea that we’re supposed to, because it’s yoga, because it’s a spiritual thing we’re supposed to do it for free? It’s total bullshit. And when we lead with that kind of energy, we’re also kind of telling our students and the world, like, I don't know if I can stand behind my stuff. Right? We’re kind of sending the energy out, like, I don't know if this is good. I don’t really stand behind myself. I don’t really stand up for myself. I’m not confident in myself as a teacher, so you don’t have to pay. Yeah? Unless it’s a service-based conscious decision that you’ve made.
[22:59] So of course this is a super challenging thing to navigate, and it is for a reason, and it should be. But, I can confidently sit here today and call total bullshit on the idea that just because it’s yoga you don’t deserve to get paid. It’s not true. And I think a lot of people in the yoga industry and a lot of big companies and brands have taken advantage of this idea, right? I’ve shared on the podcast before, but examples of where I have totally failed in this area now, because now we do have a big business, now we do have a big brand. All of these things, I have become one of those players in this industry, in a sense. And, for instance, right before we opened Island Yoga we had such a massive need for help, really. I was putting out through social media a lot of little questions for people who, you know, “Do you want to come on the team and help us with administrational things?” We were hiring and looking for people to work in these remote positions. And we had a huge influx of people write in and ask if we would ever offer and internship. Can they come and help us with something in the business for free in exchange for growth or learning? Or come to the studio when we open the studio and work at the studio in some karma exchange where you work for free and then you get yoga, or you get a flight paid, you get a place to stay, things like that.
[24:23] And it seemed like it made sense. I remember at the time, like, “Hey, we have like literally 1,000 people have written saying they have amazing qualities, they’re super capable, they want to come here and work because they want to be in this community, they want to learn and grow with us, and maybe this can lead to a paid position down the line. Internships are common, they exist in every field. So I thought, “Okay, let’s give this a try.” Immediately failed. [laugh] I’m sharing this very humbly. Immediately we failed. Why did we fail? First of all, anytime we ask anyone to enter a muddied or an unclear area of energetic and financial exchange, it’s really really really hard. Really really really hard. Because how … it’s easy, when you have a salary, you’re paid to do something, here’s the job that you’re paid to do. You do your job, you get paid. That’s how it works. It’s very clear, very easy. When you have that kind of karma exchange program or something like that, it’s really unclear exactly how much work am I supposed to do in my day for this to be worthwhile, for this to be an equal and even exchange, for me to have this flight paid, or maybe this play to stay paid, or three meals a day paid, or yoga twice a day, whatever it is that we’re getting in return. So right away we realized this just became really, really, really hard, number one. Number two, it got so hard … it was so hard to train people. We did these … we try to do a three-month program where people would come for two or three months, and then every time we would start from scratch and train a total stranger and invite them to the team. And it took so long for that to become worthwhile for us as a business, and then it was already time for them to leave. And it was just too challenging!
[26:06] I honestly think now, looking back, I wish we hadn’t down that route. I would much rather today, anytime anyone offers me anything for free, like, hey, I would … let me give an example. I’m getting a consultation next week on something relating to the baby from a professional in … I don’t even know what here title is. But she’s like a coach, a parenting coach. There’s a little something that I want a little help with when it comes to the baby. I can share more about that later, but just small. And she reached out, she was like, “Hey, I would love to offer this to you for free. Normally I charge hundreds of dollars, but I follow you on Instagram, so if you just want to share that you had this consult with me, like a little marketing.” And then I’m immediately, “No, it’s okay. I’m super happy to pay full price and be a regular person.” Because it’s messy. It’s really really messy. And for me, I would rather pay something full price and feel that I had an even exchange of whatever was provided than feel that weird feeling of, like, you know what if I didn’t like that consolation and then I still have to market it somehow? And is that honest and genuine to do? Kind of having that obligation, and what if I don’t like it and then maybe I have a bad vibration with that person? You know, money is there for a reason, right? We have salaries and we get paid. We use money as an exchange for goods and services for a reason. And I think even though there are certain areas and extents where we can use, you know, yoga is one of those things that we can use for trades for other services, sure. It still makes things complicated. And I’m in this place where the less complicated I can keep my life the better.
[27:43] So that karma program for us didn’t work out. We ended up cutting it. We had two rounds of interns, I think, and then we cut it, and we’ll never try that again. And now having a dedicated team on salary that we pay a reasonable salary every single month, knowing exactly what to expect from them, and they know what to expect from us at the end of the month, right? It’s so clear. Everything is … the communication is clear, the energy is clear, everything is easy, and I’d rather keep it that way.
[28:06] But, of course, you see those kinds of programs all the time. I’m sharing this story because I don’t want to make it sound like I am above or beyond the idea of many of the problems that we have in the yoga community, because we do, I’m a part of that sometimes too. But we learned a lesson and we won’t do that again. But there’s this idea that, you know, we should do stuff for free all the time. I know there’s a huge class action lawsuit right now against one of the major yoga studio chains where 1,400 yoga teachers have banned together for a big lawsuit against one of these major chains because they have been working for less than minimum wage. And I honestly can’t really think of any other industry, especially an industry like yoga that’s actually really expensive in most places, to take yoga classes, it’s not one of those things that yoga is offered in all of the areas that need it the most. We tend to find more yoga studios in the more affluent or more wealthy areas of the city, for instance. There’s less yoga in the areas and communities that actually need it, and it’s for that reason. Yoga has been portrayed as this thing that’s for a specific type of the population, which it isn’t. And I think the more we push that idea, that somehow we should pay a ton of money to do yoga, but we should also teach it for free, how is that a sustainable model for any real business? It just isn’t.
[29:37] So I, just as a little side tip, if you are involved … sometimes these kind of karma programs work. Maybe you have examples of that where it has served you super well, but I try to stay away from that. And that idea of, I share this with my yoga teacher trainees, the idea that we should do things for free, if we want to really dedicate our time and we want to put a really solid intention into teaching, we deserve to have a return of that investment. And so do you. And it’s a very energetic thing. So for me, when I got over that, it was around the same time that my teaching got really really good. It was part of me feeling secure in my teaching. Part of me feeling confident that I could trust that I knew what I was doing. That I wasn’t winging it, that I wasn’t this kind of amateur, that I was lesser than. Also my confidence rose in line with how much more I prepared, and how much I learned, and how much I continue to study and train and educate myself.
[30:36] And I got to this place where suddenly I felt like actually, you know, this is my line of work now. And it’s not just I’m teaching family and friends but I’m doing this for a living. I have bills to pay just like anybody else. So why, because it’s yoga and it’s sacred and it’s spiritual, should I be doing this for free? What about … there’s so many areas of life where we’re providing something beautiful to a community. In very very few areas do we expect that to ever happen for free if it’s what we do for a living. So moving away from that, for me, was a really big part of me growing as a person and in letting myself stand up a little bit taller, and letting myself really ground into, “Yeah, I know my shit.” And it’s part of … if we feel like we are not worthy of a lot, if we feel like we’re not worthy of being seen, or we’re not worthy of abundance, we’re not worthy of being supported, of being held. If we have this big, big, big wound, maybe in our childhood or in our hearts, somewhere in our past where we feel like we’re not worthy, we’re not enough, then it’s going to be really hard for us to stand up and actually say, “Hey, this is what I’m worth. Hey, if you’re coming to this class, you gotta pay me.” And I kind of … I like that this was something that I got to grow into, because I can now see the two sides of this as well. Now I’m on the side of, “Hey, anything that you invest energy into, that you’re putting out there, of course you need to have the return of that.” And then you’re the one who decides exactly what that is.
[32:06] A question people ask a lot, especially in these teacher trainings, you know, “How much should I charge for my yoga class?” I have no idea. [laugh] I wish I could tell you that there was this magical formula. It’s so different in every community, every country, every city. And of course it’s different in terms of what we feel is a good, beautiful, balanced place for us to be, yeah? Depending on what we’re putting out into the world. So, a very hard question to answer.
[32:30] But putting this in context to the other things that I’m now doing, so teaching yoga, getting comfortable charging for that, feeling okay, and then realizing, “Hey, to pay my bills at the end of a month, for this to actually be a viable thing, to not have to wait tables and bartend on the side of teaching yoga, I gotta haul ass! I gotta teach, and I gotta teach, and I gotta teach so many classes, because I’m charging $5 a person coming to my class, that’s going to take me a really long time for that to equate to what I’m paying for rent, you know? So as I started feeling more confident, I could also raise my prices, get to a place and a level of what I was expecting for my output, what I was expecting back that felt good for me, that also was really good for the community that people were showing up and practicing every day or every week. And with that, as my own brand and business began to grow, in a sense, I have come across opportunities in my life in so many different ways, where some of them I have had this immediate gut reaction of saying, “No, this is not right. This is not for me.” And some areas where I immediately feel, “Yes, this feels good, this feels authentic. This feels like a direction I can bring my business and my brand down this road, because it makes sense for me.”
[33:48] And what does and does not make sense has, of course, shifted a lot as I’ve grown older. But one of those areas where I’ve felt for a really long time I could really continue doing that I felt was super real and genuine and authentic was teaching. So that’s been the bulk of what I’ve done, the bulk of my own business or my own career, if I say it in that way is I teach yoga. That’s my main thing. I’m teaching classes, teaching workshops, teaching retreats, teaching teacher trainings. Eventually we opened a studio, which really was just a place to hold the things I was already doing. It wasn’t like a new totally different venture, it was basically we have the community here, I was sick of traveling, so hey, let’s put up some walls and create our community, so that I can do all of these things in one place and have it be super beautiful and super sacred. That’s why we opened Island Yoga. So that was also one of those … that was one of those decisions that was like a, “Hell yes! This feels so good, so aligned, so authentic.”
[34:43] And then along with that came the first sort of thing that I ever really did in terms of something that feels, at least to me, more commercial, which is attached to the studio we have a boutique. We have a shop. So me selling jewelry now, or creating a jewelry line, it’s not like hey for the first time ever in my life now I’m selling something. I’ve been selling something for ten years, twelve years. I’ve been selling my classes, myself as a teacher, retreats, trainings, groups, these kinds of experiences and trips that I’ve been doing for so long. And then we’ve had, at the studio, a boutique now for two and a half, almost three … Oh my god. Oh my god. It’s going to be three years in like two months. We have to have a birthday celebration, our little Island Yoga baby.
[35:31] So the boutique has been this really awesome learning space for me. It was this area of our business that Dennis new really well because he has been in retail. He had managed a surf shop and then had a skate shop, and he’s really good at this stuff. So in the boutique, you know, we sell books and we sell tea mugs and we sell jewelry and we sell clothes and yoga mats and yoga props and things like that. Things that you would expect, probably, in a yoga studio boutique. And any time that I’ve come across an opportunity of creating a product of some sort, prior to this year, so all of the years leading up to now, I have had either a really beautiful and (I’m really thankful for that) a strong gut reaction and sense of like, “Oh, I don't know if this is good.” And then ended up saying no, or not doing it. Or, and this has happened a couple of times, I have been excited about something and felt like, “Oh, this is giving me butterflies! I feel excited about this project.” But then managed to talk myself out of it, saying that that’s not my place.” And this is a very different energy in these two things, so let me … I want to pull up a tangible example.
[36:46] Okay, without naming any brands, let’s look at clothing, for instance. So because of the social media presence that I have, which is of course a big blessing in many ways when it comes to business, I have had more brands and companies than I can count on all of my fingers and toes reach out to ask if I would want to be a face for their clothing brand, or create a clothing line with them, or promote this or market that. And anytime one of those opportunities came up, there was always, always this kind of gut reaction of like, “Uh-uh. Nope. Not for me, not for me.” And I could sense right away how challenging it is. And I’ve done this in some points, like, you know this podcast is an example of I have ads on this show, so I’m promoting something in between, and on this show you guys are really aware. But when it comes to putting your faith in another person’s thing, especially a person that you don’t know. So when it comes to a clothing brand or a clothing line, even if that clothing brand has a really good reputation, maybe I like their things … I don’t know them, right? I don’t know who they are. I don't know who drives them. I don't know what their financial history is, if they’re doing things in an honest way or if they’re not. I don't know the founder of that company, what kind of person they are, what they’re sending out into the world, and what energy is present in that company. So for me to say, “Hey, take my whole community, all of the people that I cherish so much that make up this whole community here, and I’m going to sell them the thing that you made that I don’t really know how it was made in terms of energy and intent,” it just didn’t make sense, right? And if you really think about this, it generally doesn’t. So whenever it came down to one of those big decisions of creating a clothing line or putting a big product out into the world somehow, I always ended up saying no. Which I think is for a super good reason, and I’m really really really happy that I always have, and that you didn’t have a Nike ad with me, or any of the many, many yoga brands that exist. Because it just wasn’t for me. And some people feel super great about that, and this feels authentic to me and and I stand behind this, and that’s totally cool. I’m not saying no one should ever do this. I’m just saying for me personally it wasn’t the right choice.
[39:02] And then there has been a couple of instances, and I can give a really specific example where I have wanted to create something, because I’ve had a really fun idea. I don't know if I should say this idea, because what if … what if I end up wanting to do it anyway? Okay, I’ll share a little bit of it. Where I’ve had an idea for something, so say like a product or something that I’m using already and then I find an inventive way to upgrade that, or to create a better version of what already exist. I’ve had a creative idea of some sort. The jewelry line is a really good example of that. I wanted to make mala beads for a really long time. And then I wanted to make jewelry for a really long time. And I had this idea for a ring that I wanted to make, which now exists, which is amazing. And I would kind of go down this line of like, hey, okay, for me to make one of the things that I almost … you guys almost … you would almost have this in your house right now, is a line of candles. And this is … I can smile sharing this now. But I am a huge candle person. I bring candles everywhere I travel. I love to use essential oils, I love to find really great, organic, sustainably-sourced, awesome scented candles made in a holistic way. And I had this very specific idea for a specific type of thing you could do with a candle that I’m not going to give it all away right now. And then I reached out to all of the contacts and connections that I had and found this company, this big producer that produces organic and sustainably-made candles, and I worked with them for I don't know how long. A couple of months, not like years and years. But a couple of months of dedication to say, “Hey, here’s who I am, here’s what I want to do.” And then to create your own line of any kind of product you have to put up a big chunk of money, because you have to pay to produce whatever you’re producing, so of course it’s a big risk. And designed them, created them, went down the whole line of doing all of this stuff, right? And then … it was really good. It was really, really, really good. I can look at it now and I’m … for a long time afterwards I was kind of bummed that I didn’t follow through. But at the end of it, I talked myself out of completing the project, launching it into the world, and actually doing it, because I told myself, “That’s too commercial. I can’t sell something that I made.”
[41:28] And where that feeling comes from, it’s similar to how I felt when I first started teaching yoga. “I can’t charge for my yoga classes because I’m not good enough for that.” Or, you know, “Yoga is too sacred, you shouldn’t charge for it.” I had this idea in my head that actually didn’t really reflect reality in a good sense. I had this idea that if I do something where I ask people to pay for something, or where I create something and I put it out into the world, that’s really commercial, and commercial is bad. Commercial is inauthentic, commercial is not real, commercial does not resonate with my brand, commercial is bad bad bad. So I ended up talking myself out of this really epic and fun idea that now I feel … I feel excited. Maybe I should pick it up again?
[42:06] And I’ve done this a bunch of times with a bunch of things. Finally, this was a year ago … more than a year ago. How? When did this happen? I’m trying to find … Oh, of course. When I had the baby. Had the baby and had a massive, massive, massive realization in terms of how held back I have been my whole life in certain areas that would force and require me to stand up and really shine. To actually put myself on the line in a certain way, and risk losing something. So this totally relates to my last podcast, this idea that I have that I need to know it’s a sure success or I’m too scared to move forward. I’ve had that limiting belief clouding my view in so many ways. And this idea of I have to be a certain way or people won’t like me. So there’s been this fear that if I do something, if I put a product out into the world, that people won’t like me anymore. People won’t enjoy or appreciate the rest of the things that I do. And it took becoming a mom, it took realizing what I want to do in terms of my business, what I want to do as an entrepreneur on a large, long-term scale, which is a way of thinking I haven’t been using my whole life. I’ve been very much in the moment here, now, making decisions from that. And it took having a baby, being overwhelmed by that, realizing like, “Hey. I have a family. This is my life. What do I want to do with my whole life? And how can I structure that in a way that really makes sense for what I want to put out into the world?” So since I’ve had the baby I’ve put so much work and focus on structuring my business, getting really clear with what is it that I’m putting out? What is it that we do? What is this thing that I have? It’s not just this Instagram account, it’s not just this podcast over here. It’s not just this thing. Because I’ve been very scattered and floating in all of these different areas. But getting super structured in terms of how our companies are structured, in terms of our budgeting, in terms of the people that we have on the team, in terms of our direction and choices that we’re making.
[44:12] And it’s been a very releasing process, because it has forces me to step into this role of like, “Hey, it’s okay to make money. Hey, it’s okay to market yourself. Hey, it’s okay to create something and then shout that thing that you created from the rooftops. It’s okay. You can write a book and then market that book. You’re allowed to do that. You’re allowed to be creative and put something out into the world. It’s okay to make money! It’s okay to want to have abundance in your life.
[44:42] And who are we to play small in all of these areas? And I don't know if women do this more than men, but I see these patterns in a lot of my girlfriends’ stories as well where we shy away from standing in this role of being really powerful. We shy away from wanting to put on the hat of, “Hey, I’m the CEO of this business. I want to have an abundant business. I want to have an abundant life. I want our business to do really well.” And to kind of have that attitude that I feel like boys or men are raised with that attitude of, “You’re supposed to thrive, you’re supposed to succeed, you’re supposed to do well in this area, so go fight for it.” And I think with us, or at least that’s what I’m seeing in myself. Maybe it resonates to a lot of you, I don't know, that we’re taught that it’s shameful to go and to be a go getter. It’s shameful to be fierce. It’s shameful to take up a lot of space and tap into some of those qualities that we’ve deemed are masculine, right? Especially in the business world.
[45:44] And I have been playing smaller when it comes to business, when it comes to my career, when it comes to my company, I’ve been playing smaller than I am out of fear of disturbing other people, or out of fear of getting negative feedback, or out of fear of … I don't know if it’s this deep-rooted fear. Out of fear of not being accepted. I don't know. But here’s the thing: There’s amazing companies and brands out there that put out crazy cool products and ideas and innovations all the time that I am so happy to support. I am buying all of my jewelry somewhere. I’m buying my clothes somewhere. I’m getting products left and right that I feel are purposeful to my life. Unless you’re living on a mountain in the Himalayas, somewhere meditating all day, you are taking part in this society that, you know, where we consume things when we need them.
[46:32] Now do we have to over consume and go to H&M or Target every single day and buy new stuff that we throw out two weeks later? No. But we can be mindful consumers. And I really try to be. So when I come across something that I really love, especially when it comes to jewelry. Or, you know, I bought a pair of jeans the other day. I haven’t bought jeans since I bought pregnancy jeans. Something that … I love it! This is going to make me feel beautiful! Or hey, I’m going to infuse intention into this and wear it. I’m beautifying my home or my space. It’s part of our culture. So if I can support all of those other companies with my money, with my time, promoting them if I like it, all of this stuff, why am I not promoting and marketing and standing behind myself when I have a really good idea? What’s the disconnect there?
[47:22] So I had that big realization of like, “Man!” And the practice I had to sit with was if I was totally fearless and if I didn’t give a shit about what any negative kind of response might be, or what people who don’t enjoy what I’m doing, what they’re going to say, or people who think I should stay in this box of what they perceive me to be, right? If I would just do the things I really want to do because it would be so much fun, because I would enjoy it, because it’s a great idea, what would I do? The first answer that came was I would create my own line of jewelry, immediately. That’s the dream that I’ve had for five years. What’s been holding me back? That’s crazy. I have the opportunities to do it, which is a massive, massive blessing. So why not?
[49:45] Today was the day where all of that work, of course, five years of intentions and going through this roller coaster of feeling almost like I felt I wasn’t worthy to give that a try, right? I don't know, I don't know. And this thing … and of course I’ve had some really interesting feedback today. So 95%, I’m not going to say 99, I’m going to say 95% of the feedback so far on this line that I have created has been mega-positive. We have had pieces that already sold out, which is totally crazy. It’s been so positive. You guys love it as much as I thought you would, because it’s a beautiful line, right?
[50:25] And then there’s like the 5%, or a couple of people who have been going out of their way to share with me that they don’t agree. And I wanted to read one of those comments, because it’s one of those things that I was … I guess one of those types of comments that I was afraid that I was going to get. But instead of just letting that fear be there and then going for what I wanted to do anyway, I let the fear of those kinds of comments keep me from taking action. So I actually listened more to the people that I thought wouldn’t enjoy what I do than I did listening to the people who are cheering me on. And that’s the mindset, I really think, that keeps us stuck when it comes to our business, it keeps us stuck when it comes to manifesting and moving toward the dreams that we have in life is this fear that we have that, you know, what if people hate what I did? What if I don’t get … What if I wrote this book and then I get the worst review ever? You know, the fear of getting a bad review could have kept me from writing and releasing that book. Well thank fucking god that I did it anyway, right? Thank god. It’s a massive milestone for me. It’s the same thing with this jewelry line. The fear of some people maybe not enjoying it, some people thinking it’s commercial, I’m selling something, it’s bad … kept me from doing this thing that I really wanted to do.
[51:43] So I’m going to read this comment not because I want any drama started or anything, but because I want to share how I feel, and what my response is. Okay, here’s the comment: “I have always loved, supported, and believed in you and your entrepreneurial spirit throughout the years. However, over the past few months the excessive business ventures and money-making schemes take away the genuineness of your message, to me. I hate to say this, and truly do not have the intention of sending any negative vibes, but I feel like I should say what is bothering me, and you taught me that. I hope this brings you a different perspective and that you start bringing back the authenticity of Yoga Girl and what made me believe so much in you in the first place.” [laugh] I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh, but I didn’t read this in this way … my “money-making schemes.”
[52:32] So my response to this, first of all reading this, because this was my fear, right? My actual, genuine fear is that if I make what I’m doing, this heartfelt thing that I’m doing, if I make it into more of a business, or if I show the world that it is a business, it already has been, right? It always has been. I have never taught all of my yoga classes for free. I have never given all of this stuff away. It has always been my way of putting food on my table, right? It was always a business. So whether it looks more business-like, yes or no. But just reading this, the “money-making schemes and the excessive business ventures.” So this kind of comment was the comment that I was scared that I would get that could have kept me from designing this jewelry line, for instance. And being able to read it now and feel really okay and feel really good I think really means that I have moved forward in terms of how I view myself. And that big insecurity, that sense of worthiness that has kept me from doing things in the past.
[53:38] So first of all, to the girl who wrote this, I appreciate your heart, I appreciate the feedback, but I don’t need it. [laugh] Is that an okay thing to say? Like, I appreciate the feedback, but you don’t have to direct those kinds of things my way. And for me this is not an accidental thing, right? That I accidentally over the past year, because since November of last year a lot of things have happened under the umbrella of Yoga Girl. It’s not an accident that we have a brand new online platform with yoga classes online and meditation classes online, and this amazing, community centered platform where you can share your feelings and ask for help and support the way you could through social media, but without social media. We have these amazing guides on there, you can practice yoga from wherever you are in the world. That didn’t happen by accident. That platform took two years to build. It wasn’t like I stumbled across this thing and now it’s there. That has been a very, very intentful thing where I decided to take the platform we already had and elevate it to the next level and put a ton of time and energy and money into creating that so that I have something really beautiful, a beautiful subscription platform to offer to the world that, for me, represents the heart of what the Yoga Girl style of practice is. That didn’t happen by accident. The yoga studio that I have, also didn’t stumble across that by accident. That took also years to manifest. Took a massive loan I had to take. Man, almost took my sanity, building that studio. So everything I do, including anything that you see me sharing through social media or a project like this, it’s very intentful. I put a lot of thought, a lot of care behind the decisions that I make. And I am many things, but I am not a careless person. So I know, and I appreciate this, but I know that deciding to put a product or jewelry out into the world might give me negative feedback in the sense of someone feeling like, “Hey, this is really commercial to me, I don’t like it, I don’t want to be sold anything.” And that’s totally, totally, totally okay. I fully appreciate that. The reason I’m doing this now is because I love it. I just, I absolutely totally love it. And I kind of have this feeling that, hey, in ten years, maybe one year, maybe tomorrow, who knows. Instagram is gone. Maybe this thing that I did as Yoga Girl, I had this podcast, I had this platform, maybe it’s going to become the story of this thing that I did once, right? And I don’t want to sit there thinking of the opportunities that I didn’t take, the things that could have brought me joy, that could have been fun, that could have been great for our business, that could have been awesome that we’re putting really really beautiful things out into the world. But I didn’t do it because I was scared of the feedback I would get from people who aren’t even in this field with me, right? I have shared that Brene Brown quote before, right? “People who aren’t even in the arena are often very quick to give feedback, negative feedback, to people who are fighting really hard.” So I am over here sharing my whole heart every day. Every day. Every week on this podcast, every day on the Yoga Girl Daily Podcast I’m here sharing my heart, being vulnerable, sharing my journey that I’ve moved through when it comes to healing trauma, when it comes to healing childhood wounds, when it comes to finding the tools that have really worked for me, in terms of finding a balanced life. I want to feel really good, I want to be happy, I want to feel like I belong, I want community. And I have a lot of tools that help me provide that. I’m sharing that stuff every single day. I’m the same person, I’m a genuine person, I’m an authentic person. I try really hard every day. Am I perfect? No, hell no. I have all of my flaws, and luckily I share them with you guys too. And the decision to put a product out into the world, does that change or affect how genuine I am in my heart? Does it change the authenticity that’s present here in my now? No! Not at all, not at all.
[57:55] So for me it’s taking the same message that lies at the center of everything we do at Yoga Girl, whether it’s the teacher training group that I have literally at the studio right now, present there right now, where we are feeling our feelings every day and crying and sharing and journaling and practicing and sweating and fuck, like holding each other up every single day, all of this remains the same. And taking that heart and sharing it through an online platform so it’s accessible to other people, or sharing it through a line of jewelry that I love or in something I design and put out into the world, or something commercial where I’m selling something, it’s all the same heart, right? It’s all different branches and different extensions of the same root, of the same core. It’s like we’re a big tree and we do a lot of different, amazing things. And I think it’s totally okay to not want to take part of everything. Just because you like Yoga Girl doesn’t mean that you need to buy any of my shit! [laugh] But if I want to sell something, I’m going to do that if it feels really right for me in my heart and if it feels authentic.
[59:00] And what I’ve come to terms with is when I get to create it myself, when I get to lead the process, when I get to control A to Z what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, how we’re doing it, then yeah, it’s super authentic for me.
[59:12] As I’m saying this I have my phone in my hand because I was sharing that comment. I just see a text from my team saying that our Yoga Girl Foundation bracelet just sold out. Which, I made a bracelet, it’s a hammered moon. It’s a really beautiful moon and it has three bands that connect the bracelet together, and the bands represent the three bloodlines of daughter, mother, grandmother, so I called it the generational healing bracelet. And the proceeds go to support women and children through Yoga Girl Foundation. And the fact that that is the main thing that has sold proves how much heart is in this community. That’s the whole point, you know?
[59:54] So I feel … I don't know. I feel like I shared a lot of myself in this episode. A lot of this has been big fears that I have had about saying out loud, “Hey, I want to grow my business. I want abundance. I want to grow as an entrepreneur. I want to continue down this path because it’s the best thing I have ever done. It’s an amazing thing. And that it’s okay to step out into the world and really try, yeah? In Sweden we say [Swedish] it means like, I don't know, to eat the whole cake. To get out there and do the thing. We’ve got to do the thing. And I feel releasing some of these fears and feeling worthy and being able to stand really tall also in commercial areas of my life, I think for me it’s becoming a spiritual journey, honestly. Honestly. And I think if we’re going to consume things, let’s do it from a company that has a lot of heart, that does a lot of good, that’s of service in many ways. Let’s be conscious of that. It doesn’t have to be my company. We are going to consume from places, so let’s make it purposeful.
[61:01] And if you have that idea that you want to do, that thing you want to sell, that piece of jewelry you want to make, that book you want to write, go do it, and then stand really tall, holding up the thing you did saying, “Hey, I made this. It’s beautiful. Do you want it? If not, that’s okay, if you do, awesome. Thank you for the support.” And all in all I think there is a way to do business, and big business, and good business, with a shit ton of heart. With a lot of heart. So, I love you. Thank you for listening. If you’re listening now and you’re like, “Ugh, so many things that I’m struggling with or feeling challenged by,” that’s okay. Hopefully this stirs something really good in you as well. Also, another creation that I have in the back of my head is a book I want to write about the art of doing business with a heart. It’s a book, it’s coming. Maybe, like, 2045 or something? [laugh] Not right now. For now, I’m going to sit back and celebrate the launch of this jewelry line. Thank you guys so much for your support. Go do that thing now, and stand really tall. I’ll see you next week.
[End of Episode]