I own a yoga studio called The Space Between, so when I say there’s always magic in the space between, I am, admittedly, a little biased. But stick with me over the next few months and I bet (I hope) you’ll see what I see… You’ll see that in the space between where we are and where we want to be, in the space between no longer and not yet, our head and our toes, our inhales and our exhales, darkness and light (I could go on and on), there’s a magic that lives in that space and that magic is you. That magic is moments that make up your life. Hear me when I say this: magic doesn’t come without discomfort; day doesn’t come without the night; good can’t exist without its uncomfortable counterpart; bad and growth isn’t achieved without vulnerability (don’t make me go all Brené Brown on you).
Over the next few months, I am going to explore the magic that lives in the space between, but I am also going to talk about the shit you have to wade through to find it. At 39 years old, I’ve waded through some sh*t — I’ve sat in the dark, praying for the light, but what I have learned is that inevitably, the light always comes. Whether we’re talking about career (I still have flashbacks to the screaming match I got in with my least favorite boss that had me sobbing in a bathroom stall for an hour), personal development, love (as a single woman in my late 30’s, I am certainly no expert) or this broad (and sometimes B.S.) concept of wellness, I am going to take you on my quest to find the magic in the space between. On this journey, let me hear from you, call me out when you think I’m wrong, share your stories and maybe embark on your own pursuit to find the magic (and the muck) of the space between.
This month, I am going to explore the money maker (no, not your beautiful face or whatever else rappers are referring to when they say, “Shake your money maker”) — I’m talking about your career and finding that thing that makes your heart race (and also makes you some dough). Some of the best career advice I have ever heard was at a Bumble #girlboss panel (even though I find the #girlboss concept lame because it should just be boss, regardless of gender). Paper Source CEO and #megaboss (who happens to be a woman), Winnie Park said, “Find what makes your heart race and do that.” I was like, “yeah, duh?!” but, truth be told, it’s not that simple. For a long time, we’ve been conditioned to think that work is a utility, it serves a function in our life (to make money), that if work were fun, we wouldn’t get paid to do it. I call B.S. on that and it excites me to see a professional revolution taking place — one where people are following their dreams and turning their passions into businesses and professions that make them feel fulfilled, not just financially, but personally as well.
I feel lucky that this wild idea to start a yoga business washed over me during savasana in a yoga class, but until then, there had been many times where I sat down with a pen and paper and tried to make a list of what I should do with my life. I had a good career. I was making my way up the proverbial ladder — I was managing a team, I was managing big pieces of business, I could buy a pair of Loeffler Randall shoes without having to eat cups of ramen for the next three weeks. I could have stayed on that path. I could have worked harder, sold more technology, bought more overpriced shoes that Target would soon knock off, but I had this nagging feeling that I wasn’t doing what I was meant to be doing with my life. It would have been easy and comfortable to stay where I was but comfort is a concept best reserved for jeans and international flights. A wise woman on Pinterest once said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” and while the line is more suitable for a “hand-painted” sign at HomeGoods, I have to admit, it’s true. We simply cannot grow by remaining where we are. We have to step into the dark, have to wade through some shit, we have to stretch and challenge ourselves beyond what we think we are capable of.
Finding that thing that makes your heart race, that thing you’re passionate enough about to risk it all for, isn’t easy. I don’t think it’s something you can manufacture or think your way into. I don’t think it’s something that comes to you when you have a pen in hand and pad in front of you. It’s something you have to feel into. You have to call on your intuition and listen to your heart to find that thing. Does the thought of people management make you giddy? Does connecting people in a meaningful way give you a rush? Does the idea of starting a non-profit organization that serves a cause you feel strongly about give you butterflies? Mazel Tov! These are clues that you’ve identified something that makes your heart race. Now what? Now the hard work begins. Now, you have to take the first step and commit to continue taking steps in the direction of your dreams. For a long time, my mantra has been, “JUST BEGIN”. I repeat it to myself over and over (and over) again. It’s a simple reminder that all I have to do is take one small step toward my goal.
The first thing I did when decided I wanted to start a yoga business was gave it a name. It made it feel real. Side note: The Space Between wasn’t the first name I gave the business, in fact, it wasn’t even the second name. This just speaks to some of the intricacies and ups and downs of following your dreams. Sometimes things fall apart so the right thing can come together. The next step I took was talking about this crazy idea to family and friends. I needed to be held accountable and I also wanted to validate the idea with people who would be my target audience. From there, I started voraciously reading business books, taking workshops at the Small Business Development Center, making coffee dates with anyone who might have some insight or advice to share, etc. I started an Instagram account long before I knew where this studio would be and when it would open. I wanted to establish a brand and a presence and I also just needed something else that made this feel real (you know, because Instagram is the beacon of reality). I had no clue what I was doing, but I was doing something and looking back, all those small steps added up to help me get to where I am today.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a fount of inspirational quotes. One of my favorites is, “Our lives begin twice - once when we’re born and once when we understand why.” My life began again almost three years ago when I found the thing that made my heart race. That’s also when my life became really complicated, when I entered into an intimate relationship with fear and doubt and when I traded comfort for the cold and murky waters of entrepreneurship. In the space between where you are and where you want to be there is pain, uncertainty, a darkness that inhibits your ability to see clearly, but there’s also growth, a flowering of the person you’re becoming and an evolution that is magical. There’s always magic in the space between — you just have to choose to see it.