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Dan started by inviting me to teach yoga at his studio. The first time he asked me my answer was an easy “no. “ But a year later he asked again.

I’d been practicing yoga very irregularly since the late 70’s.  But it was 1993. For a couple of years I’d been attending yoga class two to three times a week and had a regular home practice. Plus I‘d started working in my massage business full time. The timing was perfect for me to start teaching.

Step one…

I said “yes.” Then time passed. One day Dan asked how “we” were going to get me to teach. My response? “I don’t know how to do headstands.” His response? “Don’t teach headstands.”

Little chunks

The next week during a class I was attending he asked if I could move my mat to the front of the class. That way he could adjust students as I demonstrated the poses.

At first I was aware of being in front of the class, but then I focused on the yoga and it was okay. Then he asked if I could teach the beginning of a class the following week. I’d been offering guided mediations for years in other settings so that was easy.

The next week he had me teach the end of a class. Then when I’d taught the middle of a class on week three he announced that I had now taught a full class so was ready to sub for him. My thought was “What just happened?”

I went on to complete both yoga teacher and yoga therapy trainings, but Dan’s trick got me started.

What stops you?

Since then I’ve let fear or limiting beliefs stop me in other ways. “I don’t know enough, the timings not right, someone else is already doing this work, blah, blah, blah… “ At those times I’ve found Dan’s trick a handy part of my toolkit.

I wonder if you ever let yourself get stuck by outdated ideas about who you are? Or how about beliefs about “competition?” Or feelings of not knowing or being enough? Or other beliefs about lack and limitations?

I wonder if Dan’s trick might work for you? Can you trick yourself into action by taking on one very, very small piece of what scares you? Whether you’re starting a brand new business or working on a project within your business you probably have experienced getting stuck. Give this trick a try and join the conversation here.



Joy of Icky

March 31, 2011

Around 1996 I attended a training given by an industry guru. I had a book on his massage technique and was excited to learn directly from him.  He still stands out for me as one the worst instructor I’ve ever had.

It wasn’t the name dropping or his explaining that if his technique wasn’t working it was because you weren’t doing it correctly. I was turned off by his belittling of students. He imitated the voice of a man who was hearing impaired. He teased the oldest man in class about his age and an overweight woman about; you guessed it, her weight. He intimated students who asked questions. I left the class irate that he treated students with no respect.

And Me?

And then I got home. I knew I would never treat people they way he did. But I also know that when something in another person bugs me I also carry that trait.  Sometimes the message comes in an exaggerated way so I’ll pay attention.

I started looking at how I might be disrespectful to students or clients. I remembered teasing a woman in my yoga class. It seemed innocent to me, but maybe she felt tender around the issue. (I did apologize and she said she wasn’t offended by my teasing.)

I won’t say that since then I’ve never said anything that might have hurt someone’s feelings. I probably have left someone feeling disrespected. But my experience with that instructor has continued to help me bring more awareness to being respectful to clients, students, and colleagues.

And you?

How can you take the icky stuff that’s been showing up in your life and find ways in your business to offer the other side of the coin?

I bet within the past six months you’ve had crappy service somewhere. Maybe you’ve spent time on hold listening to muzak. Or maybe an inattentive waiter got your order wrong. It doesn’t feel good to not be listened to or to be treated like you’re not valued. Can you think of one way that you could help your clients feel more valued?

Or maybe been feeling afraid about how few clients you’ve been seeing. Can you feel more appreciation for the wonderful clients you do see? How can you let your customers know that you see them as a person, not another dollar in your pocket?

I’d love to hear about you’re going to flip the icky stuff upside down.   

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