Do you practice what you preach? It is a good question! So do you?
Integrity is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. Integrity is defined by me as the quality of practicing what you preach!
I have worked in profession after profession in which I have given advice to people on how to take care of themselves. I started my nursing career as an un-certified home support worker – going from home to home to take care of those that needed a bit of help. I moved into the hospital to take care of those that needed more help and worked as a Patient Care Aide. From there, I was a LPN & eventually a RN, most of those years in the ER. A lot of what I did was give advice, I mean prevention is the best medicine. AND… I was not living that advice. I was working straight night shifts, I was not eating well, not sleeping well, not exercising consistently and I was stressed out and tired. I didn’t even know that I was existing like such a zombie, until the time that I wasn’t.
Part of my yoga teaching BIO includes my love for yoga. I found that yoga saved me from total burn out for all of those years. I found yoga in 2000 when I started homemaking & I found my yoga teacher training 14 years later when I started going to Med School. (More on divine timing). I then left the unhealthy medical field to become a yoga teacher. I had to be healthier, right? Moving into teaching full time, I needed to replace my nursing income as well as my potential MD income. AND… I did. BUT, I did it by working even harder that 12+hours a day. I was bringing in $20,000/month (yup, for real), but I was also working 7 days a week, sometimes 20 hours a day. I can tell you I wasn’t fully practicing what I was telling others. My own yoga practice was teaching, my meditation practice was null and void, food was non-existent & I was literally travelling for a better part of my day from studio to studio. I saw less of my family when I was teaching than when I was nursing. I was killing it & killing myself… but I can tell you: I loved it!!! I started running retreats & my following was increasing. People were loving my classes & I was loving teaching yoga way more than nursing. So many students would ask for advice around injuries and personal problems & my first question was always – what are you doing for yourself? Meanwhile, I wasn’t doing anything for me. I even developed a shoulder injury at some point and had to stop practicing yoga while I taught. Something was always off balance.
In the shift from nursing to teaching yoga, I hired a Spiritual Business Coach. We had a session the other day and she mentioned, “You know Colynn, we have worked together now for almost 2 years and I have witnessed immense growth with and in you, but one thing has not changed throughout our time together and that is your work habits. You continue to work really hard.” As a descendant of entrepreneurial type parents and a grandmother that is still running her store at 82 after have 5 heart attacks, I think it is something that is ingrained. AND… I noticed that it doesn’t help. It just makes me think I am doing the things I need to do to attain my goal. What I have learned is that this can be easy. BUT I am going in a different direction here and I want to get back on track!!! What I have learned through this is to practice what I preach. My growth edge DOES lie in not working so hard, yet I have done more for myself in the last two years than I ever have before. I regularly go on retreat, not take people on retreat (I DO LOVE THAT), but go on my own retreats! I now practice yoga – not everyday, but more and more. I even hired a personal trainer… making the shift from teaching over 40 hours a week to sitting in front of a computer with my already fluffy-skinned and beautifully big-boned body was adding up and I was losing confidence with what I consistently told people didn’t define them (the number on the scale).
AND… NOW it is time. To do less work. I am no longer chasing people to be my clients. I am no longer spending so much time doing the work for them. I no longer need to convince people to do the work. I only want to work with those ready to take the next step… the leap & are dedicated… AND want to work with ME. And Tuesday was like the last straw of being out of integrity – I saw where I was starting to lean towards smallness, towards comfort, towards safety. As a coach, a leader & a friend, how can I do that? I had a big choice – step forward into growth OR step back into fear (Bob Proctor). I jumped. I did all the things that freaked me out, I took all the advice I constantly give to my clients, I went out on a limb, I did the uncomfortable & I said yes to me. to FAITH. to the next level. I felt the FEAR and I did it anyway. I practiced what I preach on such an intense level, I am still feeling the repercussions. AND I wanted to share. I don’t know what is to come. I don’t know what the journey looks like. AND I for sure do not know the how, but I surrender.
My question to you, is are you doing the same? The one phrase that really got me to say yes to coaching initially was this – if you keep doing more of the same, you will get more of the same. In order to get different results, you need to do something drastically different. AND… that is scary. I get it. Look at your life. What are you telling others? About their relationships, their confidence, their personal problems? Did you know the world is a mirror and that the universe literally puts a person in front of you so that you can give them the advice that you need to take?