The average time it takes a yogi who has developed a dedicated practice to contemplate and pursue a new career path is said to be around two years. Perhaps even less for a more avid practitioner. The culprit: the pursuit of self-realization.
Sutra 1.1 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, atha yoga anushasanam (“Now begins yoga”) suggests that we should be ready to let go of what does not serve us and what holds us back concealing what is real, so that our truest self can be revealed.
When revelation happens, even to the slightest extent, we notice subtle changes. We may start to interact with our selves and the world differently on many levels. This is a point where a lot of yogis start to reevaluate how they utilize their time, specifically the time consumed by what is known as the workweek.
If we don’t ebb and flow with change — which could mean a new career path — we interfere and resist the integration of mind and body. We then detour from the road to enlightenment and often create more unnecessary stress and confusion along the way.
Instead of chastising ourselves, or feeling guilty for not realizing this sooner, embrace it whole-heartedly. Accept and be thankful that at this point in your life you are ready for change and to potentially live a more meaningful life.
It may take a lot of effort to make a career change, but it will do more for you. The sacrifice will be worth it and before you know it, it will have not seemed like a sacrifice at all. Of course there will be questions: ‘What should I do? What am I good at?’ Realistically, no one on Earth can answer these questions better than you. But you can, and you will answer them. On that note, I would like to share some tips that have helped me during a time of career transition:
1. Be patient and don’t force anything. You don’t have to figure everything out in this very moment. Surrender and allow things to happen.
2. Live simply. Remove the unnecessary from your life; create even more space internally and externally. This will help manifest clarity and a sense of peace.
3. Impermanence. Remember, nothing is permanent. This may not be the first time or last time you experience a career change. Embrace it. Change is good.
4. Inner impulse. Allow yourself to be guided by your inner impulse. If something is speaking to you on a deeper level, pursue it.
5. Use the tools you have right now. Chances are you have a yoga mat. Use it. And, chances are there’s a big bright community existing all around you. Go for it. And, chances are you have experience and are good at something. Make it happen.
6. Acknowledge that you are not alone. This is a good time to be a yogi. The yoga community seems bigger and more supportive than ever. Seek and ye shall find. Communicate!
7. Pray. Show gratitude, give thanks and ask for help. Show gratitude, give thanks and ask for help. Show gratitude, give thanks and ask for help.
8. Listen. Not only to your external world but also to your own internal Universe. You will be surprised how the Universe speaks to you when you are listening.
9. Practice what your preach. Remember when your yoga teacher told you that you’d be able to practice what you learn on the yoga mat, off the mat? Uh-huh. This tactic works in all settings and in all times zones.
10. Have courage. It’s certainly a funny feeling to wake up one day and think, ‘How the heck did I get here? This isn’t me.’ Trust me, this will happen more than once, if you’re lucky
11. Breathe. Before you know it, you will be limitless.