Why we don’t need to be perfect to go after our dreams ~ Lissa Bliss

Via elephant journal
on Apr 29, 2011
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Photo:  [bouddha]

Super Star Divine Goddess Teacher

You don’t need to be a super star divine goddess of perfection to teach yoga. You don’t need to be able to do a handstand effortlessly in the middle of the room for five minutes before you feel like you can teach. You don’t need to have every single skill or experience that is on the advertisement of your dream job before you apply for it. You are always good enough in every moment to go after and get what you want so long as you believe in yourself and your ability. Know that.

Most of my upbringing emphasized the need to be so outwardly fantastic and to hide all my flaws that I never wanted to try at anything because perfection isn’t something I’ve had for even one day. I’m clumsy. I’m quiet. I’m tall, black and nappy. I know these things are beautiful now but I certainly did not always know this.

Can you look at yourself differently? Can you see your weaknesses as strengths and teachers?

My clumsiness is a sign of my journey, never a sign of my lacking grace. It was only through the practice of yoga and bodywork that I realized that my balance issues had much to do with alignment issues deep in my muscle and fascia and the way I had stored energy and emotions in my body than anything to do with me.

My quietness is a sign of my power; never a sign of anything less. It has strengthened my ability to observe, my ability to listen to my intuition and has given me such a better understanding of others and myself.

My ethnicity is a sign of my uniqueness; never a sign of my not fitting in or not being welcome. It was only after going to countless non-diverse yoga classes that I realized that my ethnic differences from most of the students was not a hindrance but a gift. I could bring something new to my classes. I could reach out to a demographic that for so many reasons has not fully embraced yoga yet.

Never listen to outside sources who tell you that you are ready or not ready. Always look within and listen to yourself. Only you know when the time is right.

A year and a half ago when I was in my kundalini teacher training, I had a guest teacher who I had a private healing session with who told me that I was not ready to teach. He did not know me. He had not seen me teach. He had not seen me in my practice. He was seeing me during a bad break up and a bad financial and professional point in my life, and he was judging me and limiting me and I let him. He told me what I had been telling myself all along: I was too quiet and not good enough to teach. He told me the immense work I would need to do to become good enough as a person and a teacher instead of just telling me to believe in myself. That really was all I was missing.

I did not need to become perfect to teach. People don’t relate to perfection. They relate to realness and humanness. They relate to your strengths and your weaknesses lesser strengths. Why call them weaknesses when they’re not weak? They’re areas that we need to look at differently and place more emphasis and energy on. It’s the effort of embracing our strengths and lesser strengths that allow us to become whole and shine. What isn’t beautiful about people who can embrace every aspect of themselves and make things that are not as strong seem just so by the complete acceptance of who they are? That’s unconditional love. That’s absolute surrender.

If there’s something that you’ve been holding back from doing or trying, look within yourself and ask yourself: Am I truly not ready for this or am I holding myself back out of fear or shame? Sometimes, maybe we’re waiting for a supervisor or someone close to us to tell us we’re ready. We could be waiting for that validation forever. Have the courage to tell yourself what you need to hear. Believe in yourself and go after what you want right now. What’s the worst that can happen by you trying? Certainly, you’ll have a better outcome than when you don’t try at all.

Let the things you call weaknesses or mistakes be your teachers. Never let them hold you back. The only way to truly be a super star divine goddess teacher or person, is to be yourself, to teach from your experiences and your voice, to stay in the present and never allow yourself to be limited by the past—remove the layers and obstacles that you find limiting you from being you.

Lissa is a writer and yogini who after many years of living with depression, made a choice to create bliss in as many areas of her life as possible and to help others find their bliss. She is a certified kundalini and vinyasa yoga teacher as well as a psychiatric nurse. She can usually be found curled up with a book or on a yoga mat. She resides at http://lissabliss.com | Twitter @lissabliss


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18 Responses to “Why we don’t need to be perfect to go after our dreams ~ Lissa Bliss”

  1. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you for the uplifting and inspiring message. Yes, it's time we all, no matter where we are on the journey, step into our power and take responsibility for our beautiful lives.
    With love, Ben

  2. […] star divine goddess teacher By lissa This piece also appears on elephant journal. Happy dance. Check it out over there too 🙂 photo from […]

  3. Rebecca says:

    Lissa, this is just wonderful. And I thank you, friend, divine teacher and beautiful strong person: this friend, as a student today, needed to read and hear this more than you know! xoxoR

  4. "I did not need to become perfect to teach. People don’t relate to perfection. They relate to realness and humanness. " I think this captures the point of yoga, teaching and even life so beautifully. Thanks for this, Lissa!!

  5. I like your view that we don't need to be perfect to teach… as if perfection was even possible (or desireable). But, to make a slightly related point, which is not a contradiction to anything you have written in this article actually – I would like to point out there is a compulsion to believe that to teach something is to prove one's worth, or achievement in it. The whole yoga teacher training thing is a little out of control. We go from, I just took my 1st yoga class, to I think I should sign up for teacher-training. I mean, studios offer teacher-trainings as if they are introduction to yoga practice – often the curricula even includes introduction material – not as a way of teaching how to to teach it, but as a way of introduction! We all have the right to take the path of teaching, but there is something curious to me about the way this works in the yoga world.

  6. Enjoyed this, Lissa. Good advice.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Bob W.
    Yoga Editor

  7. Karen says:

    Love it!!! In July, I am getting my Radiant Child Yoga cert to teach yoga to children. After spending the last three years attending college and receiving my Masters in Education, only to realize I did not want to teach in the traditional classroom, a door to this possibility opened for me, and all became clear. I realized that I am meant to teach children, simply in a different capacity. There are many people who look at all I have been going through these past years, and then hear of my plans to teach yoga to children, and look at me like I am crazy. I let them. Maybe it IS crazy, but it is my dream and I have to see it through to completion. Ultimate dream?? To open a healing arts center for children that uses yoga, dance, music and art as therapy. This is a step to that. Thank you for your post, and for proving that it is the individual who controls their own destiny and dreams; no one can chart your course for you but you. Namaste. ☼

  8. Karen says:

    An aside: My daughter's name is Lissa, and I call her Lissabliss. Neat coincidence. 🙂

  9. Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  10. Beautiful! Thanks you!!

  11. YesuDas says:

    Lovely, Lissa. I'm glad you finally saw your way clear to be yourself. (And thanks for the link!)

  12. lissa says:

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments. It definitely was a long journey for me to realize these perspectives. My yoga practice has taught me so much particularly the power of believing in myself and how much that single act can transform everything in my life. Why would we want to be perfect anyway — there’s no growth or humor in that.

    It truly feels like a blessing to share things that I have struggled with and have it touch and inspire people.

  13. […] interning here at elephant, I have read many insightful, mindful articles about how to handle stress. It is finals week here in Boulder and it is through elephant […]

  14. […] A dream, a wish for something different, is an indication that something is missing from our lives. I know that living my dream meant giving up a part of my life that I wasn’t even aware that I was missing. Then when you see it, it’s like someone shows you something and you can’t take it back. […]

  15. Great article! We are linking to this great article on our site.

    Keep up the good writing.

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