To Teach or Not To Teach. ~ Crystal Ellis

Via elephant journal
on Apr 10, 2013
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Do what I love, or do what I should—the battle continues.

Here I am again. So many times I come back to this place and deal with the same issues over and over again. I can’t seem to get it right. I can’t seem to get myself on the right path.

I’m at a crossroads with who I am and what direction I want to—or should—take.

I’ve started to venture down the right path before. Feels like ages ago. I had started to teach yoga, I was working in a wellness center, I started a blog, and I felt great. I was happy to get out there and share yoga with my students, while also starting to write and share very personal stories about myself with the strangers of the internet. I felt like I was heading in the right direction and possibly towards feeling happy with my days… and then bam! I started to panic about student loans. I started to panic about not utilizing my degree and what others thought about me.

I started to let myself be led towards that other version of me—the one that listens to the shoulds in my mind instead of the wants in my heart.

You see, a little over seven years ago I was a gal on a career path. I had my business degree, I was working in finance, and I was about to apply to schools to attend for my MBA. And then I was in a car accident. This car accident literally changed my life. I started to question what I was doing and why I was doing it. Inherently I already knew that something was wrong before the accident, my daily life just didn’t feel right. But I kept doing it anyway… because intense job stress is normal right? I had no idea because I was only doing what a business graduate ‘should’ do—sit in my office, work work work, and hopefully climb the ladder. How exciting. For some people it is, but inside I knew it wasn’t for me. Unfortunately, it took a car accident that ruined the car and my long term relationship for me to realize this.

The injury and pain I suffered as a result of the accident took me into a whole new world. A world of holistic healing and support. A world I became fascinated with. So, I started to follow it, completed yoga teacher training, and knew that this was the field I wanted to work in. I wanted to work alongside those who were helping people just like me. I wanted to help people that were suffering too. But, as you may realize, teaching yoga and writing is not extremely lucrative for most and that’s where the money scares come in. And that’s where I get lead back into my old life. The old life that is unhealthy for me and makes me feel like I am living a lie.

Now, I’m pretty sure I am not the only one who battles with these dilemmas in this world. So, how do we reconcile ourselves to lead a happy life? How do we find the balance so that we can feel like we accomplished something and have a smile on our faces at the end of the day?

I’m still trying to figure it out.

Even now, as a recently unemployed gal, I find myself being led towards that old life. I’m scouring the job sites for positions that don’t suit me or that I know I will feel unhappy in. Jobs that sound prestigious, jobs that I ‘should’ be doing.

Why do I do this? Is it the money? Is it to make others happy? Most likely yes to both questions. Of course, money and paying my bills on time makes me happy… but I’m not solely motivated by the almighty dollar. I want to help people, I want to share, and I want to inspire. I want to start something—like teaching yoga—and stick to it without panicking and running away. I want to live in this world being myself.

If you’re out there reading this and thinking it sounds familiar, trust me, I know how hard it is to figure this out. We want to make others happy, we want others to be proud of us, but we forget about ourselves in the meantime. What’s the cost of making others happy while we are hurting inside? It’s pretty damn high I would say. In the end, we have to do what makes us smile and we have to be proud of ourselves too.

It’s extremely hard work, but when I meet others who are doing just this, I know it will all be worth it in the end.

CEllis 120x120Crystal Ellis is an early 30s yoga gal with a passion for community and continuous learning. She can always be found with her head in a book, in a silly yoga pose, or sharing her musings over on her blog or Twitter. With a fiery personality she constantly strives to motivate others to see their greatness, while always making sure to laugh at herself. Follow along on her journey at YogiCrystal or on Twitter.

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Ed., T. Lemieux/Kate Bartolotta


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5 Responses to “To Teach or Not To Teach. ~ Crystal Ellis”

  1. Jayne says:

    Crystal this was great! I think we all struggle sometimes with the passion vs bills/society trap. Good for you for recognizing it in yourself and being brave enough to put it in black and white for the world to see. Strength and love babe xoxoxo!

  2. mungryghost says:

    I really love your posts Crystal, even the random articles I would catch in your WordPress Blog. You certainly place a lot of confidence in communicating your thoughts, so few of us can open up with clarity and insight.

    Happiness is certainly a tricky thing to pursue, I for one struggle with validating myself and what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. Perhaps even more since I'm at a milestone myself. It's hard but it seems like the biggest resistance we face, especially right before we reach our goals, or just when we are about to act on a positive opportunity isn't the external environment but rather ourselves. Though, I can't fully understand what your journey and challenges are like but I hope you're able to sort through your resistances. For me I find everything can be broken down into smaller pieces that can be resolved with tasks, goals, or shift in mindset.

    Rant aside, I know everyone wishes you good luck, but I'll take one step further and wish you MORE happiness 🙂

  3. yogicrystal says:

    Thank you Jayne! I was slightly nervous about sharing this with the world, but being open and honest is part of my growth and where I want to take my life. Just started reading the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, which talks about vulnerability and I can see a lot about myself in this book already.

  4. yogicrystal says:

    Thank you for your lovely comment Angelo! I definitely face resistance and even fear when I come upon opportunities, which I am starting to acknowledge now. I've made a lot of decisions based on fear, so as I am starting to notice my patterns I am attempting to grow from that. I even faced fear when considering submitting this post, but I went beyond that and now I am excited to have shared this story. I wish you tons of happiness as well and I really like your idea of breaking things up into smaller pieces. Makes the journey a little less intimidating. 🙂

  5. Thanks Crystal. I feel ya! I'm currently getting a degree in business and about to head to Bali for my teacher training in August. I'm hoping to combine these two interests and not get burned out or feel like I'm sacrificing what I want to do for what I feel maybe I should be doing. There really is no should besides what is good for you and what makes you happy. Those things that you want to do are exactly what you should be doing.
    i'm glad I'm not the only one wondering how this will all work out 🙂