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May 31, 2023

Saying No to $10,000

Although I started on this path in 2015, it was only three years ago that I began making a sustainable income. When you’re just starting out, you say yes to everything, especially when you’re barely making money.

During that time, I said yes to any speaking gig, meditation class, workshop — anything in the realm of what my Instagram bio said I did. Every time I got paid to do what I loved, it relieved the heaviness of doubt, if only for a moment.

In 2018, I had a breakthrough. After pitching hundreds of schools on a kids mindfulness class, one of them got back to me and asked if I could train their teachers on facilitating yoga and mindfulness in the classroom. While I had no idea what I was doing, I said yes.

In that month, I made $2,200, my highest income ever. That’s not a lot (at least in the US), but it felt like a million bucks. I saw that if I worked hard, this could sustain me in a way a $40 yoga or meditation class couldn’t.

I started putting my energy into the school mindfulness world. I made a website, created a demo video, and hung up my shingle. It was fun but challenging to get momentum.

Where you come in

Around this time, I started uploading weekly to Insight Timer. I had content there already but wasn’t creating regularly. As I shared my meditations freely, I got so much out of seeing people resonate with my work.

Then in 2019, Insight Timer started paying teachers for plays, Daily Insights, and then courses. I created my course, Learn To Stop Caring What Others Think. Idk what it was, but there was magic in it. I probably made $5,000 the first month, and new students continue to enroll to this day.

My heart was so full speaking with people on Insight Timer — these were my people, and the universe opening showed it.

All this while, the school mindfulness business dragged. While I enjoyed the work, I was sensing maybe this isn’t my gift. It didn’t light me up as much as my work on Insight Timer — but it paid more, so I kept at it.

Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful. Schools allowed me to realize my dream of being a public speaker. I got to speak at conferences and do assemblies for kids — all of which flexed my muscles and grew my skills. In early 2020 things were finally starting to pick up, and then….YA KNOW.

Most of my school work halted. While it sucked, I had enough saved that I was excited to spend time working on a new course for Insight Timer. I used quarantine to create, which…and I know this sounds weird — was blissful. That course became Learn To Do Work You Love.

As I created and continued to upload content online, I also started leaning more into 1–1 coaching. I coached a few people in 2019, but it wasn’t a focus. Now that I had time, I offered it to my community and had an immediate interest. I then completed a 6-month training and watched my coaching practice evolve and flourish.

Making my way into schools was like pushing a boulder uphill. My work on Insight Timer and coaching is the complete opposite. It flows. Sure I work hard, but there’s ease, and I get so much more in return. Covid allowed me to highlight my core gifts — creating meditations, courses, and coaching.

When we find our gifts and see where the universe opens up, it would do us good to go all in. But it’s not that easy.

From Good To Great

This summer, a school district reached out to continue the programs we started in 2018. It was a big project, which, with all the work, training, and follow-ups, was probably a $10,000 income source. While I was saying yes to the school, something in my body was saying no.

I dreaded the thought of preparing and facilitating the content. This work would take away from meditations classes, my clients, you, and writing these posts. I know its impact on kids would be amazing, and sure, I’d enjoy some of it, but it was energetically off.

I was afraid to say no. How could I? I put hundreds of hours into building a business that was finally starting to pay off. It logically made no sense. To outside eyes, this opportunity was fantastic. But, while I intellectually knew it, I sensed how I’d feel doing it vs. doing what I wanted — there was a distinct shift.

Instead of listening to my gut, I did what we often do when we don’t want to make a decision — hope it goes away.

I found myself avoiding their calls and thinking maybe it wouldn’t be a significant workload.

Well, you might guess, that didn’t work.

Following your heart and gut won’t make sense. If it did, it would be easy.

After wrestling with the decision for a while, an idea came — what if I partnered with someone? I thought of a mentor who has 20 years in the field of kids Yoga and Mindfulness. She possesses the resources that I don’t. When I thought of reaching out to her, I felt lighter. I could see her resources helping the schools thrive and giving me room to stay focused on my gifts.

I called her, and she was thrilled to join forces. What happened next showed the magic of following our gut.

Even though we are splitting the work, I’m making more than if I would have tried to do it on my own, AND, because I told her I’m giving more of my energy to coaching, she referred someone to me that ended up becoming a client. AND, that next week, a former client gave me a generous sum of money to use a coaching scholarship for someone in need.

Everything worked out better than I could have imagined. I couldn’t know this before the decision. We first have to take the leap towards what we know in our gut is right. I had to say no to $10,000 to see the abundance that lay behind it.

At some point, it becomes easy to say no to what doesn’t serve us. It takes a whole new level of discernment to say no to things that seem promising. Put another way:

Saying no to what you like, for what you love, is harder than saying no to what you hate.

When we say no to something that doesn’t fill us, we open up energy for the universe to conspire. We think we’re turning something down, but we’re really opening up space for expansion and fulfillment.

If a decision seems crazy to others but true for you, that’s a sign you’re on the right path.

Listen to your gut, follow your heart — it’s trite to say, but it works. The more you follow, the more trust you build, and the more you’re able to listen and follow next time. The more you deny, push, resist, or argue logic, the further away you’re moving from connection to your Truth.

If you’re lucky enough to find the thing your Soul wants you to do, don’t waste time! Yes. Make sure your bills are paid–do what you need to do, but the Golden Handcuffs come in many forms — watch out for them. Our mind can quickly convince us into things our heart and gut don’t want.

It says in The Alchemist, “When you want something, the whole world conspires to help you achieve it.” I like to flip this saying and ask,

Where is the universe conspiring for you already? That’s the sign of not what you want, but what you’re meant to do.

Listen close — and follow.

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