Life Lessons: Am I Enough For Me?

funk your fears festival

Last weekend, the culmination of three months of work came to an emotional end. By emotional, I mean exciting, uplifting and exhausting. I had just thrown my very first large-scale event. Funk Your Fears hosted over 90 yogis in San Diego for a day of yoga, meditation, dancing and my very first time speaking in front of a large group on the topic of fear.

The days and weeks leading up to the event were stressful to say the least. I was excited, but incredibly fearful of how it would turn out and if I would be able to nail all my lines and important points in my fear talk. It would be the first time ever to share my childhood story of trauma, growth, and the constant questioning: Am I enough?

Ironic, for sure, that I was putting on a festival about fear yet faced with every single one of the fears my ego had ever created in my mind. By the day of the festival, I felt almost numb to stress and nerves even when it came time to give my talk.

Before I stepped out in front of the crowd, I recited a prayer and asked Archangel Michael to give me all the words to say to make the biggest impact and touch as many lives in the venue. I have been doing this since I started teaching yoga and, to me, I feel as if it is an invitation for the divine to speak through me.

As I stood in front of the crowd, I gazed over at my best friend who was facetiming my mom because she couldn’t make it to the event. I felt overjoyed knowing she would see her daughter speaking her truth. I felt confident and protected knowing that I was doing this for her and to show the world that we are survivors and fighters of unfortunate circumstance.

The next twenty minutes flew by as I walked around the stage sharing my emotional journey of moving from hope to scarcity and from scarcity to abundance. A few people in the audience cried, there were laughs, and the all-knowing look of, “I understand you” throughout the duration of the workshop. By the end of my talk, I was elated with tears in my eyes feeling absolutely incredible because of what I just did.

It felt so good to get up on stage and connect with that many people. To look them in the eye and say, “I’ve been there and there is hope.” I saw my future flash before my eyes and knew that I was made for this work.

I just want to help people thrive.

After the festival ended, the emotional high was over and replaced with an emotional low. I was proud of myself, of course, but what comes up must come down and I felt it over the days following.

I knew I needed to stop and celebrate my success, but I couldn’t get myself to really recognize what a major win it was to throw a huge festival AND give a talk.

And then the survey results came in.

Like a weight of bricks, I read each response and let the words sink deeply into my core. My ego felt deflated from the constructive criticism and feedback. None of it was bad, for the most part, everyone had a great time. Until I read the simple “Somewhat Dissatisfied” response regarding my workshop.

Somewhat Dissatisfied.

What?

How could someone feel that way when I felt like I killed it?

How could I have felt so high when someone merely felt “meh.”

I know, I know, there are worse things in the world. In fact, they could have ultimately put “Dissatisfied” which was lower on the scale to really fuck up my day.

So, I had a good cry internalizing every single thing that the feedback said. Silly, you’d think I’d be a little bit more mindful about allowing the ego to take over.

In my head, I knew that the feedback everyone gave was excellent because it means that I have information to help me grow as a speaker and teacher. I knew the feedback wasn’t insulting and that they had actually just wanted to hear more from me. A compliment, really, for someone that doesn’t have their ego piping up in the background.

After the hurt feeling in my heart subsided and my rational brain started to take back over again, I realized one key piece of information that will either make or break me:

I will never be universally loved. The bigger my talks become and the more people I reach, the more feedback I will receive. I can either let it cripple me in triggered fear from my past, or I can detach any sense of meaning from it.

This is such an important thing for us to recognize regardless of what we do. If you are trying to please everybody, you will eventually end up pleasing no one at all. Even Oprah has haters!

I understand how hard it is to detach your sense of worth from the way that people view you or your work, but the bottom line and fundamental lesson I learned from this experience is to come back to how I felt. To allow myself to visualize those final moments of my talk when I was emotional from the love and happiness I felt.

I know that people enjoyed my talk, I SAW THEM ENJOYING IT.  I know that I enjoyed my talk. I know that those that love me and are apart of my inner circle enjoyed my talk. Ultimately, that is all that matters.

So for those of you that may have struggled with the ego and the Debbie-downer of a question: Am I enough?

I want you to change that question to: “Am I enough for me?”

Because if your answer is yes then know for certain that you are doing everything right.

Allow yourself to feel emotions, but don’t detach meaning to what people say. Other people’s words do not create the essence of who you are. Your actions and your passion, your soul and your heart, THAT is the essence of who you are.

And who you are is magic, so don’t ever forget it.