March 15, 2020 I was just wrapping up my weekly yoga class at 24 Hour Fitness Encinitas and my 55 dedicated yogis were peacefully relaxing in savasana. I glanced at my phone as I was about to turn down the end-of-class music and noticed a text message from my man that said something like, “Hey it’s really looking like things might totally shut down tomorrow!!” As I brought the class back to seated and said a few parting words, I mentioned that I was a bit concerned that things might be locking down soon due to the pandemic and reminded them that they could find me on my website for updates and info on my schedule. That week, San Diego went into quarantine mode. What we thought would be 3-weeks to “flatten the curve” turned into a crazy rollercoaster ride that to this day is still continuing.
That day turned out to be my very last class ever at 24 Hour Fitness (and my last public class I’d teach at all for months). I’d been working for the company for 8-years and had been teaching the same dedicated group of 50-60 students a week for ages. While over the years I’d formed bonds with many of them, I had never put much effort or attention into collecting contact information from them. I just always assumed they’d be there and I’d be there to teach them week after week and year after year. And then, “POOF”, literally overnight they were gone.
I spent a lot of time alternately kicking myself and crying my eyes out last year as I mourned the loss of my public teaching and all of the lovely students who’d been such an ever-present part of my life for a decade. I beat myself up for not being more on top of keeping a mailing list and creating more of an online presence for my student base. Why hadn’t I ever started that monthly newsletter I’d always planned to do? Why hadn’t I created a video library to direct them to? And why weren’t they putting more effort into trying to find me and connect with me? Cue the “voice of unworthiness” which was quick to say, “Maybe they didn’t love you that much” and “Maybe you’re not as all that as you thought you were”. At times it was a UFC worthy, bloody brawl between my ego and my voice of reason and some days the ego was definitely the big winner. Then there were the days of the waterworks, when the deep grief would settle in and take hold of my heart. I felt so very sad to suddenly have the people and practice I love so much disappear in an instant.
Regrets. Yep. BIG TIME.
So how do you move on from those big, nasty shoulda, coulda, woulda’s of life??
It is very tempting to allow them to take over and define you. "I’m a failure." "I’m just not good enough." "I totally blew it." "I’ll never be able to find that kind of happiness again." "I can’t live without ….(fill in the blank)." This, my friends, is our very human nature. It is our ego mind, which is our negative brain, at work. It convinces you that you are the situation and that every thought you think is true. The negative brain kicks in like a sling shot. In an instant we can leap to angry, depressed, and unworthy.
Brene Brown calls this the “shame web”. “A sticky, complex spiderweb of layered, conflicting and competing expectations that dictate exactly: who we should be, what we should be, how we should be.” The more you try to twist your way out, the more stuck you become.
Fortunately, I’ve done A LOT of work the past few years in the area of mindfulness and how our brains function. That knowledge, combined with my years of living and breathing all things yoga, lots of time listening to and reading wise women like Brene, and working with my own life coach, helped me to pull myself up and out of that ego battle.
And what I found once the dust settled were the LESSONS.
“Regret is a tough but fair teacher. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be BRAVER with your life.” - Brene Brown
The LESSONS for me were multilayered and surrounded by a whole lot of forgiveness and grace to myself.
Well, my friends, I am happy to report that I now A) have a Youtube channel and am featured on both Yogadownload.com and YogaVista.TV, B) have a monthly newsletter and a growing mailing list, C) have a truly beautiful group of women in my life – both in person and on zoom – who have grown together this past year into something I feel amazingly blessed and proud of, and D) I am now a CERTIFIED LIFE COACH!!! Woo hoo!!
This is a little slice of my story and I’m happy to share it with you because I know it is probably part of your story, too. You are not alone on this journey. We all suffer from the same things – fears, pain, regrets, disappointments. All of the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s. There is no manual for this being human thing we are figuring out day by day. At times it can feel truly overwhelming and very lonely.
One thing I know for sure (thanks Oprah for that one) is that we are STRONGER TOGETHER. As a Life Coach, I'm here to help you navigate your way. I'm here to shine a light for you to see through the dark and cloudy times. I'm here to help you find the answers that have been there inside of you this whole time. How can I support you today, my friend?
In peace, wellness, & love,
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Meet Mary Baker ..LIFE COACH, YOGA TEACHER, MINDFULNESS GUIDE, RECOVERING PERFECTIONIST & PEOPLE PLEASER, FEAR CONQUEROR, TRUTH SEEKER, & DREAM WEAVER