Fighting Fear, Pursuing Passion

I started taking yoga classes when I was fourteen years old. At the time I was a volleyball player, but my mom convinced me to try it out with her during my offseason. I had a slight advantage from being a gymnast as a child, but after the first class, I was hooked. Fast forward four years to post-college living in Charleston, South Carolina, and I was introduced to my first power yoga studio, Charleston Power Yoga, and immediately fell in love. There’s something absolutely asinine about being completely still in uncomfortable positions in an unbearably hot room, elbow to elbow with thirty or so sweaty strangers. I’ve always been drawn to crazy.

Now in my adopted city of New Orleans, I’m a member of another power yoga studio, Free To Be. If a hurricane was miles away, my husband would still push me out the door to make it to class. It changes me in all the best ways. I leave the house stressed, tired, and negative, and I come home calm, energetic, and positive. It’s the best $99/month drug I can find.

One of the phrases I hear a lot in class comes from the studio’s cofounder, Janae. Her classes kick my mind as equally as my butt. When we are moving into a challenging pose, delaying the transition because of the imagined reality we expect when we get there, she says, “Come from you are ready now.” It always jolts me back into the present, away from the fabricated future I have created in my mind, where I am surrounded by sticky layers of discomfort, fear of failure, and struggle. It reminds me why I showed up to class that day, strengthens my intention, and gives me a surge of confidence and belief in myself that I lost somewhere at the beginning of class.

This phrase is also the first thing the little voice in my head said each time I doubted my idea to create Side Hustle, its relevancy, the timing, myself. I would hear, “Come from you are ready now,” and I would pick my self esteem up off the floor and pluck a little further on, as far as it could take me that day. I do this routine as many as ten times a day, sometimes more, questioning, struggling, picking up, moving on.

I don’t know why we, as women, tend to suffer so frequently from bouts of self doubt or low self esteem, why we are so tied down by fear of failure or rejection, why we continuously bury ourselves by becoming victims of our own comparisons. Why do we so badly want to be someone else?

All of these things, these ugly truths about women and female relationships that hurt rather than help our chances at personal and universal success, were the driving force that laid the foundation for Side Hustle.

Because at the end of the day, women need each other. Women need each other. We need to be empowered by each other so that we can contribute with our lives in the most authentic ways possible, the ways we were created to contribute, with the gifts we were given for this specific purpose. With our own minds, our own hearts, our own passions, our own talents. We are exactly who we are for a reason. We were given what we were given for a reason. We already have everything we need.

I hope the stories here remind you of this daily. I hope they inspire you, and I hope the women behind them empower you. And if you’re still unsure, still staring out at the future with your passion in one hand and fear in the other, wondering if and how and when and where, I hope you hear a little voice in your head say, “Come from you are ready now.” We’ll all be here waiting when you do.

Keep yo side hustle,

V

PS. When I shared the idea for Side Hustle with my best friend, Molly, she made me promise I wouldn’t use it as a way to hide behind the many passions and talents displayed here without continuing to work on my own passions and talents as well. So, if there is such a thing as a blog post dedication, this one’s for you, Molly. Yours will always be some of the shoulders I stand on when reaching new heights.

8 Comments

  1. Molly Ramsey

    Needed this mantra today (and everyday). Of course I want to dislike/resist/ignore it because it strips away my excuses for procrastinating on the things that scare or challenge me … so clearly I need to print it on a poster and hang it above my desk.

    Thanks for sharing this inspo, Virg. Keep it coming por favor!! xx

  2. Ashlee

    Love this, Virginia! What a great mantra! Definitely one I’ll keep in mind. Thanks for being the connector and bringing all of these crazy talented women together!

    Ashlee

  3. Janae

    Love this so much V! I am inspired by what you are creating and am humbled to have had an impact on this project! So grateful for the entire Free To Be community that causes leaders like you to emerge and do unbelievable things!! Xoxo.

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