The first Universal Principle of Alignment in Anusara Yoga is called Open to Grace. To successfully build the benefits of yoga, it is important that this step is done first. It also applies off the mat to how you face life. It may seem unusual to apply this concept to your career, but it works in every piece of your life.
There are so many examples in my career where I can look back and see where applying this principle supported me. One that stands out was when I decided to move from California to Colorado for various personal reasons. I was moving with my then boyfriend Billy (now husband), but I didn’t know anyone else there. I had only visited once in my life. Risk in my 20s was scary to me, but looking back now with a family, it seems that any risk without much responsibility was not much of a risk at all. I was about to embark on a relocation, job search and further commit to a relationship.
I was working in Human Resources for a large resort.
I had a wonderful life living in the tourist area of Lake Tahoe. Billy and I were applying for jobs in Denver. No one was contacting us for an interview. It became apparent that to get noticed in the candidate pool, we had to cut ties with California and move to Colorado without any security. Once we decided to do this, we had to resign from our wonderful jobs, and paychecks, risk putting gaps in our resume and find a place to live together. This meant a whole new chapter in our relationship as well; but that’s for another time. When we tried to find a place to live in Colorado from afar, we came up against the same barriers. I flew out to Denver for a long weekend with a supportive girlfriend in tow and spent hours driving around the city, deposit money and application in hand, ready to compete for any apartment we could find. I finally found one and the landlords and I just seemed to click; although the apartment was filthy and reeked of cat pee. They swore they would renovate and clean the apartment for our arrival and I enthusiastically signed up. Billy was slightly less excited when he heard the description, but then eased when I told him they were going to rent to us knowing we didn’t have any form of income (yikes!).
We packed up our belongings and dog, Brody, and waved a bittersweet goodbye to our “old life”. It was exciting and adventurous. We arrived at our new chapter in Denver and started to unpack in our apartment with new carpet. After a couple of weeks of watching our savings dwindle just to live, no interview calls, our landlord wondering when we were going to secure a job and spending so much time together without any local friends; fears started to arise. Would I ever find a job? How can we pay rent? How can we eat? Was this a good decision? Should we stay together? Why did I leave my awesome life behind to move to a city? Would I ever make friends? What would we do if we got hurt and didn’t have insurance? What will employers think when they see I just left a job and am not working? It was a difficult time and starting a new adventure now seemed like the beginning of a nightmare.
I had this inner feeling that everything was going to work out, but it seemed like my mind was having a hard time believing my heart. The only thing I knew I could do at that point was Open to Grace. Remind myself that we had laid a good foundation. Billy and I were both smart people, hard workers and kind. We both had good educations, great previous work experience with stellar references. We were willing to take jobs anywhere; fast food or janitorial work was not below us and we would get a paycheck somehow. We had a good apartment. Our family was supportive, even if they were across the country. We spent time at the library with free internet each day applying to jobs and then walking to nearby restaurants to apply for more jobs. Now, we had to let go of our fears and trust that something good would come of our continued hard work. Our fears are what held us back and caused distress. Outside of my full-time job trying to get a job, my second full-time job became surrendering. Allowing my body and mind to soften. Connect to the bigger picture and ride the waves of the flowing journey. The universe had something good in store for us and brought us to Colorado. Now I just had to trust. This took much centering and breathwork.
As we started to let go of our fears and unite in our foundation and grace, opportunities started happening. I went on several interviews and alternated between two professional outfits to wear. I was put into an interesting situation where I was given two offers on the same day and had to make a difficult choice as to which awesome opportunity to take. Billy received a job offer the next month for a company where he stayed and progressed for nine years. This was in 2008 at the beginning of the downturn of the economy and our gratitude and appreciation was boundless. Seven months later, we bought our first house where we would later marry and start our family.
These types of journeys mixed with excitement and high stress seem to be the best lessons. It’s easy to look back and see how things work out. It’s harder to remember and trust in current times of high stress and uncertainty. Remember to set your foundation and act with intention. Surrender and trust the rest. Good things will always unfold in ways you didn’t even imagine.