When I was much younger, that’s what I used to say to myself, “I don’t want to be a teacher.” I had other aspirations. While in high school, I said, “I’m a people person. I want to work with people.” That started my journey toward becoming a psychologist. I studied psychology in college and eventually went to grad school and got my Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Ultimately, I succeeded with my goal of wanting to help people.
But there was a lingering message that stayed tucked away in my mind. It was a message from my mother. At an early age, she saw that I liked school. (She was right; I LOVED school. I hated missing school.) And I was especially good at math. I liked math. She thought that I would become a teacher since I liked school so much. But I didn’t see myself as a school teacher. Like I said, I wanted to do other things.
But I think my mother knew something early on that I didn't know: I was destined to teach. When I thought of a teacher, I always thought of school classroom with chalk boards and text books. Someone teaching math or science. I didn’t see myself doing that. While working as a therapist, I went to gym aerobics classes as a way to stay in shape. I enjoyed the music and the movement and it made my body feel good. In the midst of all that, I discovered yoga. I started attending yoga classes at a small gym. It reminded me so much of dance and movement. And like those aerobics classes, it felt really good.
I practiced for over a year before an instructor approached me and said that I should teach yoga. I was a little shocked. I didn’t think that was a possibility. “Don’t you have to go to India to study it before you can become an instructor?” I asked. My instructor laughed and said that there were trainings in town that I could attend. Well, that started my teaching path. I took a training and become certified as a yoga instructor. I’ve been teaching yoga now for over 18 years....and I LOVE it.
I guess my mother was right. She surely saw me as a teacher. I clearly didn’t, at first. But somehow my path led me to yoga and to guide and instruct others in this discipline. I have to say, this was meant to be. It was my dharma, my goal, my life goal. I’m so glad that I followed this unlikely path for myself. I think I ended up in the right place. Are you living your dharma?