I sat on the sand with my dear friend JT on the first afternoon of our annual "friends-you-wish-were-your-family" beach week. I was telling her about how I had practiced yoga to the sound of the ocean earlier in the day and how much I loved it.
And then I shared a deep secret, a secret I'd been carrying around ever since I had read Brooke Boon's book Holy Yoga two years before. "I have this secret dream of becoming a Holy Yoga teacher," I whispered.
It was a secret because I thought the idea of me being an exercise teacher was completely ridiculous. See, I'm more bookworm than athlete. I was the girl in school who always missed the straight-A honor roll because I was constantly getting a B+ in gym (despite my trying so.dang.hard). I had a lot of baggage around my lack of strength and coordination. I have some ongoing physical conditions that really affect me sometimes. I'd never really enjoyed exercise until I found yoga. But once I'd read Holy Yoga and felt free to practice yoga with my heart centered on Jesus, I was in love.
And when you're in love, you're dreamy. I dreamed about what it might be like to actually do this thing called Holy Yoga.
But whenever I was dreaming, the pragmatist in me started shouting. "You're short and weak and not at all flexible. Do you ever remember gym class? You as a yoga teacher? That is the most preposterous thing I've ever heard." And dreamy me would tuck her tail and go hide back in the corner.
So as I waited for JT to respond, I had a flood of anxiety. I couldn't believe I'd let the secret out. But JT's response wasn't "that's so stupid." It was, "I think that would be perfect for you. You'd be so good at that!" I was a little bit shocked.
The next morning, I was with another friend from our beach family crew, LS. I said, "JT thinks I should become a Holy Yoga teacher." To which she replied, "That would be awesome. I would totally come to your classes." Huh.
So that night I was chatting with my husband. I tried to sounds casual as I said, "JT and LS think I should become a Holy Yoga teacher." "Yeah, well, that's your two favorite things, Jesus and yoga, so that makes a lot of sense."
I was surprised by my people's reactions to my secret dream. They didn't think it was ridiculous; not at all, in fact. So as soon as we got home from the beach, I went to www.holyyoga.net, like I often did and this time I had the courage to click on the info email link.
I wrote a little email asking for more information about the program. I'd already made a list of reasons why this wasn't a right now thing, but just a "someday" dream thing. I got an immediate email reply that simply said, "what's your phone number?"
I replied with my number and within a few minutes, my mobile rang. "Hello?" I said. "Hi, this is Brooke from Holy Yoga," said the voice on the other end. I stumbled over how I was interested in Holy Yoga, but I can't do it now because I have a new baby, and my husband is unemployed, and the economy has hit us really hard, and blah, blah, blah, I just wanted to get some information.
And I think that Brooke heard all my nonsense and read right through it as though I'd just come out and said, "Hey, this sounds really amazing but I'm scared to death, so that's why I can't ever actually do this."
So she listened to me ramble for about three straight minutes and then said something to this effect--Ok, here's what I feel. I feel like you're going to start the program in January and we are going to work out a payment plan for you because we aren't going to let money stop what God wants to do here. So go fill out your application.
I hung up and was like, "what just happened??" But Brooke's confidence and faith, in line with JT, and LS, and J's encouragement were enough of a boost that I did fill out my application and I did start school in January and I did become a Holy Yoga teacher and I loved almost every minute of my training, and my life has not been the same since.
See, here's the thing. Someone planted the dream of Holy Yoga in my heart. He planted it in my heart because He wanted to do some stuff in me and He wanted to do some stuff through me. This person placed JT and LS and J in my circle to be my encouragement. He placed Brooke in my path to help me jump in. But the one who drew me in...that was the One, Himself.
Because it wasn't just that God wanted me to become a yoga teacher (though He did). He wanted me to become who He'd created me to be. He wanted me to become a more dedicated student of His Word. He wanted me to experience new boldness and faith. He wanted me to really understand what it means for me to be His beloved child.
So maybe you're reading this and it's making you think. Maybe you're dreaming about becoming a Holy Yoga Instructor but you've let the fear and your list of why not get in the way. Maybe it's not Holy Yoga, but it is some other dream that is calling to you...a dream that is going to ask you to step out in courage, to risk what feels comfortable and safe, but you hear a voice beckoning you that is at once mysterious and familiar.
My encouragement to you is this: take the leap. Like the old Nike commercials used to say--Just Do It. Tell fear to "hush" and say "yes" to your dream. Because even if you fall flat on your face, I'm gonna guess that the process and the gift of the experience are gonna be worth it. And if He's in it, then He's for you, no matter what happens.
And if you need a cheerleader, I'm here for you. If you need someone to pray or someone to give you a kick in the tushy, I will do that, too. Cause if He's got a plan for you, then I'm behind it 100%. Come back here and tell me about it. I can't wait to hear. :)
(If your dream IS to be a Holy Yoga Instructor, the next training session starts in August. Get more information here).