After nearly twelve years in one of the biggest management consultancies I decided to switch sides and started a new career at a multinational industry company. During the following eight years I worked through different departments and positions until I settled as a Marketing Manager being responsible for a wide product range and the appropriate marketing activities all over the world. Although this was what I had always worked towards, I soon had realised that it was not all fun and joy.
Straight from the beginning I always felt that I had to prove myself - especially in an environment where there was almost only men and only a few women. As a result, my weekly working hours rapidly increased up to 50/60 with nearly no breaks or downtimes in between. Needless to say that this workload was impossible to keep up and soon I would start experiencing a negative effect on my health.
In the end it was my doctor who decided to put me on sick leave for two months and only today I can say that I am very grateful for that. At that time I did not really understand what was going on and it was very difficult for me to let go and not check my e-mails and text messages from home. As my doctor suggested to also see a psychotherapist I found out that I had already started to develop some kind of anxiety disorder. That was a result of working myself into the ground in combination with a difficult private situation which had already taken its course in my mid twenties when my mother suddenly died from one second to the other.
So I finally began to think about my entire life and quite quickly came up with the idea that I had to change something completely. As a few years before I had successfully completed a yoga teacher training I started to think about a complete shift in direction. Although it took me another one and a half years after my timeout until I made that final step, I am today more than happy that I finally did it. Nearly two years ago I went into business for myself with a little yoga studio and from today's perspective I can only say that I have not regretted a single step...
From the first day I started to speak about my thoughts and plans in terms of establish my own yoga business people probably started to think that I had gotten crazy. How could I quit a job like that? How could I leave a company like that? How could I ever resign a salary like that? These must have been the common thoughts although not everybody was as honest to say. On the other hand it is true that we cannot live on air and love alone and that is why without the help and support of my lovely husband the decision of quitting my job would not have been that easy. Nevertheless, it is not prestige, money or jobs that count in our lives but satisfaction and even more important (personal) health. And from today's perspective I can only say that as soon as your body (on a physical as well as on a mental level!) tells you that it is time to change something you should really (!) start to think about that. In this life there is only one body/one mind we have and this is something we should care about because if our body/mind is not "in good shape" all outer circumstances are nothing worth.
Although a yoga teacher's life is not only about happiness and enlightenment it obviously is completely different from what my (job) life was before. And to be honest I especially like the fact that I am my own boss and that there is nobody telling me what to do or when to be where.
Needless to say that there are still difficult times when life throws you a curveball but when I have learnt something from the past it is to listen to my body. For example there are phases during those I still have to struggle with anxiety and old patterns appear again. As soon as that happens I know that it is time to pause and adjust. That is why - looking back at all those difficult times I have already had - I am deeply convinced that we can learn a lot from those dark moments. At this point I would like to quote an Ayurvedic therapist I have just recently consulted. She said "Life does not make any mistakes!" and I think that is what it is all about!
What an incredible story Denise and such courage to follow what was in your heart . Transformation is never an easy road but it is always worth it in the end. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all.
You can connect to Denise at Yoga Nighana