ready or not…

I’ve been thinking about preparedness lately as it’s in my nature to organize and I happen to pride myself on always being prepared. I’m the girl who does her homework daily, turns in projects on time, arrives to appointments with a few minutes to spare, etc.. You know the type, typical Type A over achiever, and for as long as I can remember I’ve been this way.

But are we ever really ready for any of the big or significant changes that take place in our lives? And do we even need to be? I’m starting to think that in most circumstances, being prepared is overrated. From writing to exercising, changing careers, launching new projects, or even starting a family, we can easily get lost in the getting ready and hold ourselves back from actually doing the things we most want to. While some preparation is necessary and helpful, be mindful to not get lost in these actions. There is a fine line between preparation and procrastination.

For example, I live in Italy, but I happen to live in a city filled with foreigners and tourists and one could easily (and many do) function here with speaking only English. I’ve been saying for a while now that I’d like to work with the public and throw myself into a situation where I must speak Italian outside of my school environment on a regular basis. An opportunity recently came up to work PT at a vegan restaurant I like so I accepted the offer. I won’t lie, I was terrified the first few days, but it seems to be getting slightly easier every day to speak with Italians. Do I still make mistakes? Heck yes, on a regular basis! But do customers understand me and am I making new friends? Also, a resounding yes.

Getting ready is safe and comfortable, because no actual leap has taken place yet. Getting ready is fun, because there is no commitment in place. Getting ready is distracting, because you start to think that maybe you don’t know what you’re doing, so you need to spend more time getting ready. We can spend our entire lives getting ready without actually embarking on anything.

The truth is that we don’t know what we don’t know. Until we actually get started at something, there is no way to know what we don’t know. And the quickest way to learn is by experience. When we actually get started we turn our emotion into energy, our energy into action, and our action into something meaningful. Sure there will be lessons to learn along the way and possible failures, but nothing will happen if we don’t get started.

Next week I am embarking on a new yoga teaching project. I’ve found a cute place downtown to teach yoga and host aperitivo afterwards and I’ve committed to doing so for the next month. I have no idea how it will go, or if students will even show up. And clearly there is no way to find out other than actually doing it. But I’m excited to share my type of vinyasa practice with students in Florence because after visiting all the studios here I know that no one is teaching my style of vinyasa and I think it will offer something different and fun to the yogis here. Again, slightly terrified and have no idea how it will go, but willing to take the leap and find out.

Now is the right time to get started. Is there something in your life you’ve been wanting to do but just don’t feel you’re ready for? I encourage you to put your excuses on the table and knock them out one by one. Embrace the fear and do it anyway. You won’t regret it.

And wish me luck next Monday.

XO,
Shirley

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