I recently spent a Sunday afternoon with thirteen beautiful women. They each carved out four hours, plus traveling time, to come to The Art of Self Care, a mini-retreat I teach several times a year.
Teaching is right up there on my YES list. I feel alive in a very particular way when I hold space for people to learn, feel and connect.
It's also one of the things that scares me the most.
I care so much about doing a good job that I get caught up in perfectionism and vague worries of what people will expect from me. These are old stories, and they're hard to put to rest. When I'm preparing to teach, they swirl around telling me I won't know what to do, or say, or feel.
Thankfully I'm learning to let my fears say what they will, while continuing to make my own plans. This process of sitting with fear is totally uncomfortable for me, and I can honestly say I haven't found any way around it, except for not teaching... Which I consider... Every. Single. Time.
The tight breath and wobbly stomach can last right up until the moment I sit down and try to open my mouth. Yikes.
But that's when the magic happens. I do open my mouth, and it turns out after all the worrying and wondering, my only option is to be me... Good old me, with all my flaws and all my experience, all my fears and all my doggedness.
It doesn't end there, either. The moment I welcome the real Annie I can see everyone else more clearly, as if I got a new pair of glasses...
I look around and see a room full of humans who are showing up too. And then we get down to business.