Tuesday, September 1, 2015

my big news





I’ve been meaning to tell you about the decision I made recently.

It feels like big news to me, although I’m aware that in the blog world it might seem like peanuts in the stature department. No mind blowing book deal or major blog awards here.

But I’m sharing this today because you might be able to relate to my story. And maybe –just maybe--it might offer you something helpful for your own life.

You see, I made this quick decision about a new endeavor that actually feels like risk-taking to me. And it was really unlike me.

It’s not that I don’t do ‘risks’….but I’m the kind of person who likes to wait until I’m ‘ready’ before jumping into new things, which translates into waiting until I can do things “right” or “good enough.” 

I don’t know. Maybe it’s about not wanting to look like an idiot in front of others, or not wanting to feel too-vulnerable, but I don’t immediately say “Yes” to big, new ventures without a lot of thought. 

And I didn’t do that this time.



But let me explain.

If you’re a regular to my blog you already know about our major relocation last year, how we left our hometown, sold the family home we raised our boys in, said goodbye to our family and our dear friends, and moved to Southern California in what felt like a new adventure.

Well it was during those crazy months when we we struggling to find a suitable home to buy and were cramped into a small condo next to a street that sounded like a freeway, that I noticed a local hot yoga studio nearby.

And on a whim, I went to my first yoga class at age 55.

Which is still hard for me to believe. Even now I wonder how it is I never tried yoga before because I was always a gym person. Only like a lot of other interesting possibilities, yoga was one of those things that stayed on the fringe of my peripheral vision.  It was there, but for another day.

I guess it’s like most things in life. Timing is everything.

Here I was, feeling the stress of living in a new city without a home. Feeling antsy and anxious and frustrated for results, and yet out-of-control over my immediate future.


Enter yoga.

I wish I could say I was a dutiful student. But the truth is, that even though I felt the immediate effects of yoga on my mind and body …the minute we moved into our fixer upper I stopped going. There was just SO much to do to get the house livable that it felt like I couldn’t fit one more thing into my schedule.

But it was ok. Because the importance of this brief entry into yoga was that it opened a door in my life. And I was able to sense the possibility of a different way of living. Which left a deep imprint on me.

So I found my way back a few months ago. And while I was settling back into the classes and as my achy, stiff body began to get reacquainted with the mat, I heard the announcement go throughout the entire studio about the upcoming Teacher Training Class: a 200 hour credentialed program beginning September 11-November 15th.

I still don’t know what made me do it.

But after class I went up to ask the beautiful, young, tattooed instructor about the specifics of the course. I wasn’t interested in teaching. God no, not me. I was simply smitten with the calmness and peace and sweat that poured over me after each class. I was curious about the philosophy. About the history of the poses, about the word “Namaste,” and everything to do with the soulful part of the practice.

And afterwards when Shannon—a gifted instructor-- encouraged me to listen to the stirrings in my heart that were pulling toward this path, I listed lots of credible reasons why I couldn’t do it. My newness to yoga, my age, the physical stamina of the course, my disinterest in teaching, the investment of time and money ….

We kept texting each other and here’s one of her responses:

Hi Leslie,

I'm so happy that you are listening to the inner voice that is drawing you toward this path.

I know you are concerned about a few things: money, age and ability. Your True Happiness is priceless and I can share with you from my own experience that the yogic path has brought me nothing but contentment and inner peace, and I absolutely love sharing that path with as many people as possible. The physical poses are but one small part of the yogic path; a tool that keeps us supple, that detoxes the body and the mind along with breath control in an effort to move us further along the path toward inner peacefulness. Yoga truly is for EVERY-BODY! We will be practicing and learning postures throughout training, but we will also learn how to modify, use props and help others who may have limitations or injuries. I have been in advanced trainings with women your age and older, so please feel confident in your journey forward.


After I read this text I just knew. Even before my awesome hubby began his encouragement.

I can’t honestly remember the last time I felt myself standing at a something that felt like a crossroads and facing a path that seemed equally intriguing and unknown, at the same time. But in the end I said yes because despite all the unknowns, I do know a few things.

  • I know that I want—no I need --to keep growing. From the inside out.
  • I know I’m tired of worrying.
  • I know I want to feel more calmness and peacefulness in my life--even when everything around me feels out-of-my-control.
  • I want to stop feeling like if only I work a little harder I can stop the bad things from happening.
  • I want to stop waiting to be “ready”.
  • I want to be able to step away from the frenzied pace of our lives
  • I want be the oldest person in a class and be damn proud.
  • I want to care more about trying and less about failure.


Can you relate to any of this?

Anyway, yesterday I bought my three books—the required reading, and I have to admit, I’m getting excited. Even if I’m still thinking, “I can’t believe I’m doing this,”  it’s getting better. The nervous part.

Are you interested to know about this 200 hour course? I was thinking of sharing my experience with you if so.

Afterwards I’ll will be certified to teach yoga which is a vision that makes me laugh. Me. In front of a class. Trying to remember which hand is right and which is left.

But I’ll keep you posted.

And maybe you might have something in your life that you’ve always wanted to try too. Something that you can’t imagine yourself doing….until you imagine.

I’d sure love to hear about it.


By the way—a special thank you to my friend Catherine—who has been spreading her yoga wisdom across the ocean to me for a while now---and helped me more than she knows.


to all my friends reading this,




I’m sharing this post with these stylish friends:

 Jennifer and Heather




Simply LKJ said...

Good for you Leslie. I am really wanting to try a new gym/class and for some of the same reasons have been hesitant. You just gave me the push I need.

Veronica Roth said...

Oh so good for you Leslie. I'm a big devote of yoga and actually have been away from my studio for two months (no convenient yoga studio where we live in Oxfordshire). Now I'm really looking forward to getting back to class. Doing a daily practice on one's own is fine for a while, but I miss the companionship of my class.

Karen said...

Congratulations! This is wonderful news and it is momentous. I agree 100%, we all need to be open to learning and growing. 55 is young and there is so much out there that will keep us aging women vibrant and interesting to be around. Good for you. I, for one, would love to hear more about your journey and what it entails.

I'm so happy for you.

Calypso In The Country said...

Leslie, I always feel so inspired when I read your blog. How exciting for you to start this new adventure in your life. I used to take a yoga class back in my working days when I used to think I had a stressful life...I really should be taking one now with these crazy boys in my world! Keep us posted with how everything is going. Good luck to you!
Cheers! Shelley

Lori said...

I think it is fantastic ~ I find my mind moves 100 mph that I always wondered how people meditate and clear their mind. From what I understand yoga is similar ~ see... clueless here. You will rock this like you do everything else ~ I know I have to catch up on my reading ~ summer has been busy and had some company ~ will be by soon xoxo

Leslie said...

Leslie, This is wonderful news! Good for you for having the courage to make a change and trust yourself. There are too many of us that shut the doors at a certain point thinking it's just too late. Age is just a number and I think many of us underestimate our potential. I like your spirit and I know you will enjoy teaching and your students will appreciate the unique gifts you have to offer.

Sarah said...

Congratulations, Leslie. I've taken yoga for years, but drift in and out. Love it when I can find a great teacher and class time that fits my life.
Namaste ~ Sarah

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I can feel your excitement in this post, Leslie! Our oldest daughter who works in the business world completed the same course a few months ago. Here's a link to a post she wrote about it:

I think I need to make a real effort to try yoga myself!

Something Nice and Pretty said...

I do the 21 Day Fix and one workout is Yoga and I thought "piece of cake" boy, was I wrong! I still do it though, although I have to keep looking at the TV to see if I'm doing the move right!
I'm so glad to see that you are taking that one step to learn and grow, 55 is young I'm 64 and I don't let my age stop me. I'm interested in hearing more about your yoga experience how exciting!


Lynne said...

This is so cool! A yoga studio is being built about three blocks from our clinic, (on the way home.) I am hoping that there will be a beginner class in the evening after work.
Please, Please share your journey!

kim at northerncalstyle. said...

Leslie, What a brave and inspiring step! I think it's super you are doing this. I am sure it will bring much peace and joy as well as helping you just feel great. I know what you mean about waiting for the right time, but there never really is one right? Looking forward to hearing more about this journey! Congrats!! Kim

Debe said...

I LOVE your blog!! You are so REAL. Interesting journey you are beginning. I went to hot yoga several years ago & truly, truly loved it. Went 5 days a week at first but had to pull back a little. Then they changed the hours of the classes & it became really difficult to fit it in after work. I stopped. But everyday I so wish I could fit it in. I am going to be 65 in a few weeks & hope to retire soon. The day I do, I am back there!!! My knees creak now and I feel so less whole. I am so happy you are taking this plunge. Nothing negative can come from it! Namaste!

Tamera Beardsley said...

Biggest of kudos to you dear! Here's to new paths! I fell in love with yoga as a sophomore in high school … and have been practicing since (although, I do need to commit more time daily),. I was smitten with my yoga teacher who must have been at least 70 at the time. I decided right the and there … that is the type of woman I wanted to grow into, She radiate love, grace and contentment as well as being youthful and supple in her movement and physical being.

Thank you for this gentle reminder to further connect to something I know to be of such incredible value. I look forward to learning more about your incredible journey.

Sending much love.

Mary Ann Pickett said...


Donna@anangloinquébec said...

This is great Leslie. I am so happy for you because decisions like this can easily be "avoided" as we find all the excuses to exclude ourselves from the possibilities that they bring. I can really relate to this. I am the same age as you and this year I made the decision to leave my job security and jump on board to a whole new job adventure with a very young group of talented individuals. It is a business venture but one that I have been wanting to attempt for several years. They approached me and I sort of felt...."really, me, you are all so young and ...." well, I think you know the rest of that discussion. It took me awhile to think about it, absorb the possibilities and put to rest the little naysayer whispering in my ear. And, although I initially felt somewhat nervous at first I can say that it is the best decision I have made. I felt a sense of freedom leaving my job and trying something new at 55. Maybe a bit crazy for some but I think this is possibly my last chance to shake it up in the career department. So....good for you!!

michele said...

oh i love hearing about this adventure, leslie! i want to know every detail along the path. truly. i love yoga, and i have witnessed how it enriches the lives of my friends. i love the humility you demonstrate, and i am certain that this 'beginner's mind' will serve you and your future students very well. the way you made this decision is quite familiar to me. it's how my major shifts have occurred. now that you have committed, providence will begin to move. and that will bring you confidence. stay vulnerable and open to what the universe is whispering to you. i'm cheering you on across the miles and am so ready to visit you one of these days. namaste.

Art and Sand said...

I am so happy for you.

This made me think of the quote, "do something every day that scares you".

There are so many wonderful things about this challenge and I wish you well.

My cousin became a yoga instructor after spending 25 years teaching dance at a community college. I have always admired her attitude, agility and the inner peace she exudes. Which makes me wonder why I have never tried yoga. I know one reason is that I do not care for the woman who teaches yoga at our racquet club.

I wish you well!

Unknown said...

I think this is brilliant, Leslie!! I can already feel that 'yoga glow' emanating from you in this post. I love both yoga and pilates, but yoga has such a meditative, peaceful approach. I'll be looking forward to following this journey too.
Happy long weekend!
xx, Heather
PS-Our lifestyle linkup is live this morning. Would love to have you add some links. :)

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Leslie!!!!! I am so beyond excited for you! Congratulations to you on your new adventure. I LOVE yoga, it has helped me in so many ways that I cannot even begin to explain. I think that you are going to be an unbelievable and gifted teacher, your kindness, compassion and all of your past experience are going to come together. Oh I with I lived closer so that I could be one of your students!

Enjoy and please do share all of your classes and experiences.

xox Elizabeth

Pam Kessler said...

I think that is fantastic news! I don't know if I ever mentioned it (OK, I know I never mentioned it), but my son did yoga for special needs kids back when he was younger. He loved it! And I found it very peaceful to just hang out in the studio when he was doing his thing :) I think this is going to be a great new path for you!

Maria at inredningsvis said...

I cant LIVE without doing yoga in the morning so i totally get you :)

Check out my new Londoner fashion post :)

have a fab weekend dear.

LOVE Maria Inredning - it's Swedish for decor

Brenda Pruitt said...

Girl, this fell into your path because it was supposed to. Embrace it!

Sheepskinsandfairylights said...

Leslie, this post is so close to what i am going through at the moment, you inspire me, i am 46 and going back to college this month to study massage and later will be so interesting to hear how you go, it is a massive commitment going back to study.
Feel great that i have read your post and travel this journey alongside you, good luck, you will be amazing! Much love, Xx

Kelly said...

Congratulations to you on this amazing step forward! I have done yoga off and on for years for two reasons. One is for the exercise part and the stretching that helps me with my arthritis problems. The other is the mental relaxation part that reduces stress and frees the mind of worry etc. It's so good for so many things! I can definitely relate to wanting to find something that I could do that I wouldn't be afraid to do. Feel free to share this course with us as you feel comfortable. We can all experience it together and cheer you on!

cindy hattersley design said...

Leslie I am so excited for you! You are never too old for a change in life! I hope you will share your journey with us!!

Jennifer said...

Fantastic! This is so brave and wonderful! It's so easy to chicken out and not challenge ourselves!! Catherine is an amazing inspiration. I've been meaning to get back to the mat for years. What's taking me so long?? Thank you for sharing this wonderful inspiration with us on #stylefocus!

Unknown said...

Oh Leslie, I am humbled...if I have helped just a little bit I am deeply honoured. You are going to have such a wonderful time on the programme...I agree with your instructor listen to your 'inner voice' it leads us to where we should be...I can't wait to hear more...enjoy every minute. I can relate to all the points you make at the end of your post and yoga has helped me enormously for me it is a spiritual discipline that has changed my world. Namaste

Thank you so much for popping across today, I'm having a difficult time with the new blog as it is now on WordPress and not blogger I'm sure I have lost most of my followers...I need to work through it all...heho!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I missed this post, wonderful! I am so happy to see you just step out and explore. You are always so inspiring to me, and I know you inspire many other people, too! I am so looking forward to following along on your adventure...xoxo

louisek said...

Well done you! I need to be as brave. X

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Oh I'm so excited for you! I love that you were brave enough to follow that little voice telling you to give it a try. And you know I am a firm believer in the power of yoga!

Carla from The River said...

Hi Leslie,
For some crazy reason your blog posts no longer ended up in my in box.
Today, I got one! I was so excited, and I also found out I needed to catch up!
Wow, yippee for you. :-)
I love Yoga and it is so true, it changes you!
I am off to read some more.

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