When I started working in a yoga studio, I honestly never thought I would practice law again. In my mind, I had found a job that made me happy, paid the bills, and allowed me to write. I was fully prepared to live out the rest of my days as a yoga-loving hippie, surrounded by a bunch of zen people in an otherwise perfect world.
In an effort to achieve this goal, I started talking to a holistic life coach. Each week, my coach and I would discuss my energetic path and the divine light within me. We would talk about my struggles as a lawyer and the bountiful happiness that had come into my life since I started working at the yoga studio. It was an undoubtedly positive experience, but the common theme, like most buddhist writings, was that I needed to strive to overcome my own suffering. According to my coach, my anger and frustrations were just a result of fear and I had the power to overcome all of these feelings through meditation, yoga, and a little introspection.
Well as it turns out, I’m not the perfect Yogi. I’m quite the opposite, in fact.
I swear…a lot. I’m really stubborn. I’m loud and obnoxious. I’m driven. I’m competitive. I’m a neat freak. I prefer when things are done “my way.” I’m judgmental. I like to gossip. I’m opinionated. And I’m brutally honest.
By participating in coaching and working exclusively in a yoga studio, I tried desperately to overcome these traits. I honestly thought that I could “Pray the Bitch Away” when it came to my lawyer personality, one day rising as the pure, angelic being I was meant to be.
Unsurprisingly, that never happened. No matter how many cups of green juice I drank or how many times I re-read The Four Agreements, I was still the same sassy, sarcastic person I’d always been.
I’ve come to realize that yoga isn’t actually about perfection at all. If it were, we wouldn’t call it a practice. Practice implies that we are always learning, always trying. Even more so, yoga is about acceptance: accepting yourself, accepting your strengths, and accepting your flaws.
Three months ago, I was pretending. Pretending, once again, to be something that I’m not. When I left private practice back in February, I did so, in large part, so I could stop pretending to be a ruthless litigator. This time around, I did the same thing to a different extreme. Instead of pretending to enjoy office politics or courtroom confrontation, this time I was pretending to be enlightened. I was pretending to enjoy chanting (when, in reality, it makes me super uncomfortable). I was pretending to like wearing yoga pants with no makeup every day (when I really love cute shoes and my Sephora V.I.B. card as much as the next girl). I was pretending to love Kundalini music (when I really worship Queen Bey and Taylor Swift). Most importantly, I was pretending that I didn’t miss the law.
Now that it’s been almost 7 months since I decided to leave private practice, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: when it comes to your life, you can’t fake it ’til you make it. Or at least I can’t. For so long, I’ve tried to fit myself neatly into a mold of the type of person I want to be: a good girlfriend, a good daughter, a good lawyer, a good Yogi, a good writer. Honestly, it’s exhausting. Trying so hard to be something that you’re not is consuming, and it’s a full-time job I’d rather not follow on a partnership track…
Instead, I’m working on embracing my true self, flaws and all. I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to completely turn my back on the law, not when I’m so good at it and can use my skills to help so many people. I’ve also realized that I want to teach yoga, meditate, and work on my asana practice, just as I want to write and share my ideas, thoughts, and opinions with those around me. I want to do it all…on my terms.
I’m not perfect, and I never will be. No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to fit into the perfect image of a litigator or a Yogi or a writer. Like so many others, my personality is a walking contradiction, and true Yin and Yang. I will stumble and fall (just like I did in this picture), and I will get back up and do it all over again. I will make mistakes, achieve goals, and live in a constant state of up’s and down’s. After all, isn’t that what life is really all about?
One year ago, I was “The Lawyer.” Five months ago, I became “The Yogi.” Ironically enough, it wasn’t until recently that I actually embraced “The Yogi Lawyer”: a person who can combine her love of the law with her love of yoga and, in the process, love herself for everything she is and will never be.
Namaste (and Kind Regards),
The [real] Yogi Lawyer