About 12 years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a summer living just outside Portland, Oregon. For years I’ve talked about the Pacific Northwest like the heaven on earth that it is, so when friends invited my husband and me to meet them in Oregon for the 4th of July, we were so excited, we moved at lightning speed to book flights. (Literally, as in we booked the wrong date and paid a change fee. But that’s another story!)
The scale and frequency of mountains in the PNW is astounding. You feel small, the earth feels mighty and it’s impossible to walk away without a new perspective on what’s important. And it’s not emails or Instagram likes.
On the morning of July 4th, my travel buddy and I decided the perfect way to celebrate freedom on the west coast was to kick the day off with a yoga sesh. When a class taught by a woman named Sweethome Teacup flashed onto the MindBody screen, it was a no brainer. Certainly this would be the epic Portland experience.
The class was a combination of all things perfect. Breathing and meditation, a gentle flow practice focusing on hip opening and stretching, sealed in with some chanting.
The chant (which I did request to be written down) was along the lines of OM BOLD SAT GURU, MAHARAJ A KI JAI. Sweethome explained that in short, this meant ‘the true teacher is the self.’
Simple phrase. BIG impact. Here’s what it means to me.
TRUST YOUR INTUITION
You know what’s best. ALWAYS. The human body is an encyclopedia of info. Your heart is the most resolute leader possible. Yet we’re taught to doubt our own intuition and outsource for info. We’re told to observe, take notes and imitate as closely as possible. Instead, trust your gut. Make it a practice to slow down and tune into your own internal navigation system. There may be twists and turns and sometimes you’ll take the scenic route, but it will never lead you astray.
The most boring, cliché phrase of all time. And yet the most powerful existence you can manifest. So often we worry about the judgment of others or the fear of embracing what might be our truth. What if others don’t recognize me? Heck, what if I don’t recognize me? You were put here on this earth as a unique individual for a reason. It would be such a missed opportunity not to share with others who you truly are.
Laugh at them, but then learn from them. Falling flat on your face is awkward in the moment, we’ve all been there. But if you weren’t failing, you wouldn’t be trying anything new. Life would be stagnant and boring. The groundhog day of existence. Try this on for size: you’re either winning or growing. Mistakes prove that you’re stepping out of your comfort zone, immersing in eye-opening experiences and celebrating everything life has to offer.
The next time you feel lost or confused, walk away from what’s ailing you. Give yourself the space for perspective, imagine that mountain out in front of you, big and bold. Open yourself to the flow of energy that the universe so desperately wants you to be a part of. You already have all the answers; you are your own best teacher.
You Are Your Own Best Teacher
Megan Sanchez is the owner of UpSwing Health Coaching. She works one-on-one with busy professionals who want to revamp their lifestyle and prioritize self-care. Megan helps people develop habits that are built on super small, everyday commitments to nutrition, movement, and personal nourishment that feel good because your body tells you so, not because you’re following the latest trend. She loves both outdoor and urban adventures. She’s called DC home for 7 years.