A couple of weeks ago, I talked to you about the joys and terror of self-employment. In it, I mention briefly my failure with my Yoga for Humans project, which has really taken a toll on me and my creativity the past month or so.
Here’s what happened: I started the Yoga for Humans project without clear direction. I had a vision of what I wanted it to be, with little idea of how to transition from one place to another. It started as a social media campaign, that took off quite quickly but filtered down when I realized: I don’t actually give a shit about posting photos to social media.
My intention was to encourage non-yogis to try yoga – that even yoga teachers and those of us who have been practicing yoga for a long time aren’t perfect, that we still fall over, that there’s places on our bodies that are still tight. So it’s okay if you walk into a class and can’t do downward facing dog pose – and quite honestly, no one gives a shit because they’re all concerned that they look ridiculous in downward facing dog. (Or they’re in a meditative mindset and quite frankly don’t even know you exist.)
But when I planned our first event at Westport Yoga and had no pre-registrations a few days prior to the event, I decided to cancel it. (After the fact, I found out that several people were planning to come, but because we didn’t offer the cheaper “bring a friend” option online, they were waiting to pay day-of. Technical problems: lesson learned. Give all options online.)
Anyway, after my failure to procure actual students in a studio environment, and my dislike of being on social media 24/7 to promote something that was not fun and not profitable, I got upset. And I abandoned it.
I was embarrassed, and ashamed, and quite frankly fed up with all the work I did with nothing to show for it. Six months of consistent work, of putting myself and my creativity and my ideas out there with nothing to show for it but an empty workshop roster and a feeling of failure.
I thought about deleting it, but instead I just let it go dormant.
I focused instead on becoming a better teacher. On taking care of myself, on writing this blog, and providing quality workshops.
Then I was talking to my brother. My brother is a music producer and engineer in LA, who was having terrible pain in his back and his neck. Through YFH, I had a contact with an LA studio that was close by who I knew offered $5 classes, and I encouraged him to go. Scot’s response was, “I know your thing is like, getting people who are nervous to go to yoga, but I’m in so much pain that I don’t think I could do anything.”
So I suggested online videos, and sent him a few gentle ones for neck and back via email. I told him to do them at home, and report back, and when I saw him over the holidays I would offer him some more poses to do at home.
Afterwards, it hit me. Scot is, essentially, my target market. Interested in yoga, but too nervous to attend. Funny photos won’t bring him to yoga – so I must bring the yoga to him.
Even I started out with yoga for the first six years primarily at home. I was too nervous to go to a class. So why not provide practical, insightful yoga education to people in their home – with our humorous and fun attitude?
So Yoga for Humans will be born again, in a new way. I don’t love posting to social media for the sake of social media, but I do love teaching. I do love writing. I do love making videos. And I can reach that market easily by changing what I offer and how I present it.
All of this taught me, that sometimes, the best thing to do when feeling creatively stalled: step away. Step away from your computer, from your canvas, from your keyboard. Take a walk. Do anything else for a day. A week. A month. A year.
The problems solve themselves, if you’re patient.
Comment below, and let me know:
- What is a creative problem you’re currently working on?
- What do you do when you need to step away for clarity?
- How can you remind yourself to circle back and not forget about your creative problem, even as you intentionally put it out of your mind?
Happy creating, my humans!