Welcome to the Blog “Lessons from the mat”. As I started on the journey of becoming a small business owner I knew that I was going to challenge myself in many ways in order to make the dream a reality. I felt very comfortable with the analytical and marketing areas of the business, but I knew that I had lots to learn about technology and social media. I have spent most of my professional career in large public organizations where you are surrounded with experts in all the needed areas to successfully execute your responsibilities (Human resources, technology, public relations, etc). I had chosen not to embrace social media because I didn’t see the value to my career nor was I really comfortable sharing personal aspects of my life with the unknown world.
Well, this change in March, 2012. I left the corporate world to attend Bikram Yoga Teacher Training, and I needed a facebook account to get connected to this new community. I had to ask my college age stepson to make me a facebook page because I didn’t know how or where to begin. I asked him to lock down all the security features because I really wasn’t comfortable opening myself up to public (or even some business colleagues). I must admit that I have really enjoyed facebook because it has allowed me to connect with high school friends, college sorority sisters and the Bikram community in general. I am still fairly guarded with sharing personal aspects of myself with the facebook community, but I have seen first hand that individuals and businesses need to embrace social media if they want to “heard” in the current business climate.
I have now launched the facebook page for Bikram Yoga Lake Norman and entered into the world of Twitter (which I still learning about). As I was working with a close friend and web designer (who also happens to be a successful executive coach) on the development of the website, she had me read Michael Hyatt’s book Platform: Getting noticed in a noisy world. It is a great book if you are trying to launch a new business or brand yourself to the public. In the book, Michael Hyatt devotes a large portion of the book to the subject of blogging. I remember reading the book and initially thinking this is nice for him as he is a public speaker and author. I didn’t know if I would see the value to me and the new business.
Well, my friend and web designer challenged me on my thinking. I had a list of reasons why I didn’t have time or content to blog. Fortunately, she has wonderful coaching skills and knew that I needed to grow in the area. I gave into her repeated requests and started with one article hoping that would satisfy her and the topic would go away. I cannot tell you how painful it was to write the first article. It took hours and was really cobbled together from other articles that I had read on the internet. I remember thinking this is going to be the worst part of the new business venture (cleaning toilets and showers started to sound really good).
I had a really good Bikram practice one night after a fairly stressful day of construction planning. I was able to use the 90 minute class to clear my mind enough to solve a fairly challenging obstacle to opening the studio. I remember leaving the class with such peace that I hugged the teacher with joy. As I got into my car to leave, the phrase “Lessons from the mat” came into my head. I pulled out a scrap piece of paper and jotted down several lessons that I have learned over the years as a result of my Bikram Yoga practice. I intended it to be a short and simple blog post but as I began writing, the lessons learned just started flowing.
I have written these posts from my heart and have shared more of myself and my feelings that I ever intended to do. It is a big risk in many ways, but I know it is part of the journey that I am living. My hope is that these lessons might somehow resonate with you and that you too might begin your journey of self realization. I look forward to hearing from you about your “Lessons from the mat”.
Amy Clement is a certified Bikram Yoga Instructor and owns Bikram Yoga Lake Norman. She has practiced Bikram Yoga for over 12 years and still considers herself to be a beginner. She retired from the corporate world after 26 years to purse her passion of sharing this yoga with everyone.