I thought I’d share a little story about what happened when I realised I was going to become a yoga teacher. It’s a story about hope and new beginnings. I hope you will enjoy it.
I had been carrying a lot of disappointment about the difficulties I had encountered in my work as a midwife. All my dreams seemed to have been broken before they’d really got going…
A broken cherry tree
I walk through Lake Meadows Park in Billericay every morning on my way to work. The local funeral firm has planted some young cherry trees in the park. It’s a beautiful idea – like spring coming after winter, new life from death. But many of the little trees have been snapped in half by vandals. Every time I walked past them I used to feel sad and angry. It felt so wrong that these trees had been killed before they had a chance to flower.
Sad and angry
I was sad and angry about other things too. Becoming a midwife had been my dream career. I had loved my training, and felt passionate about supporting women and families at this most special time of their lives. But my job in a busy London hospital had become intolerable. For reasons I can’t go into right now, I had stepped back. I couldn’t do it any more. I felt that my dream was broken. I thought maybe I was broken too.
A fresh vision
Then I went on a yoga retreat weekend in Wales, led by my wonderful teacher, Ro Harstad. The opportunity to rest and recuperate in a safe and beautiful space was exactly what I needed. And to my surprise, while I was there, I discovered that my dream wasn’t dead at all. It had simply been resting. I still had a vocation to work with birthing women. My love of yoga and my love of birth could work together. I was going to become a pregnancy and postnatal yoga teacher.
Back home from the yoga retreat, I set off for work as usual on Monday. I walked through the park in Billericay. I walked past the broken cherry trees. But today it was different. Today I saw something new. Some of the trees were growing again. New branches were sprouting from below where the trunk had been broken off. These trees were not dead after all. They were going to flower in springtime. They would be stronger than ever.
Life is resilient. Keep dreaming!
I can’t tell you how happy this made me feel. It was an affirmation of my new hope. The cherry trees were not broken, and nor was I. Life is much tougher than we give it credit for.
I believe our dreams are meant to be, but often not in the shape we first imagine. The tough little cherry tree will grow into a new shape now, but it will be just as beautiful – perhaps more so. I will find a way of loving and nurturing birthing women. A yoga class will be a wonderful space to do that.
I learned an important lesson from the little tree. When a dream doesn’t seem to be working out, give it space. Don’t despair. Life has a way of coming back in new and unexpected forms. And usually better. Keep dreaming!