“I also didn’t have time for the time-consuming responsibilities and distractions of a relationship, so it wasn’t her so much as it was me.
I was getting back to my old self;
I was getting into work mode.”
Slash, page 295
on breaking up with his girlfriend in 1990
The first thing that reminded me something in my life was still “off” was Slash’s auto (!!) biography, simply called Slash.
I think this will be my bible for the rest of my life. Slash shows himself as an absolutely magnetic combination of driven yet cool. Broken yet whole. An open book yet more mysterious with every page.
Or as Ali G would have said:
I definitely would.
Which reminds me that if you ever see me having an entirely new area of interest (f.e. classical music or something) you should immediately shake off the idea that I am ACTUALLY interested in that.
That I have grown as an adult or something.
These new areas of interest are created by men I am in love with or male idols, or by movies about super badass women, always on the dark side by the way.
I thought Wonder Woman was crap.
There I said it.
But Atomic Blonde, with Charlize Theron as a vodka drinking, chain smoking, sexually entrepreneurial butt kicking MI6 agent in 1989 Berlin?
Have still not recovered from the obsession for 80s design/interiors, that sparked.
Lately somebody mentioned that someone was heavily into BMX and explained what BMX was, assuming I would not know.
But I am into Slash now, and before he picked up a guitar he was a talented BMX cyclist, hanging out with an entire gang of friends with bikes, often chased by police through Hollywood Hills.
Little did the person having a conversation with me know, that I therefor knew exactly what BMX was.
So I may end up knowing things about things that are not me; but that I am fascinated with because someone I m in love with, is affiliated to it/ saw the movie/ liked the thing, and so on.
Therefor the correct question if you see me knowing stuff that seems a bit not-me, is:
“What’s his name?”
In which case I don’t answer, because that’s always a secret.
Unless it’s Slash because he’s famous and the chance that we’re going to become secret lovers is very slim. So if the answer is “Slash” I ll tell you.
But where was I?
Slash’s biography, and how it suddenly dawned on me that I was in trouble.
That my plan for 2020 was off.
And that it was never gonna work, unless I fixed it.
The Plan saw the light late 2019.
It had to do with work, and also with teaching private yoga (secondly). But it was especially the work thing, that I was most proud of.
Nothing was standing between me and working full-time and choosing a career of my liking.
I have been a yoga teacher since 2003, and the past 1,5 year I have gone back and forth between teaching yoga, writing (that goes by itself, it’s impossible not to), and my desire or resolution to get a contract job.
So when I finally received clarity on that topic, I was over the moon!
Not only had I decided I was going for a job, I was actually looking forward to it. A job would give me full creative freedom in my writing.
Yet reading chapter after chapter about Slash not even prepared to “waste” time on relationships? Because his obsession – not even so much with being famous, but for music and creating – was just so all-consuming it made it impossible to perform in any other area of his life?
That was when I realized marginalizing my writing to the evenings was not going to work and that diving head first into a new career, might result in me crashing into the shallow end of the pool with my head on the concrete.
This was such important information that I decided to block it out immediately.
But then, as important messages from the Universe do, the message came again.
This time through a quite lengthy quote on writing:
Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing.
If you’re writing, you’re a writer.
Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon.
Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves.
Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone.
Write like you have a message from the king.
Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.
I knew I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to write.
That could be ruled out immediately.
And secondly, I also knew I didn’t have to make myself write “as if” I was on death row, clinging to the edge, on my last breath;
That’s why writing takes my life, even when I don’t have that time because I would like to be doing something productive that actually makes money.
It’s why I have two blogs under this name and three under my pen name;
Because otherwise my readers would go crazy.
I have friends coming up to me apologizing they haven’t read everything I posted lately, and I almost want to shriek:
I write because I absolutely have to.
So I received the same message twice:
That I did not have a choice in what I wanted for myself; The choice had been made for me.
Writing was more important to me than breathing.
I had wished I had been that much into yoga.
Just think of the great shape my body would be in, if I had done yoga in all the hours I spent behind my computer since 2006! I would be cast body-doubling for an actress half my age playing Wonder Woman.
Or I wish I had spent that time on my finance, my publishing business, my yoga studio, or in 2020; My career!
I would be absolutely unstoppable!!
But again: The quote from Alan Watts on writing and from Slash just erasing everybody out of his life who was taking up his attention, made it clear that ship had sailed.
The choice wasn’t mine to make.
Aside from the number of hours required for a full-time job, I didn’t have the “head space” for a real career. My mental band width was taken, and it had been taken since 2006 when I started writing, and it would stay that way for the rest of my life.
On my other accounts/ my pen name I write a lot about my love life:
It is all really interesting to go have a conversation about if it is ethical or not to write about your love life, but in the end that decision too was never mine to make.
I can agree with a lover that I SHOULD NOT be writing about us.
But to put it into practice would require an entirely different woman.
I can agree with an employer that I should go the extra mile, and become obsessed with my work and adopt it as my own identity to be that person/ do that thing;
But I already am my own person and I know what my thing is.
Yesterday, pretty much out of the blue, I saw one area where I was spending mental band width, time, and future plans on, that was neither linked to a career on a contract; Nor was it related to writing and having full creative freedom.
This area was:
I ve taught group classes from 2003-2018. I still teach a group friends, former students. And that s cool.
The problem, the thing that I will not be doing ever again, was that even after 18 months of dropping in and out of the idea of teaching yoga, I had settled for keeping myself on the market to teach privates and keeping the option open to reboot my yoga studio for privates or even group classes.
I had entered 2020 thinking that because I like writing about Rock Star Yoga, and I like doing yoga, and because I like writing out yoga schedules and teaching my group of friends every week;
I somehow owed it to myself and maybe even others, to stay open to the possibility of making my living with teaching and letting people work with me.
Which was not true.
Writing this Rock Star Yoga blog is like this thrill, like cutting off a way too big piece of cake. Starting way too big, with too many topics.
You can see it in this blogpost!
A title from a Frank Sinatra/Paul Anka/ Jon Bon Jovi song ; opening with a quote from Slash’s bio, brushing on Atomic Blonde and to then work up to this major life decision that I m going to quit teaching yoga after 16 years?
How the hell do I think I m going to bring that to a close?
Each of those topics probably deserve an entire blog post of their own.
The answer is:
I have no idea.
But that is the thrill of it.
To just bury your knife, or in my case my pen, deep, deep into the cake of topics that are all sweet and interesting, and watch sauce dripping out, the cream sticking to the blade, the icing breaking off and dropping onto the plate and think:
“I don’t care, I m going to eat this thing.”
That is writing to me, also writing about doing yoga.
Whereas teaching yoga was more like this green salad with falafel balls that you know you should be eating, and that is good for you;
But you re never dreaming of it.
Let alone thirsting for it.
You ve never caught yourself hanging on the cliff by your fingers blurting out: “Do your yoga!” before you fall into the ravine.
So yesterday, January 7th 2020, after teaching yoga for 16 years, 8 months and two weeks – 1,5 year spent on the fence – I quit teaching yoga.
And it felt wonderful.
To the outside world not much has changed.
I still have the (small) studio: It offers me a business address for the Chamber of Commerce, and I still teach my friends group there.
The name of the studio has already been the name of my publishing company, so I don’t have to change that either.
It really is that very small thing of saying: “No. I don’t teach, I m only a writer.”
That set me free.
I look back at 1,5 years on the fence with mixed feelings. It was the worst time of my life, no doubt about that. And it is tempting to blame myself for taking so long, before I could see how to go about this.
But these things take time.
I don’t want to ramble on about it, but one of the things I overlooked is that I am much more comfortable being hired for my intellect (so in a job) than for my ability to relate to other people (coaching or teaching yoga).
This was one of the things I didn’t understand until late 2019, when I saw I m most likely autistic.
The realization of being autistic has opened up new ways of seeing things, which I had never tried before, because I had been relying on common sense = things that are helpful or applicable to non-autistic people.
One of the celebrities I came across during these months of studying autism, was Slash. He has never positioned himself that way, so by no means am I handing out diagnoses, but to me it was extremely helpful that he was mentioned as an example of someone who was quite possibly autistic.
And when I watch his interviews now, the thoughtful way he expresses himself, and the way he gives so much space to the people he talks to, I recognize that as “Yes, that is how I see autism.”
The casual but stunning social analysis Slash makes of his surroundings – just broad strokes but so spot on, page after page – is also proof to me that he is indeed autistic, or at least what I consider to be autism, as in something that sets us apart.
In my experience non-autistic people are so involved in social dynamics, they don’t give words to them because they understand them naturally.
Or if they don’t, they suffer from it but they can’t put words to it.
Having a need and a talent to reflect and understand life, at such a detailed level, is certainly not what I would call normal.
After Slash has broken up with his girlfriend, he concludes the chapter with a take-away that illustrates why I could not come up with my solutions, and could not see what I needed, until very late in life.
For me it took 47 years and the insight of seeing myself as autistic, before I saw this.
What Slash already knew at 25:
“I’ve always had to do things my way; I ve gotten high my way, I ve gotten clean my way, I ve been in and out of relationships my way.
I ve taken myself to the edges of life my way. And I m still here.
Whether or not I deserve to be is another story.”
About Rock Star Yoga
The three pillars of Rock Star Yoga are:
1. raising your energy
Through any and all means nessecary. Two big often overlooked sources of energy are Purpose and Sexuality. By limiting these, you are limiting your potential and your energy.
Raising your energy also means, to raise your energy through yoga
(versus merely focusing on relaxation) or to engage in yoga in order to prepare and support your body to channel these big waves of creative energy.
2. RSY means a fully creative self-practice
Versus taking classes, sticking to a schedule or educating yourself in a certain lineage.
If you feel unsure where to start, you can find help on YouTube. Yoga with Adriene, is my personal favorite. But there are plenty of other tools around.
If/ once you feel safe enough, you can let go, and just let the body express in the way it desires.
3. RSY means your body is your instrument
Just look at the way Slash handles his guitar, and an entire new way of looking at, and experiencing, your body, could arise.