Stop worrying about how to get from A to Z

We are constantly looking for the most effective and efficient way to do nearly everything. We have project managers, processes like SCRUM, entrepreneurs with productivity mantras, and a world that prides itself on being “first.”

What if being the most efficient started with recognition, gratitude, and a moment of calm? What if we stop worrying about how to get from A to Z and instead celebrate that we finally discovered what “Z” is in the first place?

Balinese prayer offering
Balinese prayer offering. You see these everywhere on the island.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m on a mission, mainly to serve. I discovered that I was much happier teaching yoga, traveling, and helping people than I was in tech marketing. And so, I developed a goal of traveling around the world and making a nomadic lifestyle economically and emotionally sustainable. It’s a larger than life goal, and maybe I learn that it’s not possible. But I’ll have learned.

Some days, I’ll admit, it’s tough. There are times when I fear that not teaching yoga classes will prevent me from being successful or that I’ll never get a job teaching if I can’t hold a handstand for five breaths or longer. But everyday, I teach myself, and I try to make things happen. And sometimes, life throws opportunities to serve my way, like my recent experience in Nepal helping earthquake victims. I look back on that month and think: How did I do that?

I admit, it was tough to decompress, and I felt that my life had no purpose anymore. But I learned that helping people around the clock in a country that’s in a state of emergency is not a sustainable life. It’s exactly what it’s called: a state of emergency. Instead, nourishing my body, soul, and nervous system would help me serve in a much better and healthier way.

Handstand in Oaxaca
Throwback from the ruins in Oaxaca, Mexico last March. Not perfect, but still training!

My point is that I’ve got to appreciate the “Z.” It takes a long time to discover your path, let alone the end to it. I have the goal and can accomplish it step by step. To stop worrying about all the steps in between and to start teaching. Build a community and start practicing everyday – maybe twice a day. Heck, if it doesn’t get me a teaching job, it’ll for sure get me that five-breath handstand.

Maybe my intentions and actions will bring my goals to fruition or maybe I learn something along the way and try a different path. It got me thinking that if I’m struggling with this, that maybe others are too. Maybe I’m not alone and that people would benefit greatly from starting their days with a few minutes of awe at their own history. To look back at all the things they’ve accomplished in the past week, month, six months, or year. I promise you are a different person than when you started, whatever path you walk.

This time last year, I was planning my head off for a conference for my tech startup all the while with a strong desire to be a traveling yoga teacher. I started to feel that everyone else was better than me in my field of work and in my desired field of work. I had the “grass is always greener” syndrome.

Then one day, I decided to stop whining and start doing. I had an “A” and a “Z” and everything in between would just have to work itself out along the way. Once I set my intention, I managed to get a few teaching jobs in San Francisco before my transition, my practice improved greatly, my ability to serve my community extended far beyond yoga, and now I’m in Bali doing more than I ever had imagined.

Sunset over Batu Balong beach
Sunset over Batu Balong beach

Two quotations come to mind as I write this post:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu


“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” – Buddha

I started. I took the first step and now I must go all the way.

But today, I’m celebrating. I got out of bed early this morning and practiced the primary series, I made a friend (a start to my new community), I ate good food, I’m sharing my story, and following my dreams. I don’t have the same stresses I did a year ago.

I took that first step, along with many other first steps. I’m grateful and proud of what I’ve done so far in my life, and I hope that it keeps driving me along this path. And maybe, just maybe I can continue to serve people through other avenues, like this blog.

One thought on “Stop worrying about how to get from A to Z

  1. Rachel Sturz Reply

    Well said Alyse! It’s easy to forget to enjoy to process and the journey rather than just wanting to arrive. Sounds like you’re doing some amazing things and helping others along the way. Keep it up!


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