I've been blog friends with Christa from Christa in New York for some time now. She writes daily blog posts that I find so inspirational. She's also a yoga teacher who is in the process of making her dreams become her full-time life and is not afraid to try NEW things! Here she is to talk about that and about beginnings! Please Welcome Christa Avampato:
Welcome to January – a global celebration of beginning also known as New Year’s Resolutions. A few years ago, I started to make one giant resolution and then publicly write about my progress every day. In 2009, I wrote about my quest for more hope and learned the lesson that the more earnestly we look for hope, the more likely we are to find it. In 2010, I bundled up all of that hope and used it as a down payment to live an extraordinary life. In the process, I found that the best way to live an extraordinary life is to find the extraordinary in very ordinary moments like the warmth of the sun on my face while walking my dog in Central Park. As 2011 approached, I started to panic. I couldn’t think of a resolution that would live up to the previous two.
Friendship to the rescue! In the Fall of 2010, my friend, Amanda, asked me to write a guest post for her blog on the topic of maintaining a Zen feeling while living in New York City. My post turned into a call to action encouraging New Yorkers to relish being beginners and embracing everything that goes along with it – experimenting, innovating, iterating, and yes, that infamous F-word, Failure.
I wondered aloud if more of a collective beginner’s mindset could restore Zen in a city known for its frenetic pace. In that post, I found my mega New Year’s Resolution for 2011 – to become an expert beginner. I’ve dwelled in the land of perfectionism most of my life; I chase mastery in everything I do. 2011 was a chance for me to let it all go.
On January 1, 2011, I began a journey of my own into the world of being a beginner. At first, it was terrifying. Having the courage to live in the mind of a beginner every day was a huge shift for me. However, I committed to it publicly, in writing. There was no turning back so on I went.
I tried my hand at a whole host of new activities and responsibilities – from one-time events like a fiction writing class to life-changing decisions like getting my therapeutic yoga certification and founding a nonprofit, Compass Yoga, dedicated to providing yoga and wellness programming to people with mental and physical health challenges. With a good deal of trepidation, I began to publicly pitch my teaching, writing, and public speaking skills to new clients, partners, agents, and conferences. I learned how to be a confident dog owner, which took a lot more courage, patience, and efforts than I ever imagined it would take. And at the end of the year, I booked my first trip to India and committed to a school for my next level of yoga teacher training.
Through the experiences of 2011, I developed a great love of beginning. I learned to revel in new starts and blank pages, no matter what day of the calendar year they happened. In this way, every day became January 1st for me. We can always begin – exactly where we are. It takes a lot of courage to start, but over time our confidence muscle builds like any other muscle. Practice makes a good beginner and now is the best time to start!
Christa Avampato is a yoga teacher who learns from her students every day, a product developer who loves the possibilities of new technology, and a writer who believes that hope and creativity are the most powerful duo on Earth. She travels with a purpose and regularly practices the high art of people-watching in New York City, where she makes her home with her rescue pup, Phin. Follow her online at http://www.christainnewyork.com and http://www.twitter.com/christanyc to learn about her big 2012 beginning—making the leap to work on Compass Yoga full-time. Learn more about Compass Yoga at http://www.compassyoga.com.