Yoga, instagram, and mascara… Yes, what an unlikely combination, and there’s an interesting story behind it. Let me start from the beginning.
Three years ago, I had no idea what I was doing with my life. After realizing college was useless when I had no idea what I wanted to spend my life doing, I came back home and met the man of my dreams. Our relationship was unlike any other I’d ever been a part of. He had a “sky is the limit” attitude, and I had the down-to-earth, close-minded, “you can’t do that” mentality. When I met him, I felt small, unimportant, unmotivated, and self conscious. I was bouncing from one part-time job to the next, looking for one that I could actually tolerate. He helped show me that my worries were not as big as I imagined them to be, and my ambitions could be bigger.
After a while, a great opportunity presented itself, a position as a full time office manager of a new business that had just opened. I took the job and found myself with 40 hours a week of computer and internet time. I developed an interest in my health, something I never put much thought into before. I became very interested in the harmful chemicals we put into our bodies via food and beverages, beauty products, etc.
After researching this topic for some time, I made a rash decision. I began a vegetarian and never looked back. My research led me to yoga. This new desk job of mine caused back pain and allover stiffness, and yoga gave me immediate relief. That’s what kept me so dedicated to my asana practice at first. I practiced every single morning, DVDs and YouTube videos, usually Yoga with Adriene and Ali Kamenova’s interval yoga. I am extremely grateful to these yogis for giving me access to yoga, something that was not available at all in my small town in Tennessee. It was quickly changing my perspective on life. I saw and appreciated the physical benefits my practice gave me, but more importantly, the spiritual transformation I experienced was profound. I became a much more positive person, aware of what went on inside and outside my body. I grew confident and loved myself, for once in my life. I began to relate to my inner and true Self, rather than my ego. I let go of the worries and attachments that occupied my mind, like finances, and as a result, abundance flowed my way.
At the time, my boyfriend (now fiancé) was really into Instagram. I had never looked into it, but after somehow learning of the virtual yoga community, I did. I was quickly swept away into a world of positivity, love, encouragement, and reinforcement. It also allowed me to grow my asana practice tenfold through “yoga challenges.”
I learned so much just from Instagram, physically and spiritually. I wished that yoga classes were available in my area, and that’s when I knew it was my duty to make that happen. I took it upon myself to purchase a “yoga teaching certification” online after realizing the actual in-person yoga teacher trainings that were in the region (although still at least an hour’s drive away) were way out of my budget. This “certification” gave me the extra confidence I needed to invite a group to practice yoga with me, hoping to inspire them to reap the benefits of yoga and show how the everyday stresses we endure are something we can banish from our minds forever. Keep in mind, I’d never taken a real live yoga class before, only online videos and classes! But this was something that, in my heart, I knew was meant for me to do. I instructed those who trusted me to do so, and I learned and grew so much.
In the meantime, I stumbled across a yoga challenge hosted by a studio in Miami, Florida, and the prize was a full teacher training scholarship! I knew I had to win. I didn’t know how I’d get to Miami, or how I’d take off work, but I knew I would make it happen if I won. This wasn’t a “here’s the pose, post the best picture and you win” challenge; this was a “look deep into your soul and tell us what moves you” challenge. I gave it my absolute all, and apparently the hosts could see that, because I won a full scholarship to Rina Yoga’s Yoga Immersion and Teacher Training that fall! It absolutely changed my life. I learned an unbelievable amount about my self, others, and my practice. I learned about the philosophy of yoga, how to begin letting go of my earthly attachments, how to serve myself and others, and everything I needed to know in order to teach others asana practice. I continued with my donation-based community classes and continued to learn and grow.
Here’s where the mascara comes in. You may be thinking something along the lines of, “yogis don’t wear makeup!” This one definitely didn’t after she learned all about the harmful chemicals involved. That doesn’t mean I didn’t wish to look, or more accurately feel, a little bit more special when I had an event to attend. I would cringe at the thought of wearing makeup on my upcoming wedding day, because I didn’t want that stuff in my body! And that’s when Younique stumbled into my life, through Facebook, of all things.
Younique is a full cosmetic line, and one that uses no harmful, cancer-causing ingredients, something I haven’t found in any other company, not to mention the products are amazing in themselves, natural ingredients or not. On top of that, this is a company with moral standards. The mission statement is “Uplift, Empower, Validate,” and that is exactly what the company and its products do for women everyday. The company has also established the Younique Foundation, an all-expense-paid retreat for women who have been sexually abused as adolescents and children. I didn’t know all this at first, only the fact that they use naturally based, made in USA ingredients.
I tried the mascara and instantly fell in love. The presenter proceeded to try to convince me to be represent the company myself. After declining several times, I eventually just went for it. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I know I wouldn’t have had the passion, confidence, and ability to see the big picture three years ago. I know that success doesn’t happen overnight. It requires faith, passion, perseverance. Everything in life is a journey, complete with its ups and downs, and that goes for business as well. Nothing in life can be only rainbows and sunshine, but with positivity, you can make it feel that way. In just four months, I’ve managed to earn four promotions in this company, build a team of 17 others who share the same passion as me, earn a free cruise to Jamaica, and simply build the strength and confidence needed to make MY dreams come true instead of someone else’s.
I know now what I will be doing with my life: helping people to love themselves for the way they already are, through yoga and a safer alternative to cosmetics. My life is a prime example that the vibes you put out there come right back to you. Life is a rollercoaster ride, and it is what you make it. It can be scary, and you can wish it to be over as soon as it starts, or you can enjoy the ride and see where it takes you! These precious days are YOURS to do with them what you wish!