What You Want is on the Other Side of Fear

Fear blocks us. Fear pulls you down. Fear brings Darkness.

Then when you’ve found the bottom, a sparkle makes you look up. And you see there are stars in the sky.

When I quit my job, all I knew was that quitting was the right thing to do. I didn’t have a plan. After quitting, I took month vacation for some R&R and self-introspection and when I got back, Fear met me at the door.

It told me that I made a mistake. Fear held me down, insisting that I didn’t know what I was doing. He would glare at me, silently disappointed. She made me feel small, panicked, drowned.

For months Fear yelled at me about money. They said, “Stop spending so much!” “Save more or you won’t have anything left.” “Hold onto what you have, because where are you going to get more?” She measured my worth based on how much I had in the bank. He told me that all my money would disappear faster than I could imagine and that I would need to go back and make more. Fear insisted that if I wasn’t making any money, I wasn’t doing enough. And when you don’t do enough to deserve love, you won’t be loved.

In my bedroom in the middle of the day, Fear would ask, “Who are you now?” If you don’t know, then  you must be nothing. People that are nothing, are worthless, failures, specs of dust. When Fear yelled at me, it felt like the end of everything. Some days I cried. In the kitchen, Fear would yell at me. Sometimes I would ignore them and eat. Sometimes I wouldn’t. Often, I wandered aimlessly – in my mind and in life, only finding more emptiness in between.

“What now?” was always the question. “What do I do? How do I find my way? Who can I ask?”

Each day was a struggle to rise above Fear. She was always there with me. He never left my side. Most of the time I chose to talk to them because it was the best life I knew. They were there from the beginning. Everything I wanted was blocked (had always been) by Fear: the new job, the fulfilling career, the self-worth, and the self-love.

I spent at least 6 weeks paralyzed by Fear. I stayed in bed and cried a lot. Eventually I would get out of bed and try to be productive, but often I would panic and look for jobs in the career I left. I applied to so many jobs that were nothing like what I wanted, just to ease Fear. I got angry at Fear for always telling me I should have known better. The worse it got, the more Unworthiness showed up to tell me I couldn’t handle this.

But I did handle it. Exercise kept me grounded – yoga, biking, rock climbing, hiking. My friends encouraged me and supported me. Don was always telling me that I was making the right decision. I spent a lot of time listening to both Fear and my support. The battle inside is the hardest one.

The book that changed my life was The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. Brené taught me that I was worthy. She insisted that I dig deep to unearth the roots of my unworthiness, and I found that everything boiled down to my inability to love myself.

Then I looked up and saw the milky way.

Life Update – 1.5 Years after Quitting

Don’t you love those shows that follow up on the Biggest Loser or the Bachelor to see how they’ve been doing since that huge change you watch them go through?

Welcome to the Miinkay show. And thank you for tuning in. Cue series recap.

A year and a half ago, I found myself in the middle of a massive spiritual/emotional revelation: I am the only one that can make myself happy. I had spent about 8 years loathing my job but was unable to move out of it. And in July of 2016 I finally did what I only dreamed of for years prior. Except quitting was only half the dream; the other half was realizing my purpose in life. I had no plans, or idea of what was right for me. I just knew that I had to take hold of my own happiness. Part of becoming happier was to quit my job.

I went through a 6 month period of self exploration, denial, depression, fear, anxiety and constant worry. I tried to fill my time with volunteering and applying to jobs I might like. I applied to a lot of non-profit work, but never got any interview. I volunteered at 2 different organizations and definitely kept up my workout regimen. And I read ALOT of self help books. Including books on meditation, happiness, self-compassion, and inner peace.

And here is the minor climax! In November, I stumbled upon Craniosacral Therapy and found my path: bodywork. Still a luxury, but really a necessity, bodywork was hardly a career I thought about. However the study of the human body and the body mind connection has been fascinating. I spent most of 2017 studying massage and energy work. I practiced on friends, met colleagues at workshops and studied. Don’t get me wrong, there was still ALOT of worrying, questioning, and confusion in the middle of it all, but no self doubt. I never once looked back. I worried about whether I would be able to support myself and if I could handle the demands of being self-employed. I fretted over spending wisely and struggled with allowing myself trips for fun vs studying at home. I compared myself to others and am still expecting myself to be successful right away. But I have to keep reminding myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I have to keep reminding myself that I am in happier place with my career than I’ve felt in my entire life – money or no money. And they always say, when you are doing something you are passionate about, then the money will come.

Is it coming? Slowly but surely. I got a job working for the massage school where I study, doing well…everything. I schedule clients, market the classes and the school, help with logistics and planning, and support whatever projects need work. I work part time and have part time to do bodywork. I am making roughly $30,000 a year doing a couple of different jobs. Enough to live on, not enough to save but enough to live, study, and move forward with my career. I am learning how to run a business –
what my future could look like and it looks really promising.

How do I feel? Really good. Is there still work to be done? Yes very much. Will everything be ok? Yes everything will totally be ok. Cue uplifting music. Please tune back in after six months for another update. =)


I think compassion toward the self is sometimes an unknown thing, which is a shame. I grew up thinking that hard work was the way to go, and I ran myself into the ground. To me self-care means stopping to assess what is going on: the good and the bad. It means giving myself a break when I’ve worked 4 hours already. It means giving myself a day off even when I have more work I want to accomplish. Self-care means buying clothes that make me feel good or taking 10 minutes to put on a face mask. Self-care means saying no to events or nights out or nights in. I want to cultivate my voice to be stronger so that I can always express what I want or what I’m thinking. Self-care means asking for what I need from others – whether it’s for a vent session or for them help me move furniture.

Self-care is going to work out or walk or be outside just to be outside. Self-care is allowing myself to just be me and not having any judgement.

The Studio that Made Me

Ally and Me

Last Friday I went to my last class at Yogi’s Anonymous. I first found Yogi’s when I moved to LA in 2011. I remember walking into a level 3 class not knowing what to expect and the first pose Brock Cahill put everyone in was handstand. Eeek! Nevertheless he was kind and supportive in getting me through that class where I was in way over my head. I kept going to find that all the teachers were amazing, strong, and clear. Ally kicked my ass and gave me life advice in the process. I learned to breath with long deep breaths and I learned to hold my down dog well. Most importantly I worked on not judging myself as I failed or fell or felt weak. I learned to put my knees down and rest. I learned to have compassion for myself. My type A personality found respite through the teachings of Yoga.

At the end of 2012 I took the journey of their first Teacher Training. Charlie and Ally maneuvered us through all the poses, how to teach them, and how to demonstrate them well. I made life long friends and still carry their teaching with me today as I teach. I was sad to know that Yogi’s was closing, but happy to see that the spirit lives on. I didn’t know how much it meant to me until I practiced one last time on those floors and recalled the times I practiced with friends, the first forearm balance I hit, and the words that taught me to start loving myself.

This place not only made me the teacher that I am, but it made me the person that I am. Yoga was my guide, but Yogi’s was the home to visit. Thank you for everything.

Seeing Clearly

I’m addicted to my phone. Somehow, being around family means being on my phone a lot. But after a full day of searching through Facebook, Instagram and playing all the games I could, I got tired of my phone. Then I had to face myself. Dad was driving and there was a CD of Chinese guitar music with that pentatonic melody. I took off my glasses and stared out the window. Though fuzzy and unrecognizable, what I saw was bright and beautiful. It’s funny because for a long time I’ve been thinking about Lasik and wishing that my eyes were good enough to avoid dealing with contacts and glasses. But here I was watching the lights, trees, and world go by in this blurry, beautiful fashion. Being imperfect in this way is not a detriment, but a privilege. I can see the world in a way some people can’t.

One Year Post Career Change

Well here we are. One year after I quit my career and went on the journey of my lifetime. Where am I? What am I doing? How am I doing? Was it worth it?

I’m still in LA, enjoying the sunshine, doing yoga and riding my bike. I don’t cook much anymore because I’m so busy with my career and dating Don. But I’m navigating OK and I haven’t gone crazy. My career is threefold right now. I teach yoga 3 classes a week. I am in massage school, working on my license so that I can be a craniosacral therapist. And I volunteer at Heal One World, helping the interns with their work, coordinating the volunteer teachers, and improving the sustainability of the non-profit.

The first 3 months of the year were spent mainly on massage school and practicing the cranial work. The last 3 months were mainly spent working with Heal One World. I get to decide what I do day to day, and I’m gaining the experience I need to move forward in my career. Life is pretty good. I’m not sitting behind a desk all day, nor am I doing anything I hate doing. I don’t feel like I love where I’m at, but I don’t hate it either. I feel like I’m on the path I should be on. I’m learning, growing and making something of my life.

How am I doing? Overall, pretty good. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all the things I want to do: yoga, rock climb, read books, see friends, volunteer, improve my business…but I’m learning to manage that and to pare down or let go. Other times I don’t know if I’m really on the right path. I’ve been working on meditating to really know my truth.

I’m still working on letting go of my feelings around money and being rich. I’m trying to trust that the universe will help me afford all the things I want and need for myself and I’m trying to be patient about it. Every day is day where I try not to compare my situation to that of others who are more prosperous or successful. But its getting better. The worry is minute compared to 6 months ago and I’ve accepted the life I’m living. Of course it helps when your boyfriend buys you dinners and drives you around a lot. =D

Was it worth it? Yes. There is no doubt about it, Yes. Even though there is still worry and uncertainty in my life I wouldn’t trade my situation for my old job at all. My life can only get better from here.

Momentary Freak Out

Last week I realized that it has nearly been a year since I quit my job and immediately I started to compare myself to my expectations. I was hoping to have a new job and a meager but steady income, a new career and overall be happier. Well I have started a new career and am working hard every day, but I don’t make much money. My yoga teaching only makes enough to pay for my rock climbing membership and half my groceries. In short I did not meet my expectations and I had a minor freak out. If I wasn’t even close to supporting myself right now, then how will I be able to do so in the future? Realistically will I be making a stable income by the end of the year? By the end of next year? I felt like I was doing so much work and it wasn’t amounting to any money, so then what was I doing with my life?

Then I had to calm down and suck it up. I told myself to stop using money as a success gauge and to really see my life for what it was. I’m not making a lot of money but I am gaining experience, building my new career and enjoying my life. Every day is different and I can decide exactly what I’m doing. I am blessed with the savings to pay rent and buy food. I am blessed with the opportunities to work in a non-profit and treat people that need my help. As I was driving to Heal One World to do some work with the interns, I saw a familiar looking man begging for food. I offered him two of my tangerines and he was so grateful for them. Instantly my worries about money disappeared. I have so much, how can I be worried for myself when there are no real signs of struggle in my life. I am exactly where I need to be.

New life, new traditions

I used to skip over my birthday just like it was any other day. I would downplay it and never organize anything for my friends. Most of the years I would celebrate on my own or with my family by eating lobster and buying myself nice things. This year was quite the opposite. I’m keeping to my budget and didn’t buy myself a present, but I put my birthday up on Facebook so people could wish me happy birthday. (The first time it’s been on fb in years.) I got a small group of friends to go see some beautiful flowers and I told people it was my birthday. I allowed the celebration to happen instead of purposefully stifling it. It felt good.

It was a practice of receiving. Receiving happy wishes, happy words, and presents. Instead of trying to be polite by refusing, I started accepting with gratitude and wholeheartedness.

21 Day Yoga Challenge

I was 5 days from finishing the Wanderlust 21 day yoga challenge when I decided to stop. I was swamped with my natural tendancy to over-commit to life. I was starting school, volunteering, teaching yoga, seeing Don and trying to take care of myself all at the same time. In addition I was already practicing yoga 2-3 times a week already just by teaching and practicing with my students. So having to practice an hour in the morning then again for 20 minutes later in the day seemed excessive and was something I don’t have time for. What I wanted from the challenge was to learn ways to teach and to try to have a daily practice. I’ve always struggled with building and having a consistent personal practice. Even though I cut it short, I think I got what I wanted out of it. Just trying to have a daily practice forced me to see how much I struggle with staying still. I could not get through the 20 minutes without pausing the video to go and do something else that was on my mind. My mind wandered constantly and it was a struggle to stay with Skyler. As the days passed it got easier to focus on one thought at a time and then come back to the video, but I now understand what I need to work on. Patience for myself and focus. Focus on the task at hand for at least the 20 minutes I’ve allotted.

When I decided to stop the challenge, I was proud of myself for letting something go that didn’t help me anymore. It only caused me stress.  Even though I committed to the 21 days, I evaluated during the journey whether this was still good for me or not. Day by day it changed and after 16 days it was no longer good for my life. I think this is a good practice for everything in life. We are good at holding onto things that don’t work for us because of our integrity. It’s ok to stop and say, no more.

Things I learned:

  1. Your personal practice can be as little as 5 minutes a day. Start there and let it evolve.
  2. It’s okay to release yourself from you commitments. Re-evaluating the benefits is a necessary thing and stopping if your commitment isn’t good for you anymore is prudent and mature.
  3. Life is a journey. Try the same thing over and over again to get good at it.

6 months later

It’s been about 6 months since I quit my job and put my faith in life. What have I done? A large mixture of changing the way I think and treat myself, while also figuring out what I want to do with my time.

Right after my solo road trip through the west coast, I came home and had to really face my reality. It was a roller coaster of emotion that included bouts of depression, self-doubt, and tons of fear. Until finally I realized that my reality is actually way better than the world I was creating in my head.

Goodbye $$$. What helped me profoundly was dealing with my fears on money. I was afraid that I wouldn’t have enough for me or my family. I worried that I would run out and have to go back to work. But my reality is that I have enough money to last me a few years of not working. Ideally I wouldn’t have to spend all my nest egg…which brings about the fear that I won’t ever make it back. But letting go of all those fears has really freed my mind. It wasn’t simple, but allowing myself to take on the attitude that I will make my money back and more has helped immensely. I am now able to focus on doing what I want and care about, and trusting that money will come later.

Identity crisis. When you leave your career behind, you make a huge shift. I went though many rounds of questioning my decisions and feeling horribly uncomfortable with where I was in life. I spent a lot of time distracting myself from my self-doubt and plenty of time unfocused on the future. It helped a lot to have yoga. To me yoga is something constant and firm in my life. It is always the same and it is always good for me. Being able to go to that and escape my own head helped immensely.

Once you get over the discomfort of being in new territory, then you have to work on redefining yourself. I read a lot of self help books. I knew I needed direction and I tried to look for the direction in myself. Meaning that I worked on hearing my intuition and taking action on things I might not fully understand. I believe that everyone is here for a purpose and you have to block out the judgement, ego, and opinions of others and yourself to hear what your soul knows you should be doing.

I started to let go of the fear that I was on the wrong path and embraced a path of uncertainty. I am still afraid of the unknown, but now I’m better at dealing with it.

Time. At first, I gave myself a deadline. If after 6 months I wasn’t working and making money I would just go back to what I was doing before. Then I realized that I hated this deadline. It constricted me and gave me no hope. I don’t want to go back to what I was doing before, and in reality it will probably take more than 6 months to start a new career. So I am giving myself an infinite amount of time to figure out my life, and I have faith that I’ll be able to make enough money to support myself before the nest egg runs out.

In my transition the life lessons I’ve learned can be summed up to these three:

  1. Learn to trust yourself and your intuition
  2. Give yourself plenty of time and space
  3. Free yourself from fear

It has been 6 months of struggle, work, and trust but I am in a better place than I’ve been in a long, long time.

Now. Right now I am not even looking for a job. I’m studying html, CSS and java script, a hobby I’ve always wanted to pursue but never had time. I’m studying the body/mind connection, learning cranio-sacral therapy, and massage, a new interest I’ve connected with in the past 3 months. And I’m teaching yoga, a love I’ve had for a long time.

I don’t know how all these pieces of my life will fit together, but maybe it won’t or doesn’t have to. All I know right now is that if I keep working on what interests me, then everything else will fall into place.