Wednesday, January 7, 2015

4 Powerful Words That Changed My Life

It was nearly three years ago. I was at Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Squaw Valley for the second year in a row, with my amazing friend Katie. Katie is a special soul, and she doesn't really know this, but I pretty much attribute me finding my love of yoga to her.  

I was taking a yoga class called "Threesome." I know. I know. This class was a Vinyasa flow class taught by three San Francisco-based instructors: Mark Morford, Pete Guinosso, and Pradeep Teotia. Though I usually try not to take San Francisco instructors while at Wanderlust, I opted to take this class because I had heard amazing things from fellow trusted yogis about Pete and Pradeep, and I use to read Mark's San Francisco Chronicle column when I first moved to San Francisco. And then there was the name of the class. Well, that just flat out intrigued me.

These three guys approached the class with a sense of humor and friendship, but also, passion and respect for the practice. Each instructor taught a third of the class and though I don't remember the order necessarily, I do remember this -

At some point during the flow, Pradeep challenged us to push ourselves. And then, he simply said, "If not now, when?"

If not now, when.

If not now, when?

If, not now. When?

These words have been said before. I am sure of that. They may not seem profound. But for some reason, three years later, they have stuck with me like almond butter and oatmeal sticks to your insides on a cold morning, keeping you warm and full. 

I don't really make New Year's Resolutions - I just never really have. I've thought about a few things I want to make happen this year, including seeing my Mom and Sister more often, spending more time with my boyfriend's family, and continuing to do my best in school (while staying mentally and spiritually sane). But, I don't really consider these resolutions. I do think it is wonderful that many people look to the new year as a chance to reflect, re-evaluate, and re-dedicate themselves to making positive changes in their lives. 

For the past six years, I felt as though I was trapped in my pharmaceutical advertising job, a job that provided me financial security, wonderful co-workers, and a ladder to climb over time. It also left me feeling completely unsatisfied, professionally, morally, and mentally. And many times, I felt guilty for feeling this way because I knew I was so lucky to have such a stable job. I first considered going back to school to pursue my passion nearly five years ago, when I met with the department head of my current university, and mapped out a plan for how to become an RD. I felt overwhelmed, scared, and I talked myself out of said plan a few weeks later. 

My passion for nutrition and healthy living did not dissipate over these years, rather, it became more apparent. So, when I heard Pradeep say these words, about three years ago, they almost paralyzed me. I remember, so vividly, stopping and just repeating what he said over and over again. 

It took me a few years to get over the various fears that prevented me from pursuing my education and career. But I just kept thinking, if not now, when? And eventually, I succumbed to it. It clicked. 

So maybe you have some goals or resolutions for this year. Or maybe you've already given up on something you wanted to do this year. If it is really important to you, whatever it is,  whoever it is, just ask yourself, if not now, when? It may take a few days, months, weeks, heck, even years, but I hope you can make it happen. 

There is some urgency, right? This life is precious and unpredictable.

If not now, when?


  1. GREAT POST. I love it. Also, I have a DEEP love for Pradeep and his yoga classes. You're going to have a GREAT 2015!

    1. Thank you! 2015 will be great for us both I suspect. xo

  2. Love your post Laura! Very well written and I'm so proud of you for taking the leap to follow your dreams!
    - Lindsey