ABUNDANCE / by Anita Cheung

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now (nay, weeks) and have always found another reason to avoid sitting down and putting pen to paper/ fingers to keys.  I’m going to guess that it reveals a pretty ugly side of me that I would prefer not to explore. Nevertheless, here goes nothing.

I’m afraid.

Despite all my posts about learning to let things go, it’s all a matter of thought, etc… I can’t deny that I’m afraid. And since I’m perfectly aware that everything is a matter of thought and I need to learn to let things go, I struggle with the sensation of fear and how/ when it shows up for me. 

I’m afraid of failure.

And, since we’re being perfectly honest, who isn’t? For me, failure right now would look like Social Yoga fizzling out. (Note: I know there’s some serious ego behind fear of failure but I won’t delve into it today.) Dreaming and ideation is easy, dealing with the ups and downs and bank account is the hard part. And because I feel like I’ve put so much into it, I hug it close, and I find myself always protectively looking over my shoulder.

Image via @stephynow on Instagram. Totally talented chick that I madly respect, AND, this is just an example of what most people think of when they think of Yoga. 

Image via @stephynow on Instagram. Totally talented chick that I madly respect, AND, this is just an example of what most people think of when they think of Yoga. 

I’m no stranger to the fitness industry. As much as I hate to classify yoga as just another form of exercise, it is how most people see it. With that said, the fitness industry is rife with competition (as I’m sure any other industry is). I remember my first experience working behind the scenes at a barre studio in which the studio owner was very protective of her method and clients were vetted to ensure they weren’t pilates/ barre/ yoga instructors. At the time, I couldn’t believe that people would actually take ideas from a class and use it as their own.

A year later, I was teaching at another studio and the owner suggested I take other people’s classes to “get ideas”. After going through both pilates and yoga teacher training, during which I was suggested to “get ideas” from other teachers, I couldn’t help but feel that this was stealing. Even today, I still have to get over this story in my head. Everytime I use someone else’s sequences or terminology in a class, I feel like an imposter- as if I don’t own the words.

And perhaps it’s this background, and this story, that leads me to be extra protective with my “baby”. I know other teachers attend classes to “get ideas” and for a very long time (even up until recently), I felt a tinge of annoyance. It would take me hours of reading, journaling and playing around on my mat to get a particular sequence or a particular concept and for someone to come along and swipe it up felt like they were stealing from me. The yoga industry feels like the only one where you’re seen as an asshole if you don’t share your trade secrets with your competitors.

And that’s the problem. My use of that language. “Competitors”.
It implies that there is only so much _______ available. What fits into that underline can be anything from “potential students/ clients”, to “ideas”, to “yoga appropriate songs”.  It’s scarcity thinking.

What is scarcity thinking?

"It’s scarcity thinking that causes us to horde, guard, and develop a “me first” mentality.  It’s scarcity thinking that is the foundation of many conflicts between people and nations.While scarcity thinking may serve one well when lost in the woods with limited rations, in most other cases it is a destructive force”

 Scarcity Thinking- Great for situations like these, not so great for everyday life. 

 Scarcity Thinking- Great for situations like these, not so great for everyday life. 

It’s thinking that there isn’t enough to go around. Which is where the title of this post comes into play:


There is enough.

It may not look like it, and perhaps it requires a bit of work and looking at things differently, but there will be enough. With an abundant mindset, the mind can be creative.

Which brings me to my next point- creativity.
Perhaps all my creative type friends already know this, but I realized I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. Whenever I feel a bolt of inspiration, I hold on to it, just in case something that good doesn’t come around again. Recently, I stumbled across some old bookmarked links and this one came up. Now I haven't watched it in a while but from what I recall, it’s a video about how nothing is truly unique and everything creative is a remix. It reminded me that creativity is plentiful. Like a muscle, creativity only gets stronger with use.

So where am I now? Well, up until recently, I was hoarding thoughts and ideas, and feeling that I had to pump these ideas out soon, before other people got on it and I “missed my boat”. I was afraid of failing and I was making decisions out of fear.

There is a ted talks about how monkeys (like humans) make poor decisions when looking at things from a perspective of loss. You can watch the video here, but I’d like to think that perhaps this applies to more than just economical situations. When we are in a headspace of fear and we fear losing what we have, we simply aren’t rational.

I’ve done lots of thinking and journaling about this and after speaking with a friend/ mentor, finally decided to blog about this. While the post is pretty biz-specific, I’d like to think that there’s a nugget somewhere in there for everyone. If anything, it’s this-

I’ve realized that creating this whole drama around “stealing ideas” is the ego’s way to distract. Just like any drama we create,  instead of focusing on the work we need to do on ourselves, we become more interested in feeding the story.

Does this mean I’ve figured it out? Nope.
Does this mean I’m going to continue to try and catch myself? Yup.

These days, whenever I find myself veering off course- whether it’s being distracted by what someone else is doing or not doing, I simply remind myself to come back to my intention.