A couple days ago during my morning ritual of writing and meditating, my pen took over as if it was independent of my brain. Minutes later, I read back through my "thoughts" and realized it was the answer I'd been searching for. This is exactly what I wrote, Pleasing is the opposite of disappointing. So am I a PP or just trying to avoid hearing the words of disappointment that feel mean and harsh. Avoiding situations just to avoid disappointing someone or doing things that felt unnatural to me just to avoid disappointing. Maybe I didn't understand at first, but at an early age, I could feel tension, unhappiness around me. I didn't like the feeling and didn't want to be the source of anything negative. So to this day I go out of my way to avoid disappointing someone and if I feel like I can't avoid disappointment, I will avoid the situation all together. (This is not what I was expecting to express that morning, but it's exactly what came from the pen.)
As I read back through my notes, I felt a sense of relief. If I'm being honest, I really dislike the badge of "People Pleaser". For some reason, it felt better to learn that I was less interested in pleasing everyone and more inclined to avoid disappointing. (Yes, I know you're reading this thinking they're the same, just humor me.) It was another Tuck the Fringe realization. I have Tucked the Fringe to avoid the feeling of disappointing others, not because I wanted to hear the validation of people pleasing. I can look back at my entire life and see this pattern. Not wanting to disappoint makes it extremely difficult to be yourself and to put yourself first.
This Tuck the Fringe movement is all about uncovering and exposing so that we can be ourselves. So I often wonder how and why it's all connected. For me, it has to be about growth and letting my true self be seen and heard. I've never questioned the purpose God has placed in my heart and I feel very fortunate that I was able to hear the calling. However, I now believe there is so much more to it. Why would God guide me to help others heal, when I have such a need to avoid disappointing people? The question answers itself. I am here to heal myself.
I thought I was pretty good at staying true to my dharma (purpose) by asking, "Is what I'm about to do in line with my purpose of helping others heal?" As someone who doesn't disappoint, the answer was always YES, even when it should have been NO. I found myself in an endless battle of the mind trying to live my dharma while meeting the demands of others without disappointing. Let me share some examples. "If you had a yoga class at 7PM, I would come." "If you taught a power class, I would come." "It's too hot in here." "It's too cold in here." "If you did more meditation..." "If you did less meditation..." "It sounds like your class is geriatric." "It sounds like your class is for young people." "Not enough Sanskrit." "Too much 'yoga philosophy'." "Not enough God." "Too much God." "Change your music..." And so on... You can see how exhausting it became. Each one of these was actually verbalized to me at some point in the last 3 years. And given the fact that I didn't want to disappoint, I changed my ways several times, even when the girl inside screamed at me. I didn't listen.
My lesson is this. UN-Tucking My Fringe and staying true to myself always, 100%, feels better. Not one of these situations was successful and I had to be OK with the fact that I will disappoint people. I will not Tuck My Fringe in my work or my relationships. I will teach my classes in a way that feels natural to me. I will use God and scripture and if I want to OM, we will OM. I will use music from the 60's and 70's and I will use humor and joke with my students and together we will create a welcoming environment. I will provide safe and supportive instruction for everyone who joins us. Those that resonate with me will find their way to my classes and others will not. I am someone who is lucky enough to have heard their calling loud and clear. I am lucky enough to be going through this journey of becoming my true self by UN-Tucking My Fringe. It will continue to be my life's work because I have many years of habit to break. And at the end of the day, it's between me and God and there's not a chance in hell that I'm putting this girl back!