Just a word or two about my extreme Self-Doubt

In college I just remember thinking… how much could I actually dream up and create if I didn’t spend so much of my emotional and mental energy on what I can’t do? How far could I get if I focused my energy on a “bigger picture” rather than focusing my energy on feeling self-conscious?

I’m beginning to realize that I’m learning the same lessons over and over again. I don’t feel like I’m repeating my mistakes, but instead I keep revisiting the same themes in life and exploring them in a deeper context.

Three years ago, during my senior year in college, I had a deep hunger for life. I wanted to experience life in a unique way, to explore different countries, cultures, and perspectives, because as much as I always sort of “tried” to fit in (a theme in my life, even now), I always understood that my perspective on life was a little different. Back then though, I wondered… Who was I to do something different? I wanted to teach, but who would want to learn from me? I wanted to throw myself into new and sometimes uncomfortable experiences and share them, but who would want to hear about it?

I certainly proved myself wrong. Over the course of the last two years of non-stop traveling, through just the process of being real with myself and others has helped to connect me with people. Regardless of the fact that I’m highlining over canyons and doing handstands on people’s hands, which maybe not everyone can relate to, the process of struggle, failure, and picking yourself back up and learning is something that everyone can relate to. I hope that I can always find and communicate the common human thread behind every journey.

I’m feeling those same themes of self-consciousness and general negativity right now in my life. I’m finally starting to make money doing what I want to do – teaching, sharing, and moving. But… it’s inconsistent. Sometimes I have a very successful workshop and I feel alive and on a could, and other times my heart drops when I have two people signed up for a workshop I’ve been planning for months.

My darling friend and colleague Alex Reynaldo and I ran our first retreat last weekend. It was yoga, slackline, acro, and adventure retreat at a hot springs in one of the most beautiful mountainous places in Colorado. We attracted 11 participants down with us. I had somewhat of a breakdown before the actual retreat. How could I have conned these people to pay us so much money and travel so far? I had nothing to offer them.

Once we met in our welcome circle for the first time, however, I instantly dropped into my flow, and shared from my heart. I felt that sitting in the circle around the crystal bowl was exactly where I was meant to be. I felt as if I was living my deepest purpose, and that having these intense doubts and then being able to openly share these moments of vulnerability with others and connect with them in that was is a strength, not a weakness. That weekend I taught one of the best Vinyasa yoga classes I’ve ever taught, and hopefully was able to provide others with a fun and inspiring experience. My deepest gratitude goes out to every person willing to trust us with their time.

After two years of realizing that I could live as a nomad and send longer lines, and do standing hand to hands and more, even now I continue to relive those old lessons, and experience levels of self-doubt as I plan an Acro Teaching Tour around Florida, and daydreaming about new retreats and projects I can plan in the future. What could I possibly have to offer? Surely whatever I do have to offer, someone else could do it better. Ultimately that’s exactly what I have to offer… my own vulnerability, and my own process of self-doubt and self-affirmation. That story will never get old. 

The group at Balance Mountain Retreat, Alex and Michelle's Slackline Yoga Retreat in the Sand Dunes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in September.  

Michelle and Alex teaching Acro at Balance Mountain Retreat.