Day 11: Alignment (and news!) - an excerpt from my currently running email series
I usually hate this word as alignment a bit of a sore subject for me. See, I’m super knock-kneed, I have lordosis of the spine (meaning my lumbar spine has an excessive arch in it), even my pinky and ring fingers are missing some sort of muscle in them, preventing me from being able to ever fully straighten them. I was informed by a physical therapist that one of my legs is significantly longer than the other. Etc., etc. None of these are excessively troublesome, but they are annoying to me. I’m perpetually out of alignment. I’ve almost bolted out of so many workout classes when the instructor would try to force me to put my feet together. “They don’t GO together, because my knock knees get in the way!”, I would have to argue. Or I’ve had people tell me to stop hyperextending my knees. “They are not hyperextended! They bend inward! That’s how I’m built!” These things are all manageable, yes, but alignment, as a general topic frustrates me. It pops up in yoga quite often, and today it took on a different perspective for me:
Make sure your practice is in alignment with your life.
When that came to me, I was like boom (!!). That is what I’m doing right now and that is why this feels so good. I’m aligning my practice with my current needs and my current lifestyle. Should those needs and lifestyle change, I can and will adapt my practice too. This is the beauty of so many different types of fitness being available to us. Some people (like me right now!) need kindness, and support, and restoration. Some people (like me in a past stage of my life) need someone to kick their butts. This idea of alignment goes so much deeper though (like everything else I’ve been learning on this journey).
I would venture to say that a lot of our stress in life comes from pouring ourselves into work (or a hobby or other activity) that doesn’t align with our values. Cognitive dissonance is the term that comes to mind: when your beliefs don’t match up with your behaviors. What can you do in this situation? You can change your beliefs or you can change your behavior. Which path you choose depends on who you are, what you value, and where you are on your own life journey.
My modeling career has been changing so much over the last year because of going back to school and prioritizing a lot of different things over my career. I’m sure some of this has also had to do with fluctuations in what clients are looking for. Some of it might even have to do with the fact that my agency has exploded in size over the past year (which I am very proud of them for!). But I’m fairly certain a lot of it has to do with my actions (being a full-time model) no longer lining up with my belief systems. Again, let me reiterate, this doesn't mean that modeling is a bad choice...but it does mean that I have changed.
So much of modeling full-time used to totally vibe with my belief systems, and life was great. Then I began to change; things began to shift inside me. I began to have a desire to learn. I ached to be more of a part of the creative process rather than just a vehicle for someone else’s vision. I started to want more control over my own career. I knew nothing of strategy or seeking clients or how the business/financial side of it all worked and I wanted to understand more. So, what could I do?
Yes, I could start to learn about those things and yes, if I wasn’t happy with them, I could attempt to change them. But at this juncture in my life, I am not about to try to fight an entire industry. However, I can see myself playing a role in helping those within the industry learn to cope with and navigate the intense and confusing situations that often arise. I can see myself being a support system for girls and women who might not have anywhere else to turn. I feel a determination building up in myself to play this role and to help those within the industry make it work for them in the best way possible.
My belief system has evolved, it's time for my behavior to catch up. So that’s why today I’m launching a program to do just that. I have sixteen years of experience as a model in this field. Not only that, I bring a high level of empathy to the table as well as experience with therapists and life coaches (both of which have improved my life in immeasurable ways). I am not a licensed therapist, but I am currently going to school to become one. So, if you are reading this and are a model, if you are wanting to become a model, even if you are not a model but maybe have challenges similar to modeling and want to see if I can help you, please reach out. Book an appointment with me. If you're not in New York, we can schedule a call or Skype session. I know I’m being called to do this. I feel it in the deepest parts of my soul and every person I meet tells me (sometimes unprovoked!) that this is what I need to be doing.
So, here I am. Let’s schedule an appointment and talk. I am here to give you (or someone you know) space to consider your options (and find resources should you need someone with more experience than me), to vent your frustrations, to ask questions, to seek advice…. I am here to give you space for absolutely anything.