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Today’s episode of the podcast is a fun one- and maybe a little bit triggering for you. You are the company you keep. Put another way, if you hang around trash, you start to stink. 

This is crucial for yoga teachers and healers because so many people in these industries are rooted in lack mentality. Poverty is cool. And this is something which comes from the ancient roots of yoga, so you’re not wrong if you’ve picked up on this and feel like it’s a thing in your industry, because it is. 

Back in ancient times, yoga was mostly done by ascetics or people who had taken some type of sacred vow of simplicity or poverty and dedicated their lives to a spiritual path. Fast forward to this time in modern life and householders are doing yoga and Reiki and spiritual practices, and this is amazing. It’s giving people a chance to use these ancient tools in their everyday life. 

However, some of these ancient practices, like that vow of simplicity or poverty. have been taken into modern times, but out of context. And it’s important for us to flush them out today, because if you’re still hanging onto a lack mentality, it’s going to be very difficult for you to build a successful business and have more than enough. 

So let’s dive into this. I’ll never forget when I was finished with my yoga teacher trainings and I was doing some observation hours, I watched a woman who I love, who was a teacher of mine, a brilliant teacher I might add, tell an entire group of future yoga teachers that you couldn’t make a living earning yoga. In other words, you better have a rich husband, or a side job, or a full time career and let yoga be your passion. And that’s it. 

When I heard her say that, something in me came alive because I was already teaching yoga and being successful at it, and I thought, that’s not true. I’m gonna prove this woman wrong. And that’s exactly what I did. However, there was some work involved in that process. 

So first I want you to observe the people you’re hanging around. Are they the type of people who would sit by the water cooler at lunch and bitch about how poor they are, or complain how they’re doing all this work and can’t make any money, or yoga isn’t really a way to support yourself, or a healing profession doesn’t allow you to live a life that you want, etc.

If you’re noticing this, you have to remember that you’re attracting more and more of this lack mentality. I’m not saying you have to get rid of all your friends. I am saying you have to stop participating in these conversations because if you are giving them life by talking about what a dead end career, this is, well guess what? You’re going to have a dead end career. 

I also want you to notice that these types of conversations are contagious. When you are surrounded by a group of people with lack mentality, you’ll watch them try to one up each other with how badly they have it. I’ll never forget, I was participating in a yoga sutra class with my teacher and the rest of the group were also yoga teachers. Someone brought up the fact that they went to Lululemon to buy a new pair of yoga pants. I love Lululemon clothing. They fit me great and they last me a really long time, but instead of hearing things like that, like, “oh, that’s a worthwhile investment,” or you know, “it’s not really my cup of tea.” I was hearing people talk about how when they would go into Lululemon, they would start to sweat because the clothing was so expensive. Their words not mine, that they felt pressure because they couldn’t afford it, and they were stressing out, and then someone else chimed in, “well, the only reason I can wear their clothing is because I’m their ambassador,” and someone else chimed in about, “yeah, that stuff is so expensive. It’s really stressful. I don’t want to have to buy it.”

And everyone felt like they need to conform to who was the poorest, and I just sat there with my mouth shut waiting for the conversation to pass. This was not a conversation I needed to win. It doesn’t matter if you like Lululemon or not. That’s not the point. The point is that you might choose not to buy it because it doesn’t align with you. So then say that, don’t make it about how expensive or cheap something is. Don’t make it that you have to feel like the poorest person in the room, because that’s what you will manifest. 

So when you see conversations like this happening, you don’t necessarily need to excuse yourself from the room, though you can, but you can simply sit and smile and nod. You don’t have to participate. 

I also want you to notice when you’re surrounded by people with lack mentality, who again might be kind and caring people, by the way, we’re not vilifying them. They’re not monsters. They just have a different viewpoint than you. But when you see them making fun of rich people, or calling money icky, or talking about how gross it is to have an abundance of money, I want you to remove yourself from that conversation. You can sit quietly and not talk. You can smile and nod and excuse yourself, because this creates the idea of separateness, which is the opposite of yoga. 

Side note, I can guarantee you that if a bunch of rich people sat around and talked about poor people this way, it would be vilified and blasted on the news and completely unacceptable. 

So why is it okay to do the opposite? Why is it okay to point fingers, and almost try to win a snobbery contest, around how much better you are because you don’t have any money? 

Here’s the honest truth. You can be rich and happy, poor and happy. You can be rich and unhappy, poor and unhappy. All of these possibilities exist, but you get to choose what your reality looks like. Stop buying into these generalized thoughts that seem to be cool in your industry. 

Now that I finished my loving rant on this topic, let’s get into why we have to stop this. Especially if you are a yoga teacher, your job is to sell connectedness. You are helping people connect to themselves. You’re helping them connect to energy, connect to spirituality, and there is that element of unity there. And when you talk about me versus them, rich versus poor, you’re doing the opposite. You’re creating a barrier from one person to the next. 

I’ve been teaching yoga for over 16 years. I have taught people who are paying off debt and I’ve taught people who have multiple homes and fly privately, and you know what? Underneath it all, everyone is the same. They all want the same things. Truly. They want health for themselves and their families. They want happiness. They want their children to be safe and cared for. They want more joy and ease in their lives. Every single one. Money is just money. 

So if you’re using money to create a void between you and others, stop it. We want more connection, not less. And it’s incongruous with what you’re selling. Are you really being true and authentic to this ancient science of yoga if you’re preaching separateness? No, you’re not. You’re not. 

So check in with yourself. Check-in with your language. Just because you aren’t saying these things out loud doesn’t mean you’re not being judgmental. So check in with your energy, because people often say like, “I wish I could have new clients. I wish that people would pay my higher prices.” But then behind closed doors, they’re thinking judgmental thoughts about those people they want to take on as clients. So do yourself a favor and push pause and make sure that what you’re saying and thinking is not affecting the energy you’re putting out into your business. 

As I mentioned before, you’ve heard that old saying of “you are the company you keep.” Well, I heard a quote once from Jen Sincero, the author of You Are a Badass at Making Money, and she said, “your income is likely the average of the five people closest to you in your life.” Ruh roh. Check in on that. Are you really surrounding yourself with people who believe in having more than enough and abundance and success? Or are you doing the opposite? 

And again, I’m not telling you to uproot yourself from your family or ditch all your friends, but it might be time to uplevel your crew. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and who believe in success so that you can vibrate off of this energy and take it into your business. 

Here are five ways you can do that:

One, join a mastermind group. If you look around in your life and you don’t have any friends who get you or who you can talk business with, then a mastermind might be exactly what you need.. You can certainly create one yourself, as long as everyone in the group agrees to prioritize it, or you can join one. And trust me, when you join one, you pay for it. Well, guess what? Everyone in the group takes it seriously and shows up and does the work. 

I recently started to include mastermind calls with the yoga teachers who I mentored one on one for a few reasons. One, they were lonely and they thought they were making progress and the truth is they were, but they had no one to share it with. They didn’t feel like they could go and share their wins with other yoga teachers who didn’t get it. So without even asking them, I took my one on one clients and I involved a group component into their program, and they love it, and they need each other, and they can rely on each other for anything. This is crucial for their success. 

Another way you can uplevel your crew is to declutter the Debbie Downers from your life. And I’m not saying you have to have a come to Jesus moment with them and a big talk about it, but maybe instead of talking to them every day on the phone, you talk once a week. If you find that they call you and all they want to do is complain, maybe change the subject and say, “Hey, I’d love to hear what’s going well in your life” and set the tone for something more positive. Just because other people choose to act that way does not mean you have to do the same. 

A third way you can uplevel your crew and yourself is to be mindful of the information you consume. Read books written by people you admire or people who have been successful in a way that you want to be. If the news makes you depressed, stop watching it and just catch the highlights online. Uplevel your mind. Uplevel what you think is possible in terms of success. 

Number four, you can uplevel your crew by going out and meeting people in person. Just go. In our highly digital world human connection is something that we need desperately and we crave. You might hear about some cool events at your local coffee shop. Go and meet people. Maybe you go in with a mindset of attracting some new clients. Maybe you go in to meet people you have something in common with. You can certainly ask around in your area for different entrepreneurial groups and meetings they might have, but do some digging around this and I guarantee you find some cool events, or talks, or presentations to go to where you can meet people who have things in common with you. 

And some of my favorite people are the friends I have who are business women who are not involved in yoga at all. They’re brilliant. Many of them are the sole providers for their families. They are professional, they’re kind, they respect boundaries. And I love being around them because it’s fun and I always learned something in their presence. Meeting them in person was also a crucial component for me. 

Lastly, I want you to recognize that your family may not be your target audience. They may not be part of your upleveled crew and that’s okay. This is a great chance to practice love and acceptance for people exactly as they are. It is not your job to change them, nor will they most likely, so don’t get caught up in trying to do that. Instead, smile and nod when they try to give you business advice, which is totally off the mark and just let it go. If they ask you questions in your business which make you really uncomfortable, give a one word answer and change the subject. 

It’s not your job to convert everyone to your cause and will probably waste a lot of energy, so be very mindful of that because it can be a distraction on your path if instead of putting money back into yourself, instead of putting energy back into yourself, you are investing your time and your funds trying to get your dad to go to this workshop with you, or get your sister to come to this mastermind event. Just leave it if you need to leave it and let them go. Love them for the things they bring to your life and release the things that you wish they would bring, but they don’t. 

If this episode has touched a nerve with you it means we’re on to something which is worth exploring and I’m here to help you do it in a deeper way. So here’s some action steps: 

Come follow me on Instagram. I’m all about building relationships and using social media to have real conversations. 

Please share this podcast. It’s a great way to bring new members into this community and if it resonates with you, leave a review. I’d be so thankful for your effort in that area. Thank you for joining me today and remember, helping others and being successful are not mutually exclusive. You can have both. 

Thank you so much for joining me today and remember that listening is just the first step. Now it’s time to take action. Choose something from today’s episode that you want to implement in your own practice and business. I’d love to hear what action you’re taking. So follow me over on Instagram at Sara Intonato and let me know. If the show is helpful, please take a moment to leave a rating or review on your favorite podcast provider. It’s an important part of helping new listeners find this show.