Baptiste Level One: Phuket 2018 - Exploring Leadership Newly

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How can I describe the magic that happens again and again at every Baptiste program?

I thought l was there to be an apprentice and I was so ready to assist and be of service.

I got to do ALL that PLUS I got to experience Level ONE all over again! (Read about my first Level One experience HERE.)

This experience completely shifted my perception of what it means to be a leader.

I knew I was there to be part of a team who will support Baron in moving the program forward and give space for the participants to discover their own power.

AND I was also given the opportunity to step up as a leader, by showing up fully as a participant, and at the same time, have global awareness of the room; where the other apprentices are, if Leandra or Baron needs anything or if the participants need anything.

We were not given much directions other than being who we are; and that daily, we had to ask ourselves if we are feeling challenged on a scale from 1-5, and if not a 5 (very challenged) - what will it take to get us to a 5?

I cried, I shared, I raised my hand, I practiced teaching, I carried chairs, I was a floater/runner, I was the scriber for the board, I didn't shower at lunch (no time), I ate alot, I held hands, I hugged, I acknowledged others, I got complete, I made authentic connections, I did hands on assist, I co-taught the last class with a group of awesome Baptiste Yogis! 

Vulnerability starts with honesty. If I can’t be honest with myself - how can I be authentic with others? Honesty doesn't mean you tell others your deepest darkest secret, but just acknowledging the fears are there, and you are not hiding. Hiding is exhausting. Especially hiding from yourself. From your truth.

The truth is a hard pill to swallow.

I struggled with my truth - the truth here is not really a truth truth. It’s just something that I believe as the truth, because something that happened in the past, that caused me to tell this story to myself. It is in fact a lie, but in my head it is the truth. And the voices in my head will never go away.

In my first Level One in 2016, I discovered that I tell myself that “I’m a bad girl and I’m not good enough” and that manifested in me, being rebellious, not practising my religion, being a bad daughter, not being good with my friends.

And it came up again 2 years later - I knew it would come up. But in Baptiste Yoga, we want to discover things newly - is there anything more than this? Is there any other secrets I’m hiding that I don’t want anyone to know? That if they knew, they would not want to be with me?

Oh I got plenty! But what is my word, dammit!!


I'm even ashamed just thinking the word! Thanks to Betty -I found my word on Day 5 - “I am ashamed and I’m not good enough.”


When I looked back to situations or conflicts that I had in the past - it all boils down to shame. Wow! Plus the "I'm a bad girl" spiel.

  • I didn’t tell anyone that I was a yoga teacher, until after a few months after I finished yoga teacher training.

  • I don’t share my yoga pictures or journey much on Facebook because I was embarrassed.

  • I don’t tell anyone that I’m overwhelmed with my yoga business - AMI Power Yoga because I was ashamed that it is failing.

  • I didn’t tell anyone for a long time that I write a blog and that I want to create an online business which has not happened as yet.

  • I didn't share about my life with my then-boyfriend from my mum and dad - because of the guilt and shame, that the religion indoctrinated in me, that having a boyfriend and not being married is a sin!

There are times when I felt insignificant. I have this filter with people who are taller and is of a higher level than me because I’m embarrassed that I probably am going to embarrass myself; which is silly.

So when asked how I can get my challenge level up to 5, I commit to having a conversation with Baron. Not the goofy smiles and hi bye kinda thing - but actually create a conversation.

I’m so bad at small talk. I don't know what to say!! I hate going to parties where I don’t know anyone. Or maybe parties where everyone else seems more accomplished, prettier and taller than me.

Everyone gave me helpful suggestions like thanking him and when I spoke to my husband that nigh, he said to show him the video "This is America” by Childish Gambino to him (WHAT??)

And I did try! I couldn’t find the right time. And when I did find the right time, I just couldn’t do it.

And on the 2nd last day, I knew I had to do it NOW. I can't remember what I said - I only know - my opening line was ‘Hi Baron - this is going to be awkward, but can I talk to you?’ And everything else after that was a blur! I felt like an blabbering idiot really. Whatever! But I did it!

And later, I had another MOMENT to “speak” to him.

It is a MOMENT because it was big for me. We were going through the twisting triangle pose. He’s already demoed with someone - and I thought I could just ask him a question quietly, while everyone else is practicing. But to my horror, he stopped everyone and asked me what exactly am I asking?

For a moment there, my body and my brain froze. Everyone’s eyes was on me. I was embarrassed that my question may not even be relevant; was it even a question? At the back of my head - I wanted to know if I’m doing it right, because I can’t feel it in my body because of my limited skeletal structures. I didnt want to tell him that I have scoliosis, because it is a story. I think all I said was I wanted to feel the expansion in my body but I can’t feel it. And it is frustrating.

The embarrassment manifested in me in not breathing. I was wearing socks for goodness sakes WHY???? And I had laid out a mat in the middle, but instead I didn't not stand on it!! WHY???? So unglamorous! And so messy!!!!!


Then Baron said “Give up doing it the right way as you’re not doing it right anyways!”

Boom! Again!

I don't always try to be perfect but there’s this unconscious desire for approval from others. To please others. Say the right the things to look good. It’s so powerful in that MOMENT to acknowledge that. Because when I dropped my shame, I became a yes to possibilities.

What is available to me after this Level One is:

* The way to empower others, is to lead by example. If I want them to share from the heart, I need to also share from my heart.

* I can show up as a leader even in a supportive role. When I drop what I know about leadership and assisting, new possibilities emerge.

*I can lead powerfully simply by being (T)here, showing up messy and unafraid to be vulnerable.

* To inspire others, I have to be willing to step into their shoes and do the work with them.

* I don’t need to go around and tell my secrets to everyone. All I need to do is to keep checking in and be honest with myself with what’s really coming up for me.

* Being in the practice of being “challenged” daily showed me that I can be in constant action of transformation and growth. Instead of waiting for conflict or stress to come; I could practice being in the fire and being uncomfortable. I could have that difficult conversation.

* There’s nothing wrong with shame. That’s not me. It’s my limiting point of view. It’s a lie and I give that up! The lie I give up is that I’m ashamed and I’m not good enough.

* My new way of being is of courage and possibilities.

I arrived, wanting clarity 

I left,
Not having any answers to my questions
Being super clear that
I’m more than ready
To face the uncertainties in my life.

I can be powerful as a leader, wife, mother, daughter, sister;
I can be their pillar of support and strength.

All I have to do is
to be Present at Every Moment
Have the courage to show up

As the Real Me.

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