Every once and a while after I teach a class a student will approach me with something along the lines of “I love how excited you get when you teach.”
The Minnesotan in me immediately wants to crawl back into my shell and wait things out when faced with a comment like that. My internal reaction is bizarre but real. When a student comments on my excitement I instantly see myself as a circus clown parading around my circus ring (the yoga room) in my oversized pants and a ridiculous smile painted on my face. I am a caricature waiting to pull terribly unconvincing fake flowers from my top hat just to entertain the masses.
As I’ve written many times before, the internal dialogue of a human being is outrageous. When a student shares with me that they appreciate my excitement it means they appreciate my excitement. It’s not a jab. It’s not a slight at my occupation. A student is sharing an observation and there’s no need to read any further.
It’s absurd that excitement seems like an emotion that should be contained. Excitement expresses passion. Passion expresses a sense of caring. Teaching yoga is my passion. I care very deeply about teaching yoga and sharing the benefits of yoga with others. So what if I come across like an overly zealous clown? I should be proud that students see and appreciate my passion.
Perhaps my thoughts on containing outward passion is connected to being a woman and the fear of coming across as crazy or hysterical. (That’s another post entirely.) When someone approaches me and commends me for being passionate I should embrace the acknowledgement. And you should do the same. We should all be so lucky to have a passion that we get to share with others.
If you have a passion, lean into that passion. Don’t face appreciation with guilt or internal storytelling. Be passionate. Be unapologetically passionate.