I have been working with a coach to create my creative transformation business and one of the first projects was my Wildly Intimate Woman workshop.
I easily found a yoga studio to host the workshop and worked with a designer to create the perfect flyer. I loved how everything was falling into place smoothly. I imagined many people showing up at the workshop. I ran Facebook ads that received many views and likes. I thought I was on the right track.
But there was a tiny voice that whispered to me. What if no one showed up? What if what I had to say wasn’t important? What if who I was wasn’t of value?
I shivered at these whispers. My response was to ignore this voice and keep doing what I had to do to make this workshop happen, even though a funny feeling stuck in my gut.
What I Learnt From No One Showing Up At My First Workshop
A week before the workshop, I received a call from the yoga studio. The lady who had burst with excitement at my workshop idea suddenly told me in a grim voice that no one had signed up.
My blood went cold. The tiny voice became louder. I told you so.
I gathered myself and told her I would actively promote my workshop even more aggressively. I stuck fliers around college campuses in the Bay Area and put up more Facebook ads.
I told myself everyday several times a day that my workshop was going to be successful and I was of value. I wrote affirmations about it every day leading up to the workshop.
The day before the workshop, I called the yoga studio again to check. I held my breath. Surely, a couple people must have signed up by then.
“I’m sorry, no one has signed up, Priyanka,” the lady said.
My whole body became stiff. My heart beat faster. My lips trembled. I wanted to cry. But I didn’t let myself. I asked her whether I should even come on the workshop day. She advised me to come in case people would show up the day of the workshop.
The morning of the workshop, I wanted to simply cancel the workshop. I wanted to run away. The voice became louder telling me I told you so over and over. I agreed with the voice. It was a logical point she was making. What was the point of showing up if no one came? I would only embarrass myself.
But something was deeply transforming in me. Deep in my body, I knew the answer. That I had to go. I had to show up for my desire no matter the outcome. I couldn’t run away.
I jumped into the shower. As the warm water drizzled down my soft skin, I began to sob uncontrollably. I turned off the faucet. But tears still washed my face clean. My whole body throbbed and shook.
After this, everything seemed to be a blur. I threw on my clothes, had a quick bite, and stuffed the goodie gift bags I brought for the workshop participants and my laptop in my car.
I parked my car, but still didn’t have the courage to walk into the yoga studio.
So I called the lady and she told me again the same thing. No one had showed up. As I walked inside, something shifted inside me. I felt the fear melting. I handed her one of the gift bags and thanked her for being supportive throughout the process.
Afterwards, I treated myself to lunch. I feasted on a delicious sandwich and smiled. This was actually alright. I was proud of myself for facing my fear and not running away. This is why my higher self wanted me to go anyway. These are the lessons she wanted me to learn.
1. Show up fully for your desire.
When a desire bubbles in your heart, it’s because your soul wants you to expand and grow. Your heart never desires anything that it doesn’t feel is possible. Live with it. Feel it. I have always desired to be a creative person. It’s what nourishes my soul. I feel happy, alive, and joyful when I write and involve myself in other creative pursuits.
The purpose of your soul is to grow and expand. How? When? Why? That is different for every single person. Next time, a desire arises in you, do not dismiss it. Sit with it. Close your eyes. Visualize your desire.
How does it feel? Indulge all your senses. Touch. Smell. See. Hear. Taste. How does your heart feel? How is your body responding?
Give yourself the time and space to do this. It doesn’t matter how your desire will be manifested or even if it will be manifested. There is peace and beauty in just feeling the desire and it’s taking you on a path you don’t even realize at the moment.
By showing up for my workshop even though no one had showed up, my fear of being seen melted away and I’m now excited to forge forward with new ideas and workshops.
2. Face your fear, instead of running away.
Up to the day of the workshop, my standard impulse of running away from what scares and pushes my comfort zone raged. I really wanted to run away because I didn’t want to face my fear. It is uncomfortable and sweaty and sticky. But something clicked in my head.
I had to change how I was feeling inside in order to change my circumstances. Instead of viewing it as a roadblock, I saw it as an opportunity for change. Something needed to be changed inside me. There was a reason I was not living my life according to my truth.
Facing your fears allows you to see the patterns in your thinking that created your self-belief so you can flip those opportunities as moments for change and adopt a new self-belief that serves you.
Remember as Pema Chodron said:
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”
3. Your self-worth and value is not determined by the outcome.
One of the most important lessons I learned from this experience that my value and self-worth are not linked to the outcome of this workshop or any external person or thing.
The fact that I showed up fully for my desire is most important and my value and true state of abundance comes from inside.
You can tap into that inner feeling and state of abundance and richness anytime and that will reflect in your external world eventually. New channels and experiences will open up and take you on an even more meaningful journey.
4. Surrender deeply to the process.
Surrendering and letting go does not mean that you are giving up in any way. It is about pouring all your energy and consciousness in the moment in front of you and releasing what happened yesterday and is to happen tomorrow.
It means you are letting your energy guide your actions. It is about being in sync with your higher self and going with the flow with a gentle trust.
This process and preparation period exists because you are not fully ready to call and accept your heart’s deepest desires. You’re not ready to call in that perfect job, relationship, or large sum of money into your life.
So you are in transition. You are going through a divine process of preparation.
It means diving in even deeper with yourself and having the patience to see the beauty of this gorgeous process. It means committing to your inner growth and evolution even more passionately.
Because when that desire does finally arrive, you will be the person you need to be to fully accept and enjoy that desire. Your higher self knew this all along. The journey and destination will be that much sweeter.
Here’s a quick recap on what I learnt from no one showing up at my first workshop:
- Show up fully for your desire
- Face your fear, instead of running away
- Your self-worth and value is not determined by the outcome
- Surrender deeply to the process