By Annie Benjamin
I spent 35 years of my professional life in the world of TV News. For many years it was an exciting and rewarding career. I saw the world as a news director, from Europe to Cuba to the Philipines and always traveling first class… the old days as we refer to them now! But as the business changed so did I. I didn’t feel a part of a team working together to explain events..more like the cog of a large corporate wheel. I started to feel empty and as if my soul was being locked away so that I would not feel my true unhappiness.
I started doing yoga after 9/11 and at first I saw it as a way to stay fit and relieve stress so that I could keep on being a TV Director. In the beginning that was enough. But the more I practiced yoga and began to listen to my heart the more I realized that I could not continue on the path I had chosen. Not an easy thing to accept after so many years. But I knew that I HAD to take that leap of faith. And so I left ABC in November of 2010 and this past summer at the age of 60 I passed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher training at Laughing Lotus school in NY. The experience was transformational. It was as if I had unlocked a series of doors and freed my spirit…I felt energized and fulfilled and COMPLETE. I began to develop a home practice including 20 minutes of seated meditation. I had always thought that I would need the structure of a class to do my yoga but now I find that it is a way of life and that I carry it off my mat and into the world.
I believe that there is a lesson in this for everyone. Happiness cannot be found through what one THINKS the right path may be no matter how materially profitable it may be. Eventually the discontent will catch up to you. There is a great quote by John De Paola: “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” For me what caught me was the knowledge that I was chasing the wrong things! There is one more quote this one anonymous that I love as well: “ Follow your heart. If you can’t find it, just jump and your heart will start beating so fast you’ll wake up.”
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About the Author: Ann Benjamin is a 30 year veteran of ABC NEWS where she was the director for programs such as World News, Nightline, 20/20, and major special events. In the fall of 2010 she followed her heart and left that world to pursue her dream of teaching yoga. In July 2011 she was certified by Laughing Lotus NYC. She now divides her time between her passion for yoga and those media projects which she finds interesting and rewarding. Check out her website at www.inlightyoganyc.com.