I’ve got a funny story for you.

Last week, I was creating a reel for Instagram. It was all about working with fear.

The truth is, I was in a miserable mood. I had reached a point of burnout from a long winter of being sick and falling behind. And that night, I had a gig that I regretted taking on.

I took a break for a moment. Breathed. And then I burst out laughing.

Here I was, making a reel about working with fear while entirely consumed by it.

Luckily I teach this stuff. I knew what to do.

I worked myself through the three steps that have worked for me and my students:

1. Relax the body and mind
For me, this means settling into my meditation posture and doing at least a few minutes of mindfulness awareness meditation. For many folks, it means taking a deep breath. There are many ways to access calm. Do what works for you.

2. Open your heart
I ask myself, How is my work serving others? In simpler terms, I remind myself it’s not about me. My daily practice of lovingkindness meditation helps keep this perspective intact.

3. Access joy and confidence
This is the language I use in lessons and The Fearless Performer course, but in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition in which I study, this is referred to as “basic goodness.” I am in love with this idea, which I like to think of as: Whatever we need is already inside of us.

No surprise—it worked. The gig went well and was actually fun. And the week opened up in an interesting way.

I stumbled across the work of Cody Cook-Parrott, dancer, writer, and artist, and found tremendous inspiration in their podcast and newsletter. And my husband offered a major lightbulb that helped to center my business goals.

I was still exhausted and recovering from the burnout. But that week, I made an observation I’ve made many times before:

Teaching is such an incredible comfort.

Teaching is not about us. No matter what’s happening in our own lives, we’re charged with creating a space for students. One in which they can express themselves authentically and with joy.

This quote from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche occupies an important place in my journal: “You are not the star of your world.”

In the midst of my exhaustion, I had forgotten this. I felt sorry for myself—the long winter of continued illness and the various setbacks that followed. I am grateful my students helped me remember.

As the Dalai Lama put it: “If you want to be happy, think of others. If you want to be unhappy, think of yourself.”

I’m taking a break from reels now. They were about me—getting the word out, feeling productive, giving social media the old college try. It was exhausting.

I’m refocused now on writing, which feels as if it serves—through my authentic voice—anyone who finds it useful.

It’s not about me. What a relief.