She has been there, and she has gotten through it. She has felt deep pain, and she transcended it. It’s amazing to feel love for someone I don’t know, and who may never know I exist, but I love this woman, Iyanla Vanzant. She took her experiences and turned them into teaching opportunities, sharing what she has learned with the world who yearns for authentic teachers. That’s true love and true generosity, and I am truly grateful. Thank you Iyanla!
As a teacher I can be in control; I tell you what to do, and I expect you to do it. But when I’m the student, I get antsy…I want to fiddle with things. Tonight I was a student in a breathwork class. I remembered the necessity of trust and surrender, allowing the teacher to hold the space for me. It felt strange at first, because I am chronically the one who does the holding. As I breathed and the layers of my emotional body were peeled back to reveal what was percolating underneath it all, I remembered the saying How you do anything is how you do everything. I thought about how LIfe as my teacher must get so frustrated with me, my fiddling. Life just wants me to trust and surrender, allowing the space to be held for me, allowing myself to be held.
I did it! I taught FOUR yoga classes today, sweet lawd! What amazes me about all of this is that when I’m there with the students I am so much in the zone and so energized by the flow that I feel awake even if I’m tired; I feel strong even if moments before I felt weak. Something magical happens when I do this work I love. If you don’t yet have work that you love, I highly recommend you find some. It will make all the difference in the world, my friend, it will make all the difference in the world.
I’ve been working a lot harder in order to make ends meet. Between working and mothering there isn’t much time or energy for anyting else. They say all work and no play makes us dull, but I feel so fortunate, because I love my work. I love teaching yoga. I love helping my students relax and find center. I am grateful that I get paid to help people be happier with themselves, their bodies, their minds, their lives. It somehow feels ok that I don’t have time or money for a fancy vacation… So maybe my work is my play? At some point things will be clearer for me, and I’ll be able to leverage my gifts, talents and abilities to earn even more income doing what I love, but until that time I’ll keep working hard at this yoga teaching gig, loving what I do, loving the people who come to my classes, loving that my work feels like play.
If healing were easy everyone would be doing it but there is no switch, no magic wand no quick fix. And it doesn’t work to focus on the surface, shining up the exterior while the interior is full of darkness; the light must shine everywhere. Of course, it doesn’t work to replace one extreme with another either. It’s not about eradicating the darkness so that there is only light; we learn through contrast, and the darkness has its place in this great wheel of life. Balance is the key, and acceptance that everything changes. If we could drop the unreasonable expectations and open our hearts to what is alive in this moment, we might discover that the antidote to our pain lives within the pain itself. Our adversity is our greatest teacher.
Today I was a student*, and I felt so grateful that for once I didn’t have to prepare the lesson. I love it when my only job is to be open to new learning. I think I’ll be a student forever.
*Today was Day 1 of Nikki Myers weekend-long Y12SR training. I am so grateful to spend the next two days with other yoga teachers who are interested in learning about sustainable recovery from addiction, and who want to apply this learning to bring value to countless beings walking the path of recovery.
Feeling grateful for where I am
while being clear on where I want to go;
training my mind to accept the possibilities
as they dance around the field of my awareness.
We all have greatness within us
and I’m searching for a way to bring mine forth
so that I can serve in a bigger way.
I always thought I wanted some shaman,
some medicine woman/man, a guru,
a saint, an angel, someone
who could tell me which way to go,
who could know me better than I know myself.
Then I realized I need to choose my own direction.
I need to craft my path step by step.
There is no one way to do this,
and no one teacher who could steer me right.
Everyone in this world is my teacher,
and as I settle into a calm knowing
that it’s all unfolding perfectly,
I discover that I am the friend
I’ve been looking for.
To set down the burden
of needing to know
of needing to prove what I know
of needing the approval of others
and to stand
with childlike wonder
about this amazing life–
this is freedom.
With spaciousness like this
within my heart, within my mind
life never ceases
to surprise and delight me,
and I am so grateful.
May I set down the burden
of an expert’s mask,
and stand innocently
waiting to be taught
by whomever and whatever
will teach me.
I am excited to be learning
for the rest of my life. Thank you life. Amen.
I’m here preparing my workshop
It’s late, nearly 12:30 am.
I can hear the inner critic say, There you go again, leaving everything to the last minute. When will you learn? When will you grow up?
It shakes its head and clucks about…
meanwhile I take a deep breath
and give myself compassion…
Compassion for the girl
who works so hard to please others,
Compassion for the teacher
who wants so much to help others,
Compassion for the artist
who wants to express her creativity,
Compassion for the tired mama
who does so much for so many
Now the compassionate one says, Go to bed darling, you need rest.
And I’m glad I have this practice,
glad that I can hear that voice,
the voice of compassion.