Being ok with change takes practice, so don’t be hard on yourself for not taking this well. We are hardwired to gravitate toward familiarity— it’s how we all survived this long, so in a deep, instinctive way, we all yearn to get back to “normal.” And yet… we were made for these times. This is what we have been preparing for. So, beloveds, take a deep breath, be extra kind, gentle and loving with yourself, hold all your hurting parts with tenderness. Change is hard and sometimes life sucks, but you aren’t alone. We will get through this together.
Dear Person who used to be my friend and is now in the process of attempting to jeopardize my employment status at the yoga studio by bringing the quality of my teaching into question and telling the management that you are feeling uncomfortable with the subject matter I’m addressing in my classes: I’m so sorry things didn’t work out between us. You told me you were a colleague having been through yoga teacher training yourself and so I trusted that it was okay to go beyond the student/teacher boundary and explore the realm of friendship. Oops! I was wrong! I was wrong about you. I thought that you were a kind person, but when I started feeling anxious, drained and uncomfortable around you, I decided to back away. I backed out as gracefully as possible. But I guess you didn’t like that. I guess that, like other people I’ve known, you believe that if I’m not for you I’m against you. And now, for some reason, you are trying to take me down, and (like other people I’ve known) you are attempting to recruit other people to agree with you and join you and take me down with you. But here’s something you should know: I have been to the very center of hell many, many times and I have always come back. You can say what you want, you can attempt to take me down. You can even try to bring me to hell with you. You can attempt to create an entire posse of supporters to drag me down, to rake my name across the coals, to convince the world that I’m worthless as a teacher. If you try hard enough, you might even be successful in getting me ousted from my job. I may have to struggle a little more because of your childish vendetta. But you will not win. I will rise up from hell. I will find new work. I will thrive even more. I will always come back.
Trust…this ability to have no idea what’s happening next but going ahead and trying anway. Today I had a chance to practice trust as I created a painting. Two years ago I had a chance to practice trust as my marriage fell apart. Every day I have the opportunity to trust the process of life. I give thanks to the teachers, mentors and guides who have shown me that it’s safe to let go and trust. May you trust the inherent wholeness of your life!
Loosening the ties that bind me to an old, outdated mode of being, learning to breathe deeply and slowly and really see how unique this present moment is, seeing how life has always provided me what I need, and trusting that it always will, it all becomes so simple. Life isn’t meant to be figured out, dissected, overburdened with assigned meaning— but one breath, one step, one moment, one day at a time, life is meant to be lived.
Learning to trust the Self… not the little ego self that’s always wanting and grasping and never satisfied, but the Divine Self, the deeper, more expansive Self, the One who moves with the currents of Nature and who listens and waits underneath the noise and turbulence of our contrived human sorrow. The One who waits for us to wake up, and pause, and breathe and see how beautiful peace is— this is the One I practice to know, this is the One I show up for every morning, this is the One I am when I become still and close my eyes, and journey inwards… This is the One I am learning to trust.
I asked my inner critic to go on vacation and invited my inner child to come out of hiding. She still doesn’t trust me all the way. I don’t blame her. For so long I derived my identity from a man who was unkind to me; I tolerated the way he spoke to me, accepted crumbs of affection, thought this was the best I could do. Now I need to build trust in myself, and demonstrate to this little girl that I am strong and capable enough to provide for her, that I love her, that I am glad she is here, and she is the most important person in my life. Instead of just thinking about self-love, I am working on feeling it, living it, expressing it. God, show me how to love and care for myself the way you love and care for me.