This year I asked the teacher trainees to write out why they wanted to teach yoga. I am always interested in that answer because it helps me to shape the lessons to fit the desires of the trainees. And, following my self-imposed rule of only asking students to do what I have either already done or am willing to do, the assignment helped me to place my reasons for teaching into a somewhat cohesive writing.
As with all of my sharings, I hope this will resonate with you in some way. I hope you will be able to recognize what I wrote about below because I feel it is an essential element to our collective serenity. So the first part is about ME, and then it's about you further down. I hope you won't get tired of reading the ME part and continue to the bottom where it is about YOU.
What I recognize about teaching is that when I am teaching, I get to meet what I suspect is my true self. When I am in front of a class or with a client I encounter that self which continuously surprises and delights me. The delight might arise because I have made sense, finally, of a teaching I received long ago, or I see a pose appear in my head which fits the needs of the class (or just one hungry student) or a difficult question has arisen and I was able to capture the essence of it to share. It feels magical to have an answer that soothes someone or helps them to make sense of an issue they struggle with, or an asana offered helped someone reclaim a part of their body or relieved someone's pain. Having these experiences keep me traveling on the road of faith and surrender. Seeing that I know something I didn't know I knew is magical, and I love believing in magic! If this limited mind and body can retrieve something from the space of wisdom, have that harvest confirmed as appropriate by the recipient, and then replicate the encounter, how can that not confirm my faith and give me the ground to surrender my small-self's needs and concerns? After awhile you get to know the difference between the "magical" response (the place of wisdom) and the "neurotic" response (the place of personal ego mind and story) . I can say it is because of these encounters over the years I now spend less time and energy convincing others that they should heed my neurotic responses, and generally I believe them much less myself. This, my friends, is a path towards serenity.
So yeah, all of that was about ME. More about me is that I am so unendingly grateful to everyone who has been one of the hungry seekers, one of the curious clients, one of the in-pain asana students who come looking for something, even if it is simply the desire to get the old body moving again. It is because of you who walk in the door that I have continuously been able to dip into the unending spring of wisdom that my teachers have pointed to. I am also very grateful that I can pay my mortgage and keep my kids fed and educated because of your business. It seems crazy amazing to have both in one package for the past 16 years. Actually it is pretty darn magical! Thank you, thank you and thank you again.
So that was about me, now about you. You too have had this experience, the one of being pushed into the well of wisdom, and you have witnessed someone going into the same well. You are sometimes the pusher! Don't you LOVE seeing people do what they do well? When you recognize that they have slipped into the well and brought you back something beautiful and intoxicating, something of truth, isn't it amazing? Whether it is an athlete, a musician, an author or poet, a cook. an artist, a singer, any kind of teacher, a fixer of small or large objects, a farmer.... I believe we all love to witness that, even if we are not the ones dropping in to the well we are participating just the same. Sometimes you go, sometimes I go. Sometimes we go together, and sometimes we have to wait around for someone else to go. But we are participating always, we are always near the source, and if we are then indeed paying attention, we see if we take one tiny step over this way or that we can fall right back in to the source.
Do you know this experience? Think about it and I bet you will see that yes, you do! I am not one to spend a lot of time on social media, but I want to hear your story! Please share your experience of this, either by posting it or by email. Share it for all to see, thank someone for pushing you in or retrieving something you needed. When we confirm it to ourselves it becomes more real, and then, well, anything can happen.
Happy New Year to you all. My wish is for all of us to move into 2019 seeing newly, and recognizing ourselves as the magical beings that we are.