Seeds Planted; A Manual for Care

Imagine your self as a seed, having been planted into this life. Of what would be the quality of your soil? Are you growing freely and wild, competing for the elements of the wilderness or stretching for sun from your pretty pot, awaiting the next watering? How deep would be your roots and solid your foundation and beliefs? And what about up above, are you wide green leafs to shelter that which is below, or short and spiky for your own endurance and survival? Perhaps you pride yourself on bright beautiful flowers, blooming briefly for the attention of passersby? Or maybe you are a vine, clinging onto whatever is strong and near..

Seeds hardly get to choose their fate, unless of course there has been some deal made with the wind, or their planter. Though most often, they fall when it is time to fight it out; Against the elements and one another. Our situations aren’t so different when you think of it. We are all living creatures, with deep desire to survive and flourish. We want to make the most of our conditions and grow just like we can.

But very different from the seed that falls, we can sometimes choose where to plant our selves and even determine what we will grow into. This requires awareness. Awareness of our own self care and the conditions which surround. Rather than let these conditions dictate our growth and health, maybe we pluck ourselves from the current spot in search of more fertile soil. Or maybe we weed the area around us, ridding anything which suffocates our potential. And if we like where we are and have something genuine to offer this space back, we must spread our roots down deep and hold ground. Some trees last a long, long time…

Now is the time for open minds to respect the intricacy of the whole living world and to see growth everywhere. It really takes all types to make up one ecosystem, one planet. So choose what you will flower into, the role that you will play.

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When Learning Feels Like Leaving

Some times things end, it is like we have to say goodbye. Thinking we can keep any thing forever is not right. We cannot and should not want to. The world around us is transient and any effort to hang on to these swirling things abound will only result in a big time dizzy spell.

Know that nothing is lost. Regardless of your ability to see it, the things you have loved and cherished in purity will stick in you for always.

I am getting ready to leave India…to leave my teacher. The past month has been every thing I could not have known to hope for. In this place and company I have been so secure, received inexplicable blessings and assurances and really glimpsed love; the string to hold all truth. Going away from this feels like loss, uncertainty and some things not nice at all. But through this illusion of insecurity lies some thing so much greater. Because it is not like all I have found here, stays here. It is in me, around me, at any moment in which to be tapped into. As sure as the next thought will rise, more than the sun & moon to spin, the love and assurance I have gained here will flow through me. It will simply take a little practice to remain in it’s Grace.

I have been given the tools for such a practice and am leaving more dedicated to them than ever before. Priceless tools that originated from this magical land and were passed to me by some so inspiring I can not even pretend doubt. These tools can look from the outside like stretching and breathing initially. Opening and letting go…this is the premise, the first step to the unending inner journey. Of course we address the body first, our main access point to what is truly sought after. The body work allows the mind to sort itself, slowly sure but none can deny the importance of a mind more steady and clear. Once the mind is pure it can be used as intended, a focused channel in pursuits of the one great truth. No I have not found it yet but I see some who have and they want me there too. So I want us all there and will do my part.

It seems like I am leaving India and my teachers, my friends, but I am taking inspiration, faith, devotion and confidence and will practice it for You.

What I’m After

Does every one know what it feels like to want approval from outside our selves? To feel like we are only as good as others have affirmed to us? Do we all so easily forget any achieved sense of accomplishment when doubted by an other? If you do not resonate with this, please inspire all those you meet to find that same inner strength you have. Surely you must have evolved through such a stage and can empathize with me here.

I have been so guilty of this; Seeker of approval, desperate for validation. It is endless and it is tiresome. Luckily, I have begun to find my way. The teacher and teachings suited so beautifully to set me forth have come upon my path. By working to transform my self through the science of Yoga, I am coming to glimpse that eternal being within. I can now say confidently that I am beautiful and strong and worthy and that all of this comes from within and is unshakable. Except sometimes I do forget this and indulge myself in the drama of the ‘not good enough’s or ‘let’s just give up now’s. Ultimately though, I have come so far in recent years and can only imagine how much further this means I am meant to advance. For now, I am in a place where I teach others. I work to pass along the real tools of Yoga that are meant to liberate us all from our limiting beliefs. These tools are meant for all who are ready to embrace them and oh boy, are they needed!

Having struggled deeply with body image for many years, I have recently offered a class designed to bring together those with similar struggles. The insecure and out of shape seekers who are desperately on the lookout for some semblance of truth.

Last week, I was shocked and humbled when my class filled with these such people. Women who surely struggled to get up the staircase to find the studio, let alone maneuver themselves on their mats. And yet, they were there. My call had brought us all together and I suppose I must have been ready to teach and learn something…though I must admit, I was not prepared to lead students who faced such limitations, mentally and physically, it is all one and the same. There was one woman who’d had a recent hip replacement and along with having shed nearly 100lbs, was the first to say that she still had a long way to go in her pursuits of health. I wanted to do right by her and to help her heal and triumph. Quietly, she did her thing and I did mine. Not long into the class, there was another women, front and center, who would randomly make claims over how hard everything was, with her being so fat. Or wondering aloud, how was she supposed to do that, with all of her fat in the way!? I am quite sensitive and this affected me. My own negative associations with the word (FAT) had me shuttering and seeking a quick retreat from her scorn. But also, what a beautiful opportunity to connect with what was important and what was true and exercise my own ability to stand firm in supporting this. Sure the physical body was real and had to be dealt with, but more so as an extension of the mind and soul, where the truth and importance really lie.

As class ended, the woman who had caused the disturbance sought out a potential companion and outlet in my friend, the one with the healing hip and heart. I heard and felt her desperately wanting to share her negativity, looking for reinforcement in stating, ‘…wasn’t that too hard for us, not what I expected, was comfortable with or felt good about it…’ I was working hard to keep focused on my center and was half disappointed and mostly hugely relieved to overhear her talking to the receptionist to say she would not be joining the rest of the classes.

All week, doubts plagued me. Maybe I couldn’t do this…I couldn’t make them all happy and the thought was dragging me down, down, down. I began to doubt my entire role as a teacher, considering that if I were only teaching Yoga to gain the validation of others, I was a hypocrite and my students would be better off without me.

Tonight, our second class, was approached with caution and honestly, having been stripped down a bit, I came with only myself and experiences to offer. I believe that my sincere gratitude in connecting and conveying the real meaning of Yoga was evident. Class began and I kept my eye and heart out for my friend who was slow but surely moving and adjusting into her body and new hip. Being how I am, I wanted to nurture her…to help her get into the poses, hand her the props and check in that she was alright. I thought she must be feeling the same as the woman who approached her last week and vented about the injustice of it. Maybe I just wanted her approval and acceptance too. I don’t know if I could have handled another person, who I deeply wanted to help, walking away from me in disappointment. But I held back, letting her find her own way…

 

Class ended and my friend was slow to gather her things, hanging around quietly as the others said their goodbyes. I could sense she wanted to talk and automatically feared it would be a repeat episode; These classes weren’t for her, I wasn’t doing a good job in sharing what Yoga really meant. I braced myself and then quickly realized she had a different story to tell…

First off, she wanted to explain and justify her inabilities, as we all so often do. She wanted to tell me how hard it was for her to join the class, to go out into public alone…something she rarely, if ever, will do. She wanted to share that she wasn’t even sure how she managed to convince herself to come out, into a place where people might so easily judge her and she would have to face her limitations head on. She wanted me to know that last week, once class was over, she barely made it back into her car before being overcome with a huge release of tears and pride. She was proud of herself and this was amazing.

I cannot express how deeply moved I am to know that my words, my offerings, reached some people in such a way that without ever having met me or tried Yoga, they felt drawn to join in our classes. Here I spent the last few days worried I was only teaching to please others and scrape around for approval! Tonight I saw in front of me, a woman glowing after having shed a layer of her own complex limitations, trusting and ready to move down into the limitlessness of her own True Being.

This is absolutely why I am teaching Yoga.

Thursday, Always

I think when you told me the secret about Thursdays, my Soul gave a little smile in recognition. Did I ever think this was just the average block of time? Now, as the minutes have taken us there, the energy has begun to shift, so beautifully. This is our day that is starting…my day to be with you. How long was I lost and searching? You are so patient and loving and there. So now I take strides for you, sure and solid steps, which I know to be true. On Thursday, every one I get, I keep you so close inside, my heart and mind. For this day, at least, the mind can let go of preoccupations and drama and put itself to real use. It can see real beauty as we perceive colours and shapes that blend from me to you. It can sync memories and knowledge to understand how truly blessed we are and what this means we must offer back. During my peaceful Thursdays, this mind does not care to doubt our purpose here. This is the day of honest knowing and thanks and heart.

When I knew you were here for me, I was skeptical and so afraid it would end and perhaps I was not enough. But now, today, of course I am and you are forever, just as you have said. This is the first time I believed in a promise. How do I tell you what that means to me? Of course you know and feel it. Let us feel it together today.

On this day, I wish for everyone to see how I only had to open to you and you give me the world. Maybe I will show them…today let us just be together.