What mind am I feeding today? Is my mind in the past or linking to the future? Can I just sit in the present moment of what is being presented NOW? Answering these questions is my daily commitment to living in the fullness of each day.
Spring is a reminder that an entire year has been lived with the effects of COVID. Who could have predicted our losses? And yet, who could have imagined all the ways we rose to the occasion of living with this phenomenon of uncertainty. It has been exhausting yet profoundly rewarding when I hold the entire year as one of growing, expanding, and opening of my heart. It has humbled me and at times asked me to surrender all of my expectations and accept the offerings that change presented.
Zoom is not my desired vehicle for the journey, but it allows us to stay connected as a community and to offer these teachings in a time when they are so needed. We cultivated and nourished the entire year with three important attitudes which became a daily practice.
First, to meet myself with tenderness and gentleness, I had to unlearn and let go of habits that were familiar and loved. I had to change our entire system to use more technology. I had to teach and share through the computer which at times made me feel less than adequate.
We are yoga teachers, sharing the wisdom of insight, and meeting students individually with a profound shift in the nervous systems with careful observations of our students. Many times we felt like we were simply calling out instructions found in a manual. Often we felt as if no one was even there listening or fully engaging.
Teachers of any medium felt the immense loss. The pure joy of establishing the connection between students and teachers, which offers profound nourishment for both, was a constant struggle to inspire without the actual live presence.
Patience became the second important attitude for my daily practice. Patience is another name for trust. I had to remind myself that to rush or avoid the fullness of this frustration was only feeding impatience for what might be presenting itself as a learning lesson in acceptance. I could not rush reopening the studio, nor be impatient in wanting it to be different. Whether it’s unpleasant or pleasant, the daily commitment is to be open to letting in the new and releasing the old patterns that no longer serve.
Today, we have a stronger community based in gentleness for each other. My compassion for myself allows me to feel more compassion for the community as a whole. This has brought us closer as we share the journey together. Thank you for being willing to show up and stay the course as we stumble and awkwardly learn new ways to communicate in these classes and feel connected.
This brings me to the most important attitude that I had to really appreciate as my heart was breaking open. That is cultivating more humor. To lighten up and observe myself as my own living “sit-com” versus a Lifetime channel drama. Each day, while talking to the plants in an empty studio, I catch myself in a moment of the absurdity of it all. The pain and grief of what we all mourn became an instant moment of not taking myself so seriously.
That “it” is not about me at all. To teach and share and practice for those that cannot became my true mission statement.
With that ease of being present, I could witness my fears and doubts without judgment sneaking into my thoughts. And the great mistakes were just another opportunity for the “Grand Experiment” of living fully. I found myself laughing through the tears. Yes, this was the year of great emotional release.
Easing the heart of tensions and bringing in the nourishment of Prana is linked to these three qualities of the right attitude. I can practice where to place my roaming thoughts. I have a choice in discerning where I place my attention. I have the ability to choose because I CAN. This is yoga and bringing my mind home is the ability to ease the suffering that this year has brought.
I choose to welcome Spring with renewed hope for what is coming: that more students will find the desire and feel safe to return to the studio; that laughter and hugs will fill our days; and that we can remember to feel the blessings as we meet each day in loving gentle patience.
The light in me honors the light in you—