Later this week I will be traveling to teach at Sun and Moon Studio in Arlington, VA. I have wanted to teach at Sun and Moon for as long as I can remember. In fact, I had it on my 2012 vision board one of the places from which I really wanted to receive a teaching invitation. When the invitation came toward the end of last year, I was elated!! I’m so excited and thrilled about this opportunity; it’s huge for me. I am overflowing with gratitude for being able to share what I love and what I’m passionate about with such an open community and in part of the country that I have never taught before.
While this is exciting for me, it’s also scary. A big part of my teaching and practice is learning to be vulnerable; daring to be me and letting others see who I am, daring to share my approach to yoga, even when it differs from what others are doing. I know that my true strength lies in being willing to take risks and give expression to the guidance as it comes up through me….and helping others to do the same. Vulnerability is a precarious place, but I know that it’s the only place from which creation and newness bubble up and come forth. Walking into a community that doesn’t know much about me is an emotionally risky thing. Will they like what I offer? Since many people there don’t know me yet, will anyone come at all?
Though I know it’s a necessary element to my growth and what I’m here in this lifetime to learn, vulnerability and risk is not easy for me. I like safety. I like certainty. I’ve noticed that the amount of vulnerability and risk I walk into is directly proportional to the amount fear and anxiety I feel. And the more fear and anxiety I feel, the more I let the old tapes play in my head to “feel safe.” These are the tapes that say, “What if nobody comes?,” “You’re not good enough,” “Nobody knows you,” “Don’t even try this, just stay where you are, stay small.”
As of a couple of weeks ago, one person was signed up for my workshop. “See,” say the tapes, “nobody is going to come.” “Do the math. 2+2 = 4.”
Yes, 2+2 usually equals four, every time I add it. Yes, maybe this lovely person will be the only one. Maybe no one else will come. Sure looks like that right now. But I have a choice: I can run with appearances, spin the tapes to feed my fear, and dig in my heels at this huge growth opportunity…OR I can sink my roots into God/Source and get grounded in the realm of infinite possibilities, where I know the answer to the equation can morph and change into something completely unexpected. Possibly even into a miracle, if I open myself up to it.
I know that the path of yoga that I live is not one based on appearances. Living a life guided from within, based on a deep connection with Source, does not operate on what things look like on the surface. The surface view is constantly changing and morphing. The Universe orchestrated this invitation to teach, not little ole me; therefore, it serves no one if I choose to operate in the superficial world of appearances and pre-determined outcomes based on what things seem to be. I must dive underneath the surface of ever-changing waves, to the calm depths of the ocean and operate by faith. In the world of The Infinite, what things seem to be rarely equals what they actually are.
Faith can be defined as complete trust or confidence in someone or something. I agree with the words and I can say the words (talk the talk), but actually living the words is a whole other story, especially when I’m required to have faith in something that I cannot yet see. These past few weeks have been quite a struggling journey of being stretched way outside of my comfort zone, but it’s brought me to the place where I know that 2+2=Faith. I’m completely confident in God/Source/The Infinite to bring the right people together for our event. I completely trust that the right words will come for me and that what we do together at Sun and Moon will indeed be miraculous, regardless of how many people are there or not there. It will be well, it will be good. How could it not?
As we say in yoga, it’s all about the journey. Yes, indeed.
As an end note, I was pondering whether or not to “publish” this blog. As the tapes say, “Stop being so open, stop telling people how you feel about stuff, or how things are hard for you.” As a yoga teacher, I think it’s important for me to share my struggles, as well as my strengths. It’s easy to think the yoga teacher always has things figured out and is enlightened to a plane above everyone else. No, we’re all in this together. We’re all students. We’re all learning.
I woke up this morning, sat down at the table with my coffee, wondering about all of this, and as I glanced across the table at the paper, I nearly fell out of my chair. The headline says: Complete the equation.