I will flow through you,
Through your hands, through your heart.
Do not be afraid of being uncomfortable.
Sink in, settle in.
You are misperceiving the situation.
All is well and all is good,
Trust more than ever.
Relax in the not-knowing.
You are right. Something IS happening.
I DID bring you here for a reason.
The reason is to learn to be a
Teacher of love, a teacher of Me,
Of you, of everything,
Of pure clarity.
I understand that it doesn’t make sense,
But you are listening!
It is not possible for me to steer you into
Any direction other than
You didn’t come half way across the country.
There is no country,
Which is everywhere, always,
No space, no time.
You need to quit defining my voice
By your perameters.
Trust – come on – dive in, fully, into Me.
Why do you keep second guessing yourself?
Thinking you can’t do this
Or aren’t worthy.
Because you are.
Do you think I would have called so loudly
If I didn’t know that you are the one for this job?
You’ve come a long way
But we are just beginning our Work.
It is worth the small effort
Required by you
Which, at the moment,
I wrote this on October 30, 2002 in Palm Springs, CA. I was at the Southwest Yoga Conference, assisting my teacher Erich Schiffmann for the very first time at the exact same conference where we had met the year before in Austin. This poem marks a very important time in my life. I was one year into an apprenticeship with a teacher who miraculously appeared out of nowhere and my life was radically shifting and changing in massive ways that I couldn’t explain or even put words on. I was beginning to have all sorts of spiritual experiences that were vastly different from anything I had ever encountered before. For as long as I could remember, I had longed to “hear” God, to be able to receive inner guidance like all the mystics wrote about being able to do – those mystics I identified so strongly with, but didn’t really know why. And when hearing/feeling/sensing spiritual guidance and communication started happening to me, it was wonderful, exhilarating…and also seriously caused me to doubt and question my own sanity.
This “poem” was the fist of hundreds of writings that I would begin to channel over the next several years. These little poems were how I first began to connect with and “hear” divine guidance. And as I wrote in those last few lines in the poem up there, it’s true: “We” – what felt like God and me – were just beginning our work. And work it was. This was the start of a very difficult and tumultuous time for me. It was the beginning of what would shape everything about the way I practice, teach, and live the Yoga: learning to discern and hear inner guidance in my life, allowing everything that I am to be guided by this inner voice, the Teacher Within, and to, trust it, trust life, and trust myself. This way of practicing and living would eventually come to be called Freedom Yoga.
My practice with the writings was simple: open the notebook, put pen to paper, get out of my head about what to write, and simply let the words flow. This is a term I now call “channeling.” Not channeling, like channeling another entity, but being an open and flowing channel for God, Source, The Infinite, to come through. Time after time, writing after writing, it was clear to me that these weren’t words I was making up. They were coming from a place outside of my usual word choice and writing patterns, and they were most certainly coming from a place of wisdom that felt outside of myself, at first. The directions and insights were not general; they were specific bits of information that were relevant to me in the moment. In other words, it was always something I needed to know and it was always worded in the way I would most easily understand it.
I knew when these writings were happening that they weren’t just for me; they were meant to be shared. In fact, many of the writings contained those very words. However, at the time, though, that thought completely terrified me. I was highly practiced in staying small, planted in the belief that I had nothing of value or worth to share. These writings were such a deep, vulnerable part of myself that back then I didn’t talk about them or let anyone see them. Nobody in the small Texas town of my world was doing this sort of thing, channeling writings from God. I was very fearful of being labeled as “crazy” or “out there.”
This was a really hard time for me. Except for my two friends in California – Erich and Stacie – there was no one around me who could understand where I was coming from and what was happening to me. I felt so alone and isolated…which actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I had no other choice than to stay in my actual experience and not rely on what anyone else thought.
I’m so very grateful to have the record of these writings to remind me of where I have been, because I forget. As I go back and read over the words of what came through my pen during those years, I’m reminded of how rough things were for me in the beginning; all the flipping and flopping, all the back and forth that happened, all the acceptance and resistance, welcoming and pushing away. I forget about it because now all of this has been integrated within myself such that it feels smooth and normal, like how it’s always been.
If someone had told me on October 30, 2002 that in 16 years that I would not only be sharing this poem for the whole world to see, but that these writings would come to provide the foundation of self-trust that would become everything about how I teach and live now….well, I would have had a heart attack right on the spot. And, if I had been told that day that the process of channeling the writings and dealing with all the difficulties I experienced would be the fuel for a book on Freedom Yoga that I am just about finished writing now, as I sit here in April of 2018….well, I don’t even have words for that.
After all these years, it feels good to share the poem. I’ve got a chapter in my book on the writings, in the section on courage and self-trust, where I talk about the extreme difficulties I encountered early on in my yoga journey. It’s so easy to think the teacher has it all figured out and never struggles. I struggle all the time. Trusting the voice of God, my Inner Teacher, my deepest truth is still hard for me at times. For me, spiritual growth has meant getting outside my comfort zone of complacency and sharing the gifts that come up through me. Shrinking is no longer an option that feels good.
Sharing ourselves with the world is so important, especially right now. It’s a very interesting time of intense change on the planet, at the moment. We’ve all been given gifts of the spirit; unique, beautiful precious gifts that not only make us who we are but that affect change and transformation. I think that if we really want to see wholeness restored in our own lives and on the planet, we need to pour the healing salve of our gifts into the collective wound. It seems to me that what’s needed is for all of us to step up and be willing to be who we are, to let our true colors, our true gifts, be the light that shines forth. This takes a huge amount of courage and self-trust, but the more open we become, the more it helps others open up, too. The ripples keep on rippling. In other words, the call is the Be Who We Are. Without shrinking. Without telling ourselves that we’re worthless or valueless or that we have nothing to share. Each of us has so very much to share and staying small serves no one. Let’s be brave. Let’s trust the voice, the guidance, the wisdom of the Inner Teacher as it comes up through us and out into the world. The world is in need of it.