It sure is easy to go down that rabbit hole of not enoughness. I don't know how many times I see the affirmation, "You are enough" pop up at retreats and workshops among participants, as well as in my own life. It seems it is a universal remembering and a daily practice--to keep believing that we are intrinsically enough--that we are whole and complete, just as we are.
When we return to our awareness of our wholeness, we can also recognize how others are whole, too. When we tap into this truth, we might notice that our culture's obsession with fixing ourselves or trying to become this or that is really a false way of relating to ourselves and each other. It is a way that forgets to honor the beauty of the mystery of the journey and its unfolding.
On the path of "healing," it is the same. We are not trying to get anywhere. We are not trying to cure anything. If we are trying to cure ourselves, we will only find disappointment. If we want to cure ourselves of pain, isn't it inevitable that even if we "succeed" at removing the pain, that life will eventually serve us another? There is no "there." And yet our healing process can go further when our perspective and judgment softens. Instead of spending our energy worrying about if we are doing the "right" thing or fixing ourselves to be different than we are, what if we recognized our wholeness and completeness in this very moment? If we could let go of all that time we spend focusing on our hang-ups and reservations or blemishes, we can free up more energy to channel toward more meaningful endeavors, like simply being. here. now. And being okay with or even appreciating who we are today--making peace with ourselves in this moment.
And knowing that, I still catch myself getting tied up in the needing to know the specifics around my life, to know I'm doing the "right" thing. I think as a yoga teacher, lately it has showed up in my feeling like I need to follow a certain tradition or lineage, to subscribe to a certain style in order to "advance" on the path. As I've been searching for the "right" place to deepen my studies as a teacher I have hit road block after road block. This kind of stuckness is what happens when I am trying to control something rather than trust the process. Ego wants to plan everything. Ego wants to do it "right."
I mentioned in a previous post about a plan I had to become certified in a process that was trademarked and stamped by the experts, and my 2018 began with the notice that I didn't get in to the club. I was surprised how down I felt about it, but as time has moved forward I am finding it was a bruising of the ego more than of the heart. A sort of lightness has come over me since I received my rejection letter, and it opened up these next two years for a new kind of exploring and living into the "answers."
As a result of not getting into this program, on a last minute whim (because I had some free time), I was able to attend a yoga nidra class and chakra workshop with Dr. Indu Arora in Northfield at an inspiring wellness studio, Prema Yoga. It felt so good to be back in the "classroom" so to speak. While there, I was reminded that one Yoga has become many stylized yogas in the West. In my need to find a style--to be unique--I lost touch with the truth of it all.
Yoga is a practice where, when in tree pose, we are meant to connect with the tree, not to a specific teacher or style of a tree. Yoga encourages us to understand ourselves by observing natural phenomena. It is inspired by natural processes, and when we practice yoga with a capital "Y," we should be able to see a glimpse of the cosmos. To simplify, yoga is inspiration from nature. And as I (re)heard this explanation of yoga from Indu, it took me back to the basics. This basic knowing inspired me to move forward in my studies in an organic way rather than an overplanned way. I noticed Dr. Indu's 5 day yoga nidra intensive opportunity at Asheville Yoga Center coming up at the end of February, and there was another clearing in the forest--schedule was pretty much open. I talked it over with my family and lined up the subs for my yoga classes. I look forward to visiting the center, to test drive if I may do my 500 hour teacher training program there, as they have a build your own sort of program, and this 5 day intensive would count for credit if I decided to continue there. No pressure, no plan, just pure following the flow.
In the same breath someone reached out to me from another program that I had started in 2012 (6 years ago!) At the time I drove up to Duluth where the only practitioner of this style of yoga lived. I checked myself into a hotel and met up with her at a community center where we practiced together. She gave me a booklet to practice at home and we stayed in touch over the years, meeting up to learn more when possible. At one point, I reached out asking if her teachers would ever consider doing a correspondence training with me and 6 years later, when my schedule freed up, I received a message telling me they are accepting 5 students (by invitation only) for the first run of their online program. The best things in life can't be planned.
When we know we are enough we drop those parts of our lives that are operating in fear, and we can let go of those things that are not serving our highest self. We can move more freely from a place of trust, and as time goes on, we know in our hearts that things will fall into place, eventually. Somehow we start to know that everything will be okay, even when we can't see the light.
That being said, things at the studio took a dip in January. As many people heard news of restaurants and businesses downtown Stillwater closing shop, one might guess in the throes of winter, that business in Minnesota can be tough. And when things get tough, sometimes doubt comes out to play--we wonder if we are at first not successful if we are meant to keep going or if we should jump ship.
As my own intentions become clearer, I believe this work will become easier. Part of this awakening is allowing me to better understand what is in alignment with our work. After January, I realized that I really have no desire to become a yoga studio owner. I realized I want to be part of a community--a sustainable collective of people who want to hold space for healing and spiritual growth...together. Yoga happens to be one of the ways that our studio offers this kind of support. Some of the other ways we offer support is by inviting people in to share their gifts with the community.
That being said, I hope you have noticed the events, classes and workshops we have planned for you this Winter/Spring. Know that they have been put on the calendar with great intention. We hope that some offerings that speak to your heart and create space for you to go a little deeper into your self-care and spiritual practice.
One such offering was born from a community member asking us to put together a retreat "sampler," for people to come freely (donation optional) to try out some of our weekly classes. And so we followed the flow. I wrote an email suggesting the idea to our teachers and immediately 6 teachers wrote they were interested in sharing, and 4 of them were able to agree on a date. This upcoming Saturday, February 17, will be our first collective offering, we are calling the "Progressive Relaxation Retreat." Read more here to reserve your spot >> This kind of offering is an example of how I hope our studio will co-create, with our teachers leading the path with their hearts, together.
Beyond February, March is chock-full of wonderful opportunities for inspiration and self-care. The first Saturday of March (March 3), we welcome back Angie Fern for another foam roller & tennis ball workshop. There are only 4 spots left in this class. If you want to make it happen, just do it and please sign-up soon. This class sold-out in January, and I sense it will sell out again. Not only will you walk out feeling more relaxed than after a massage, but you will take home new tools for how to release tension in your body.
The second weekend of March (March 10), Thomasina & Bob Fisk return with their sound meditation workshop, but they are adding a sweet element--sacred cacao. They debuted this combination at the Village Hall in Marine this past weekend, and I have only heard positive feedback. After personally devouring more chocolate than anyone wants to know about over the weekend, I am possibly overly excited to find another reason to love chocolate. We really look forward to welcoming this offering into our Moon River space in less than a month. There are only 11 spots left, so again, please reserve your ticket soon! (Their sound event sold out last time, so again...go with the flow, but you may want to sign up soon--wink wink).
The third weekend in March, (March 17) , on both St. Patrick's Day and the New Moon, is a workshop not to be overlooked. We have guest teacher, Kristina Ahern, joining us for her first offering (hopefully of many) at Moon River Wellness. After having a personal transformation after working with a mantra and doing group chanting class two summers ago, it has been on my bucket list to attend one of Kristina's classes. She is one of only a handful of teachers in the Midwest to go through training in Vedic chanting and to top it off she will bring to us her Honoring the Moon workshop on a New Moon, at Moon River Wellness! Does it get any better? No, I don't think it does. There are 8 spots left, so again, sign-up as soon as it makes sense for you. This is one I am especially stoked for!
As you part "plan" and part flow, trust that the right class will fit in with right timing. I hope to see some of you in the studio soon, and I realize this blog is becoming more the length of an essay, so I will hold off to say more about our April & May happenings. If you need to know, click through our special events calendar to learn more.
Until then, I hope to see some of you at our weekly classes. When I can, I try to attend as much as I can. You can drop-in for $16.50 or buy a class pack to save some money. Note that class packs will be on sale for $10 off this Saturday at our Progressive Relaxation Retreat!
Have a great week ahead!