I am reminding myself that I asked for this.
I joined a synergistic project designed to get life moving. I prayed to be able to earn more money, to support my children. I stepped forward into the Unknown, my own little baby steps, determined to do them even if someone else thinks I am Making a Big Deal Over Nothing.
So here I am today. I can breathe, like I can when I’m in the mountains but never in the suffocating heat of a Florida summer. My chest is open. Words have been pouring out, words that began while I cried through Savasana (who knew it was pronounced, “sha-VAH-sah-na”? Not I). I feel my brain is hyper focused and I am about to Get A Lot Done.
This morning I went to my first public yoga class.This was a Big Step for me.
Ten years ago I got my first book about yoga. I was too shy to even do this in front of a TV. Something felt hokey and false about watching yoga on TV. So I got my book and my mat and I never let anyone see me. I’ve watched other people, secretly analyzing their movements, breathing, balance. Fortunately one good thing about yoga as a trend is that it normalizes it…it’s not hard to get a glimpse of someone practicing, even without revealing that you are secretly letting them teach you how it’s done.
My-Yoga (which, I remind myself, is not real yoga) has been a fiercely private experience. I pray through it. Or I’m silent through it. But I never share it. And as 21.5.800 has continued, I started questioning that. It seems a large part of a real yoga practice is in joining the communal aspect. Being taught, being challenged, being corrected. One huge drawback of a private-only yoga experience is that I never know if I’m doing it “right” and I never push myself harder.
Which means, I don’t grow.
So parallel to this is my writing career. The company I’ve contracted with wants to move me up to the “next level” which means I’ll start coaching and selling my services rather than just writing behind the scenes. This should not really be a problem for me; I spent 4 years with my own coaching and consulting company selling my own services every damn day. But this feels different and I keep mentally returning to 2005, when I still stuttered so badly I wouldn’t call out for pizza.
But, this way through is the only way up. I don’t really want to not do it either… that would be admitting failure. I know one step at a time I’m going to compete with my scaredy-cat-self and the strong-me will leave her behind. (Random side note….Gosh…my chest feels so OPEN! I can take the deepest breaths! Anyway…). I will get through this challenge. I will grow. And hopefully, I will earn more for my family.
So, in the spirit of this, I chose a yoga class today. I have a membership at the Y, which I got so that I could pound my spirit and body in the weight room and on the treadmill. I haven’t “gone there” yet. I think I’m finally crawling past the desire to make this hurt. (Interestingly, the teacher today said repeatedly, “if you are suffering through this pose, you don’t have to”. What a mind-bend!).
The class I chose was not a beginners class. That felt too safe. Too easy. Still in my comfort zone. The entire point was to challenge me beyond so that I’m empowered to do the same in other realms. I chose the “intermediate to advanced” class.
And here I cry again. I’m really very happy with the entire experience. I met 3 new friends; women who are not suburban auto-matrons in matching minivans at all! They reached out in earthy, friendly ways. I was immediately at ease. There was even the most adorable old man! (I have a soft spot for elderly old men who LIVE). When I accidentally rolled all. the. way. over instead of holding some pose with my legs up high, it was okay to laugh. Welcomed even.
The lights were down for Savasana. Why did I cry? I don’t know. All those opening stretches and poses (so many that I didn’t do at home but I was proud of my strong body…I think it did well) made me feel calm and completely safe. I do not ordinarily feel that way in public. In control? Yes. Open? On my terms? Safe? Only if it stays that way. Here I was lying on the floor, open and released to whatever came next and I felt safe.
The poor teacher though! At the end of class I waited for the room to empty. I wasn’t ready to rush out into the “real world” just yet. And the words were being to percolate to the top. I wanted to link to her so asked for her website; as soon my tongue realized it could engage again, the words poured out like a fountain. “Whoops, there goes gravity”. Gee Whiz. I want to be the calm, sweetly smiling woman with gravitas. Maybe someday.
One thing she said (while we had legs apart in a tri-angle, head down, arms behind our backs and raised, about to fall over) was that “that place where you feel like you’re about to fall over…that’s where you want to be”. Live on the edge. Hold it. Go deeper.
So interesting, this synchronicity of ideas. June is a stretching season for me. My birth month. The Days of Re-evaluation. I should not expect that once revolution is invited in that it will leave any corner dusty or neglected.
Open. On the edge. Go deeper.
Namaste (couldn’t resist 😉 )