It’s the things you least expect that creep up on you and bite you in the ass. We all have our glitches, those blind spots in our psyche and our spirit. They happen physically too. A good teacher helps you get into those places and bring them to light. Even if what you find isn’t very attractive. If you don’t let those places breath, they rear their heads and catch you by surprise. You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it… By then it can be too late. As Caroline pointed out recently, “you can’t unsay or undo something”.
It’s tricky- the more you practice something, anything: life, a sport, a language, teaching, being in relationship to someone- the more streamlined you become, which is good, in a way. It’s not that you still don’t make mistakes or learn things. It’s that the learning is more subtle and refined and therefore much harder. It also happens slower than it did at the beginning. You adapt, mentally and physically to what you are doing as you go along. Your DNA literally gets altered to accommodate how you use yourself on both the gross and subtle level. This also means the stuff you may no longer want gets very sneaky and much harder to hunt down.
Sometimes it even requires getting really honest with yourself and pulling way back. Going back to the basics to re-learn something in a way that is even more aligned and clear, injuries can be great catalysts in this regard. They force you to slow way down and really listen. In the same way, impasses in life make you slow down and sometimes you have to get creative and make a new plan.
I’m ready to tackle some things that have been stagnant both in my asana practice and in my spirit (my yama and niyama practice, perhaps). The best way for me has always been taking time with them. Allowing them, like a puzzle, to unfold. What has to move out of the way in order to make room for the next part. There always seems to be a divine order to things even if it’s not clear at the start. I find if I wait, it usually makes itself known.
I’ve had lots of anger this past year. As in- I’ve been feeling a lot of it and my fuse has been very short. I have an idea where it comes from but have felt helpless in dealing with it. For the first time ever, I’ve felt that I don’t have the skills to navigate this on my own. So I’ve been on the look out for someone or a catalyst that might shake things loose and give this gremlin some room. It’s also probably not going to be one thing, I’m assuming it will be a bit of a practice to actually move through it and take some time. They say when the students need them the teacher appears. I may have stumbled upon something just this week, we’ll have to wait and see.
I was lucky enough to get to lead a retreat in a magical corner of Colombia with my good friend and fellow teacher Miriam Wolf. We got back a few days ago. Everything worked out so beautifully and the people that came made it incredibly special. It hit an amazing sweet spot!
I have to admit, one of my favorite things about this trip was that though Miriam and I are very similar and acute practitioners, there are things she can do with her body that I think, “wait, shut the front door, how do you do that?”and vice versa. On a sublime balcony that looked right over the ocean, we would meet every day and go “down the rabbit hole” together. So our sadhana was filled with great exchanges. We pushed each other into a deeper space. It felt like we were sharing our secrets. So cool. Collaboration at its best. I love working with dynamic people.
I think the yogi is by nature a seeker, which makes him/her also a rebel. When you go seeking, you are bound to find things. If you didn’t want to find them, you very well could stay home on your couch. We all have our darknesses and our flaws. I think it’s less about what we find and more about what we are going to do with it.