Trans day of remembrance was last week. A way to commemorate all 311 folx who were murdered or died way too early for their time in 2019, mostly trans women of color. As I sit here contemplating everything that I am grateful for this past year, I am most grateful for the privilege of getting to navigate my own transition- which many before me and still today, have neither the resources nor support to do. It has already been life altering and beyond worthwhile. I am grateful that up until today whatever adversity I have encountered has been minor and I have had as safe a space as exists to negotiate it. I feel like a butterfly coming out of my chrysalis. Life feels completely new and possible in ways that it never has before. I feel extraordinary inside my body. I feel embodied in my life in a new and surprising way. It feels like I am growing from the inside out and like I have space to breathe… finally. I can breathe… I can breathe. I had no idea how much of me was slowly dying keeping the other version of me alive. And even though it has its challenges, I am eternally humbled and grateful to you- die hard allies- who have surrounded me with your love like a protective encasing so that I may do this. I don’t yet have words worthy enough to honor this magnificent experience. So thank you.
A handful of people lately, have told me how sad they are that I lost my beautiful voice; how happy the are that I don’t sound strained or like I am pushing; that they miss and used to love my old voice. I know it comes from a sweet place. But People! Be mindful with your words. I feel so grateful to have the chance to lose my amazing voice. I was dying. I was dying. Right in front of your eyes. I just didn’t know it for a long time. Losing my gorgeous old voice has meant I have the privilege of finding a new one, of being born again. Addressing Mary Oliver’s question, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Well… THIS. I plan to do this. Live it to the fullest. And if that means putting everything on the line and losing everything to find something more profound and sacred inside myself, then I am so down for that. So please don’t pity me for my rough voice. I am finding my way. We are finding our way. You and I. If I strain it is because I am learning something new and learning often means going overboard and failing and falling over to find the place of ease. Learning is not graceful, it is messy. Yet, I had a glimpse yesterday. For the very first time. That this voice change might not just be tolerable, but in fact, that it will be astonishing. I know I will find my way and this new voice will be far more amazing than the old one in the end. That surprised me. I was not expecting that. I thought it wouldn’t be so terrible- at best. But I think it is going to be fucking phenomenal. Good things are going down. So don’t pity me. Ride your mat with me. Uncharted waters are the best. That’s where we learn what we are made of. Let’s be messy together. Messiness is humbling but leads toward true discovery. I am grateful that at 42 I get to be lost, confused, shocked and sometimes pleasantly surprised by something that has been in my control for so long. I am growing. Like really, truly growing.
I am also grateful to get to do what I do every single day in and out of the studio. I was recently with a friend who is an excellent teacher and she was saying she’s having a tough time making ends meet. This is very real and as a student, perhaps not something you think about. It’s easy to assume yoga teachers have a great life. Because they do, and they are for the most part pretty easy going. But the truth is that it is almost impossible to survive as a yoga teacher in this town, or realistically anywhere. People aren’t paying much more for yoga than they did when I started teaching 12 years ago. We don’t get insurance, either. I know a lot of you are also in this boat. So you know. You know. So… if you get a chance this holiday season show some appreciation to your teachers who are likely working on the holidays when you are off. I’m always super grateful for the tons of love you show me. It never goes unappreciated it. I am still so very in love with this practice and everything it offers after all these years. No amount of misuse or abuse by unexamined people with no morals or boundaries, the mainstream, or studio owners can rob that from me. Seeing everything that is disheartening about it, only reminds me how profound a personal journey is. And it is mine and yours. No one can take that from us. I am ever grateful for you and our vibrant community.
I am also grateful for my best friend- Bowie, my wolf bat. He brings me the most joy ever and is perfect beyond belief. He also smells delicious.
I am grateful for our new home. It is the greatest feeling to have such an amazing nest by the park for off leash hours.
I am grateful for my family and the extended trip we got to take together this fall. I will forever treasure time with them.
I am grateful for my new nephew- Po. Who already has my awesome hair and is so cute. May we all figure out how to keep our planet alive long enough that he may enjoy some of it.
And I am and will eternally be grateful for the amazing new loves and friends who have come into my life to show me exactly how much light is out there, and who have reminded me that I am beautiful.
Happy thanksgiving everyone! May we remember those who were of this land before us.
– Nuqui, Colombia Feb 17-21 or 17-24: I am offering $250 off of the retreat until Black Friday. For details CLICK HERE
– I am teaching on Thanksgiving at 12 at Five Pillars.
– Thanksgiving Friday I am offering a Yoga class with Terrence on the Drums at Five pillars at 12:30
– Dec 4th from 6:45-8:45 Erika and I are doing the Shoulders triage workshop downtown at 736 Bway 9th Floor. Please sign up ahead of time on the website. To sign up CLICK HERE
– Dec 13-15 I am teaching a Pranayama and Meditation Intensive for teachers and seekers at Five Pillars.
– Dec 20 6:45-8:45 Christmas Jam with Terrence on the drums at 736 Bway, 9th floor to register CLICK HERE
– Jan 20-25 I am teaching a morning immersion from 6-8 called The Modern Yogi at Pure East which looks at esoteric practices and philosophies.