Looking back over 2011 I learned a lot this year — learned a lot in a somewhat quiet way, not so much in the hit-ya-over-the-head type of way. And what I learned was yeah, it IS all about me. Really.
The year started off with a bang as I had decided to stop writing after writing this blog for 6 years. Then this Yoga B.I.T.C.H. returned, renewed and refreshed. I did my thing all year, teaching my students and going for a few trainings, and then I hit the wall. I almost quit teaching this year and then I got re-inspired. I collaborated on a new and (we think) powerful Therapeutic Yoga Training that has garnered a lot of interest so far — but not where I live. But I’m OK with that finally. Esalen has asked us to send our yoga resumes. Yeah, you bet your asana I want to teach at Esalen. I’ve finally decided to conduct a teacher training and I’m planning a Yoga & Spirituality Retreat in March of 2013 where the Therapeutic Yoga Training will be an option.
I also decided not to allow myself be ruled by the current yoga business paradigm because I am so much more than that. Two yoga teachers who trust my vision are on board and if it’s meant to be, it will be. I honestly don’t care what the local yoga studio does because frankly, that business model is tired and stale and the people I want to teach to aren’t those people anyway. To that end, I decided to start a non-profit corporation in spite people telling me not to do it. Henry Ford once said that if he had asked people what they wanted they would have said “faster horses.” Think about it. I stopped allowing people without vision into my life. But a praying mantis taught me my biggest lesson.
My biggest lesson was listen to my heart.
Of course I know that I’ve been doing that for years, listening to my heart and to my second brain, my gut. But somehow I had lost my way a bit this year, I can’t explain exactly how. Maybe it was by trusting people too much, by expecting to be treated as I treat people when I should have no expectations at all. Yes, trust is a positive thing, but not at the cost of denying yourself. My life lesson at this stage of my 57 years on this Earth is that I am not responsible for anyone’s happiness and no one is responsible for mine. The key is to let go of everyone, and I mean everyone, who do not have your best interests at heart, the ones who do not support you, the ones who can not make the least bit of effort to sustain a relationship. Get rid of the “iffy” people as I call them. Life is too short for peoples’ “bar talk.” That’s over and done with, and like anywhere else, the yoga world has lots of bar talk. My Kali Sister Svasti has some good advice about what she has learned in her 40 years on the planet.
While that lesson has been rolling around in my consciousness for quite some time, it took events of this year to solidify it. Intuitively and energetically I know that my yoga trainings early next year in India — one with A.G. Mohan, and my 6th time at Desikachar’s school – are the culmination of my beginning. A cycle has come to an end. The long beginning was my 10 years of a yoga teaching. I learned that you can’t seriously refer to yourself as a teacher unless you’ve taught for at least 10 years. Sorry if that offends anyone. On second thought, no, I’m not sorry. I’m being real.
I also know intuitively and energetically that I am going to give birth to something potent and profound. Don’t mistake my confidence for arrogance. I know this as sure as I knew for two years that I had to be at the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar last year. Spiritual adepts have been telling me this for years — that the years 2012-2014 are going to be a rebirth. But you have to die to be reborn. Dying never bothered me, it’s living that’s hard.
We’ll see what Varanasi has in store. I’ll be there at the end of my trip at the end of March. Varanasi is also referred to as Benares or Kashi, the city of cremations, a city of death and rebirth, a city that like Haridwar last year, I know in my bones I must be there at that time of my life. North of Varanasi is Sarnath where Buddha did the First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma on the Four Noble Truths. One city of endings, one of beginnings. Between trainings I’m spending my time in Varkala in the south, where there is a 2,000-year old Janardana Swami Temple, a temple to Vishnu that is referred to as “Benares of the South.” In Varanasi I’m staying near Assi Ghat, the same ghat where Krishnamacharya stayed when he studied in Varanasi in the early 20th century. My India trips are always filled with such serendipity.
I’m ready for a new beginning. I believe you either lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way. Those are your three choices in life and I don’t have time for vanilla or beige anymore. As Danielle LaPorte writes:
let it go.
Happy New Year.