Hi there, I am happy to be sitting here writing. We are at the end of August, approaching the beginning of September and I can't seem to wrap my mind around it. This month has flown by and where to begin, I'm not even sure. My teacher, Maria flew into town from Yoga Ananda in Houston. It was wonderful to have her here in Arkansas and to show her Maitri, since Maitri would not exist without her and YA.
It is crazy how things can change so much within one year. At this time last year, I was still living in Houston, and trying to figure out whether to move to Fayetteville or not. Having Maria in town, was almost like showing her everything she has given me. Yoga truly gave me back my life in a way I could have never imagined the first time I stepped onto a yoga mat.
I think in some ways I have always been afraid to be seen, always been afraid to show up for myself and therefore couldn't really show up for anyone else. When I was 19 something happened, something shifted. I stopped trusting and I checked out. Although I was still walking around functioning, that's about all I was doing. I made decisions that were easy, I made decisions playing it safe so I would never really have to show up or get hurt. It took me a long time to take the disconnected parts of myself and mend them together. I've had many tears fall in yoga, along with lots of sweat and with the out and out resistance faced every single day on the mat, all of this led to slowly shedding the layers of armor I had built around myself. My yoga mat turned me inward so much so, that I little by little started grieving. Grieving for the past, all the times I had never stuck up for myself or fought for myself, grieving for the fear I've felt of vulnerability and slowly realizing how I've seemed to keep everyone at an arm's length distance. Maria, without even knowing it helped me to face all of these things on the mat and what came from it was forgiveness. Realizing that I couldn't have done any better than I did at the time. That forgiveness in many ways led to love, a self-love, which turned into courage and what came from that was Maitri. I mentioned this in a recent post, but at Maitri I am being "seen" every single day I teach. I've put my heart and soul into Maitri and everyone who walks through that door has a window into my humanness that I struggle with every single day. When I taught a class for Maria while she was here, I realized something. I didn't want to fail in front of her... and what did I do? I taught the worst class I've ever taught in my life, or at least, what I thought was the worst class. I cried after that class. I cried and I cried and I wanted to give up. But then I realized something that I hadn't thought about since opening Maitri, I would rather fail a thousand times over than never teach another yoga class. That day, I forgave myself again for being imperfect and I realized that there are so many gifts in our perceived failures. If I hadn't taught a shitty class, then I would have missed the gift, the gift of letting go of the approval from anyone. Maria, my mom, my dad, my brother, my friends, anyone...
Even though I have fear, even though I still have self-doubt and sometimes am very hard on myself, I am reminded to forgive myself, let go and to keep going, and that is what I will remind every person who walks through Maitri every single day. So, as we start to close out the end of August, I am thankful; thankful for each and every new beginning and the fear that reminds us to have the courage to live anyway. :) ::namaste::