So- I am sitting at home today waiting for Fed Ex to deliver me my passport. I realized last week that I could not find my passport anywhere and the last time I had it was in June when I went to Tofino. So I tore the house apart and still, no passport. Anyway, long story short, I have a new one coming via Fed Ex today so I cannot leave the house lest I miss the delivery. I leave the country on Friday and since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, today is the only window of opportunity. If I miss the delivery I am a bit, shall we say, screwed. I did check its tracking and about 30 minutes ago it was put on a truck in New Braunfels. So I am hopeful.
But this means I am probably not going to be at the practice at South Studio today although it is still happening with the lovely and talented Mandy Eubanks leading the fun.
A brief note about my schedule-
Friday Nov. 28-I am headed to Winnipeg on Friday morning. I am teaching there over the weekend. (BRRR!!!)
Monday, Dec. 1- I go to Tuscon on Monday and teach Immersion Part Two with Darren Rhodes on Tuesday through Sunday.
Saturday Dec.6-Sunday Dec. 7- Carlos Pomeda will be teaching here in San Marcos over the weekend. Kelly is going to host that here so that I can stay with my group in Arizona and be there for Paul Muller Ortega's weekend workshop. (Really, you know you are living right when you are choosing between Paul Muller Ortega and Carlos Pomeda on the same weekend.)
Sunday, December 7- I am going to go to Prescott for some personal R&R and to visit my guru and friends up there.
Thursday Dec. 11- I travel back home, land in Austin after lunch and will be at Westgate for my classes that night.
All right then- last night was a lot of fun for me. We had a great group at 4:30 and at 6:00 although I think the 6:00 class was the smallest class I have ever taught at YogaYoga. At 4;30 we worked a lot with the Primary Flows of Energy and my theme was on Goodness.
I have been thinking a lot about practicing yoga. And why I do it. And apart from all kinds of lofty philosophical reasons, I practice because I like it and because it feel really good to me. I practice because I feel better when I do than when I don't. It is kind of a simple thing, really. I also think that, in general, most people's reasons for practicing boil down to "I want to do something good for myself" be it on the physical, emotional, spiritual, social level of being.
But lately I have been thinking a lot about "Why do something good for myself?" Like really, what motivates that?
And it seems to me that there are two basic reasons to do do something good for myself. The first reason I might want to do something good for myself is that I think I am somehow flawed and in need of some kind of "whipping into shape" or that by doing something good for myself I can offset this feeling of being less than. Somehow, through enough work, this perspective tells me, I could earn the experience of worth, etc. Like- "I am basically not very nice but yoga helps me be nicer." (Or fill in the blank with any trait you chose.)
The second reason is that I might recognize that I am, intrinsically good and doing things that are good for myself are ways I might align myself with that truth. Like- "I am basically healthy, well, peaceful and Good. Practicing yoga helps me align with that state, recognize it fully and live in that truth more deliberately. (Chit-ananda, baby- there it is again!) Because of this recognition I deserve a practice that brings me happiness, wellness, joy and profound insight."
The outside actions of my life might look exactly the same. I might behave in an identical manner from the outside. I would eat the same food, I would still meditate, I would still do pranayama and I would still practice asana. The only difference is inside. One orientation would be based on Earning Goodness (And therefore always be a reminder of lack) and the other perspective would be be based on Aligning With My Already Present-State of Goodness. (And therefore always be a reminder of fullness)
Obviously it is not a black or white issue. In some ways, as always, it is a matter of perspective. From the Absolute perspective we are already Good. From the relative perspective, we need to cultivate ourselves. But its on my mind a lot- the idea of earning goodness, of earning Grace. Really, we cannot earn what is already ours. That is the thing about gifts. We do not earn them. They are given. What we can do is cherish the gifts we are given, take care of them, put them to good use, praise them, share them with others, and so forth.
So practice is kind of like that,I think. What if it is simply a way we might cherish the gift of grace, a way to take care of our own goodness and put our gifts to good use?
If I wanted to, in just one more paragraph I could segue into a Thanksgiving rap with all of this, but not today. I have been living off the Hallmark Calendar for many years now and so I will leave the gratitude consideration alone for now. Perhaps tomorrow.
OH WAIT-FED EX IS HERE!!!! Yippee. My passport arrived. Now that is something to be grateful for.