Well, it is Friday morning and ready or not, there is a workshop this weekend. I mean ready or not, mostly because I have not been home a lot to have all of my ducks in a row and to be as 100% organized as is my preference when hosting such things. Still, yoga workshops are usually populated with helpful people and I am sure that if I need a hand plenty of people will be able to help. Mostly I need to get to the store this morning for things like receipts, name tags and so forth. And it is raining which makes the venue a bit more challenging because last year we had a fair amount of overflow onto the deck and so forth. Oh well, its going to be great.
Hmm... It is September 1th today. I was at Inner Harmony on retreat with John Friend on the September 11th. I remember when he and John Epert (the host) and Krishna Das announced what had happened. For those of you who were not around in the early Inner Harmony days, that retreat center is located on the top of a mountain in the middle of Utah and is, shall we say, remote. So there we were- 50 or so of us, many of whom were New Yorkers- on top of a mountain in Utah not really sure whether we would be able to leave as planned and not really sure what we would be going home to. Intense, to say the least.
The main teaching that I remember that John gave that week was to "make beauty." He taught back bend class after back bend class and time and again asked us to assert and create beauty in the midst of the pain, the suffering and the ugliness that had led to such a violent act. He never once said, "Do not be sad or do not be hurt or do not feel afraid" as much as he taught us, in the midst of all those difficult feelings, to assert a higher perspective. This teaching is really timeless and is at the essence of what we are up to in Anusara Yoga.
So- I had a decent day yesterday. I got to talk to John some about my book. (He thought I was on the right track with the last round of edits so I can keep going on those. YAY!) and we also talked about some politics and p.r. issues he wanted to make me aware of. So that was enlightening.
I find the interpersonal domain of teaching yoga to be way harder than keeping a heart-based theme alive in a yoga class or talking someone into and out of a pose efficiently. The interesting water of personalities rubbing up against one another is really a way harder yoga for me. But actually, I think it is part of the fine print of teaching Anusara Yoga.
I have found over the years that the work we do as Anusara Yoga practitioners within community can be quite valuable and worthwhile and every bit as transformational as the other practices of yoga. The yoga of relationship with others has, at its essence, an invitation to grow and refine ourselves with the direct feedback of other people's response to our efforts. I do not think that we have to change every time someone has a less-than-positive thought about us. I really don't. That would be crazy-making for sure. However, it is generally worthwhile to look at feedback we get and see if there is some opportunity for refinement within it that would be in our best interest to implement and if so, to work on it with patience and compassion for ourselves. So like that.
Weirdly, a very strange story about me had gotten to John that was even difficult to see the kernel of truth within it but well, there you go. Remember the whole game of "telephone" we used to play as children? You sit in a big circle and the first person whispers something into the next person's ear and then by the time the message gets back to the first person it has invariably changed and sometimes quite radically. Funny how that happens in real life also. Stories change, nuances and motives get added, personal agendas influence how we see and experience each other and then down the road, well, you get my point.
And in this case, I took the feedback- not relative to the content of the story (because it was entirely false)- but as evidence that energetically something between me and this person was way off and, while I am not sure how right now, I would like to move toward healing it.
All right, on with the day and into the night...