So in the case of me and Kelly, we had no forum for conflict over the years. We didn't fight, we didn't have skillful means for dealing with our darker urges and feelings and so we would just sweep what was uncomfortable under the rug and live more on the surface where things were lighter, nicer and easier for the most part. And for us, that approach worked for a long time. But eventually, the shadow came calling and the stuff swept under the rug had to be dealt with in order to continue on together. So, it had to get pretty freakin' messy for a while. We had a lot of years of collected garbage under there that we had to sort through and no one looks too good when they are going through that!
One of my favorite teachings from Ansuara Yoga and its contributing philosophies is the notion of spanda- that at the very core of Reality is a throb, a pulsation, a dynamic pulse that aches, yearns and demands to express itself. If, for whatever reason, we insist on only one aspect of that pulse to be expressed- in the case of our marriage, if we can't deal with conflict, pain, anger and betrayal as well as love, good humor, delight and so forth- we are truly against The Way of Things.
I wrote a few days ago about some people in the community feeling doubt in the midst of certain changes with Anusara Yoga. I got some feedback that people thought that I personally had doubts.To be clear, I really don't. I don't have doubts because I know and trust myself. I know and trust John Friend. I know and trust my colleagues. Most importantly, I know and trust the Light that we are all serving. I truly believe Grace has our best interests in mind.
And I am anchored in the teachings of spanda. Difficulty of any kind in a community- be it personal, be it professional, financial, inter-personal, administrative, internal, external and so forth is not a sign that something is "off." Difficulties are a sign of the pulse demanding to express itself in its fullness. We simply cannot limit the pulse to only what we like, to only what is comfortable, to only what we prefer. It is not The Way of Things. Difficulties need to be acknowledged, dealt with and transformed in the spirit of growth, transformation and so forth. (Like in marriage, you gotta learn to have healthy disagreement in order to stay in the game over the long term or the monsters under the rug get quite unruly, as we have already discussed.)
See, the word doubt has at its root, "to waver." and I have never once, in my whole time with John Friend, ever seen him waver in terms of his intention for us as a community. Seriously, not once has his intention wavered. He, like all of us, has grown, changed, made his own shifts and explored his own boundaries and like all of us, he is in his own process of development. But no way do I doubt his Heart. No way.
Along those lines, it has been a long time since I felt any wavering in my own resolve to serve this vision. I love this method, I love my work, I love my colleagues, I love my students and I love that now, after all these years, the conversation is more interesting than ever. John has trained us all to be sensitive, insightful, capable people who can hold the spanda with integrity, who can be discerning in the midst of complexity and who can be true to our own ideals while serving the whole. This is an exciting time of Possibility.
On a personal note, one thing I got to see with John this last week was his commitment in a very direct way. He took time every lunch break to meet with his senior students one-on-one, to give people "face time" with him to connect. He repeatedly asked the group for feedback and received it with openness and clarity. He spoke to some hard issues directly and with candor. As I sat with him more than once I felt his Light and his commitment to serve That Light just as I did on the first day I met him. So, when I hear him say "its better than ever" this year, I do not take that to mean- "we are perfect, there is nothing wrong, see this without flaw." I take that to mean, "We are fuller, we are expanding, we are more of what we have always been and we are more committed to face ourselves squarely than we ever have been."
So yes, its better than ever.