Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good to Great

Well, it's Tuesday morning and I am sitting at my very organized desk (I told you, lots of nesting yesterday!) and now that I have done my seated practices, had my shower and drank my tea, I am pondering a blog entry.

My return to Austin has been great. I am so happy to be home and touching base with my friends and colleagues here in town while settling back into some good health-building regimes for myself. So all that has been wonderful. My return has also been marked by some various upsets within the yoga community relative to teaching schedules, studio management and so forth. I have been having some interesting talks with our community of teachers. Mine is an interesting role to be in, in a way.

I certainly have a leadership role here in the world of Anusara Yoga- Austin and I think that is wonderful, and yet, I am essentially without any really authority here because while I have seniority within the system of yoga I teach, I am simply another employee when it comes to decisions of who teaches when and where and so forth. And as much as I dream (and many of us dream) about a centralized "location" for Anusara Yoga here in Austin, it seems quite illusive to me still. I have no intention or desire to establish or run a studio and so that is certainly not a solution to what is going on. And while we are growing into such an awesomely diverse and talented community, we remain somewhat de-centralized and spread out. So much so, in fact, that I think I may really re-work my intention I have had for the last 4 years relative to the aim of us having an actual home. That actually sounds more ominous than it feels as I have no plans to change anything that I am doing here in any external way. I am very happy with my teaching life here in Austin. Unbelievably so. My classes are full of great students and teachers and I am supported very delightfully by the studios where I teach and I feel like I work for great people. It just seems to me that working for a centralized "home" for Anusara Yoga in this particular community may not be the best orientation for my focus and my efforts.

I am reading a book Good to Great about such things like getting clear on goals and focusing very specifically on one's work with clarity, dedication and exacting standards. This is actually a business book about companies that went from, as the name suggests, good to great. The author says that one of the main things that holds companies back from being great is generally that they are already good. He says that being a good company is not so hard but being a great company is exceedingly difficult and most people will simply settle for good. Anyway, it's an interesting read relative to business yet the principles have amazing application for our personal lives and lives of sadhana, I think. At least its giving me an interesting framework to look at my choices and to engage some strategic planning.

One thing that I am thinking a lot about is really, what is my business, exactly? I mean sure, I teach yoga. That is obvious. But there are really a lot of arms to what Christina Sell Yoga is and does. One very illusive arm is this community-building aspect here in Austin. I actually know that the community building is happening. I can feel it, I can see it. Its more that I am having to look at what is actually happening and what is realistic over and above what I have wanted to happen or think should've, would've, could've happened. And I think this examination and review is a very healthy process to be in. It seems that for me, there is this spanda of sorts between a high vision of Greatness and the clarity needed to understand where we are now and what is actually possible and "right" in a way.

I think that's the thing that is tricky about going from Good to Great. The Greatness the author of the book is talking about is not some pie-in-the-sky kind of dream state that lacks backbone and grounding in reality. Greatness is relative to capacity, relative to what is wanted and needed, and relative to one's dharma, if you will. (The author does not use that language but for us yogi's I think that is what he is basically saying. ) Going from Good to Great and elevating oneself or one's business from mediocrity to greatness is not about engaging some perfectionist self-improvement plan or anything like that. It does, however, involve a sober self-review of one's strengths and weaknesses while being 100%dedicated and unwavering relative to one's aim. In business it is as much about choosing what not to do as it is about deciding what to do specifically.

Anyway, more could be said and one thing we all know by now about Christina Sell is that more will be said. One very important thing I want to note is that being part of the Austin yoga community is a lot of fun. We are a diverse, talented and creative bunch of folks here in Capital City and there is no where else I would rather be.

more tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anne-Marie Bowery said...

Our new provost and president mentioned the same book in their opening addresses.