What a week it has been; final project completed, St. Michael's College starting, summer classes at Spotlight ending, and my new business, not even fully set in place has a client.
I sat drinking my coffee pondering on how to begin today’s blog; luckily, the answer was right in my inbox. My daily dharma from Tricycle magazine, with words from Jack Kornfield, one of my favorite Buddhist teachers with the message of beginnings, and the overwhelming nature of the world we live in. So much pressure, so many responsibilities, and the day to day struggle of dealing with the massive changes of the last six months.
All we can do is begin brightly.
That’s a good description for how my final yoga project went, it was a bright start. Literally as well as figuratively, as I had Himalayan salt candles, LED tea lights, and even mini elephant lights shining to counter act fluorescent lights, and closed curtains, hoping to avoid mirrors and the negative judgement they incite. I arrived early at Spotlight Vermont to diffuse essential oils and set up the space. I had to use a lot of yogic energy not to obsessive over placement of props; not to mention color coordinating blocks, straps, and blankets. Making sure everyone could see me, maintaining distance yet not messing up my aesthetic vision was daunting. In my mind I saw perfectly placed, color coordinated props, evenly spaced mats, soothing candles in a room made delightful by lavender and lemongrass. It was pretty close, but it was reality and not a movie set, and that is what my brain had aspired to. Yoga is called a practice for a reason, it is not sadly, a miracle for perfectionists with obsessive tendencies. But the room was arranged as well as it could be, and it was gratifying to hear the first girl exclaim, “I love the set up”.
And as for the most important part the class. I did my best, and the girls did too. They made it through a twenty minute long meditation and a challenging practice.
I, for once, ended class on time. Exactly two hours after very prompt start we finished. Anyone who takes dance class from me knows that is a miracle of some proportion. I did the practice so many times getting ready that the timing at least was perfect.
The sequence I put together was not. After so much repetition, a notebook and handwritten cue cards at the ready, I messed up my well thought out order. I was able to scramble and get it together, but I was initially disappointed in myself. My perfectionist brain seeing only the small, unimportant, and unnoticeable mistake as the thing to remember. The theme, poems, quotes, good solid practice, and soothing Savasna (with an individual sample of essential oil blend for relaxation), were being lost in my one mistake. One simple message short circuited the positive whole and left me a little blah, and then...
As I was cleaning up and disinfecting the studio( thanks covid), I received a text message from one of the participants in the class. She must have written immediately upon returning home . The message was a thank you for my way of teaching, and how having me as a teacher had made her able to love and accept her body and herself. She described me in a way I have strived to be, but never felt I was. The theme of my class was Girl Power: love who you are, where you are. With this beautiful text I realized that my message was getting through in my dance classes and now In Yoga. In that moment I decided to treat myself with the same grace, I afford my students. One small mistake in sequencing was so trivial, yet I almost let it ruin a beautiful experience. Loving who I am, where I am right now , means accepting mistakes and going with the flow( pardon the pun). I decided to give myself a break, it makes for a nice change. Yogic philosophy is not far different than the fall and recovery technique I teach; life has a way of coming full circle.
So, in the end, it was a bright beginning for me, and a modest yet generous amount raised for Ibutwa and Spotlight Vermont. (And of course, anytime is a good time to donate online for Ibutwa). With the help of the great Becca Brynga, (company member and tech wizard) my workshop project was videotaped, photographed and organized into a file quickly sent in for review... here’s hoping. Becca also is helping me set up my business of yoga, dance and life coaching. I have spent these last months recovering from not only covid but life lessons that were originally impossibly sad but now feel Illuminating. A shift has happened, I have been studying, certifying and generally getting ready for a new chapter in life.
This pandemic/quarantine time has been
challenging but it has also caused a light to turn on in me. I find myself far more optimistic, and find even more things funny. I may want things to be perfect, but I think, (I hope), that I finally know I am in control of almost nothing. I of course have my Mama Maria to keep that message alive and kicking.
In a short aside to those who follow the blog. No, Maria never changed her mind about the air conditioner even though we left it at her house for as long as possible, during a heat wave, to help her relent. It was returned to UPS in bitter defeat this past Thursday. No, she is not wearing her life alert necklace, and indeed has no idea where it is. My niece wants to get more, I laughed she will ”lose” them too. No, she is not enjoying the Yankees, they are losing and she doesn’t like the loss of the crowd. Maria is enjoying complaining about the heat, and the smaller portion of Lean Cuisine Classic Comfort Meatloaf. The new portions size yet another aggravation in the time of covid, (were that they were all this trivial.)
This summer of renewal has made me grateful for my life, my family and friends. I am trying to stay focused on the positive, and find the joy and humor in everything, (even, or especially a complaining Maria). I am going to keep on learning and studying, and have already started a yoga chair certification and will soon start a restorative yoga certification. I am feeling that soon, post election, in the throes of the first covid fall and winter, we will all need a little restoration.
Until then I hope we will all be like this flower in Bristol growing in a rock; resilient and beautiful despite less than ideal circumstances. As for me, I hope this bright beginning shines on; illuminating this happy path I am choosing to dance upon. I hope you will all join me on this journey; if nothing else downward dogs will deepen, and we will laugh a lot... and that alone is more than a bright beginning.