I committed to completing all of the requirements to receive my official yoga teaching certificate for the 200-hour program that both Tanner and I completed this summer. I did it (and Tanner is almost done too!): 30 days of consistent meditation and journaling plus 12 hours of practice teaching and full evaluations of the clases taught. It required a lot of perseverance for the last few months. I have some pretty hilarious accounts of my first summer as a yoga instructor. I learned so much about myself. Simply priceless. I may turn it into a short story...someday.
If I don't follow through and cheer for myself along the way, I sure can't expect that someone else should. (Of course, love and support from others never hurts!) Life isn't always easy or simple. Or fun. But sometimes we just have to follow the path that is laid before us. Complete our dharma. Question anything that seems unclear or untrue. Gather more information. When you have done all of the research and there are no more questions left unanswered and nothing remaining unconsidered, there is only one way to go: forward. Push..push...push through. Just do it, as you may have heard.
Advertising our new big commitment.
I committed to continuously writing this blog 4.5 years ago! Sometimes I think to myself, "I cannot understand why anyone reads these random ramblings of mine. I'm not anyone special and I certainly don't have some magical answer to the mystery and challenges of life". Nearly 16,000 visits to this blog later, and here I am writing another entry.
I needed a break from my more "serious" work to get some of my thoughts out in writing. I am lying on a bed, where we are visiting my father in the house where I grew up. In the background I can hear the nocturnal summertime crickets and cicadas singing and chirping in the darkness of a strangely warm mid-October night in rural Pennsylvania. Autumn, again? Hmmm. The remnants of a Gulf Coast hurricane blew through here today, bringing a feeling of turbulence and mystery...
Roughly 18 years ago (longer than this but in my conscious mind, this was the actual turning point) I don't think I realized it at the time, but my soul committed to walk a different path than the one I was shown as a child and a young person. That early path was strange, scary, dangerous, dark and unkind in many ways. When I decided to sharpen my machete and clear myself a new path through the metaphorical jungle of life, it was a massive and terrifying leap of faith. I have turned around many times to see what I have left behind me, but the wild jungle grows over the past very quickly and I have no choice but to persevere and press forward. Sometimes the way forward is bright and inviting. Sometimes it's tangled and rough and makes one cringe. Those moments when I just want to sit down and throw in the towel are the moments of TRUTH. I now know that these most challenging points along the path are also the ones that can launch me to new heights and most importantly, a deeper truth within myself. Spiritual growth spurts.
These days, I am steeping in a brew of mixed emotions. I feel blessed to be me and to feel well-equipped with a toolkit of experiences, intelligence, wisdom and wit mixed with a sprinkle of humor. I feel thrilled to be offered so many amazing experiences and adventures.. I feel like Harry Potter mixed with Aladdin and Peter Pan and like I'm in and out of Oz! Wheeeeee!
At the same time, this path often feels extremely lonesome. Tanner and I are so damn grateful that we have each other. The world around us (especially here in the USA) seems to be bubbling up with fear and turbulence and we strive to keep a blanket of peace and groundedness draped around us. The winds of change whip our blanket around and we hold it tighter. Braving the elements, we sail our magic ship out to sea, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. All we can do is keep going. We have all come too far to stop now.
Together, the two of us have committed to taking another huge leap of faith and said YES to an unexpected offer. We have been offered the use of a small retreat center near the ocean in southern Mexico. The owner has never met us, but is trusting her place in our care. Our Spanish is mediocre at best, but we are practicing every day to improve our ability to communicate with the locals. We JUST completed our yoga certification program, but we know how transformative a daily yoga practice can become and we want to share that gift with others. We all need community. Now more than ever. We can not successfully create this community vision alone. We are striving to create something larger than we are to call in those who need this too. Like a beacon. A lighthouse.
We are taking a significant risk, and we are trusting that through this commitment to creating a safe space to nourish and support ourselves, and invite others to join us on this unscripted journey, that we will, in turn, be supported.
Sometimes the universe knows just the right amount of push-risk-challenge-gift-adventure-magic to throw across our path. Scary. Exciting. Terrifying. Exciting. Crazy. Exciting. What are we thinking?! Exciting.
As I was writing that piece above, my father walked in to give me this piece of paper that he found in a pile of stuff he was sorting through in his office. It's an email that I forwarded to him almost exactly 3 years ago, to share with him a pivotal moment in my life. I faced one of my biggest fears: public speaking. I commited to speaking about being a Highly Sensitive Human to a packed community hall of 60 people. I was invited to speak to the group and I resisted so hard but the elder couple who invited me would not take no for an answer. Thank goodness. I had no idea where to even start. However, once I finally commited, I just woke up one day and the information literally downloaded through me and I turned it into a visual presentation using PRESI. The presentation went so well that I could barely wrap my mind around it. The next day, I received this beautiful note from the host:
It has made me wonder why I am not still sharing this information with the world. I know that there are many, many people struggling to make sense of a world that feels overwhelmingly complex and intense. People are seeking truth and striving to find purpose and meaning in everyday existence. Some are so crippled by the pressure that they can barely function (Been there. Many times.) If you're one of the many, have faith. Together we can encourage and support our sensitive siblings to rise up to this occasion of our incredible evolution on this planet. Reach out. Do not hide your gifts. Do not stay small. We all need you.
I don't have the answers for each individual person and their unique set of challenges and circumstances. That has become deeply evident to me and has been a very tough thing to accept. What I do have is a deep sense that everything is perfectly in order, for all of us, as chaotic as things may appear on the outside.
On the inside, I know that all is well and that if I keep listening to that calm and grounded inner teacher, and just breathe, take one step...and then another...
Eventually, someday, I will return to the point where I began this wild journey, and hopefully I have some good stories to share with you along the way.
Oh. And PS. EXTRA sleep is something I have also felt the need for lately. The earlier nights of autumn are bringing earlier tiredness. And many people have been sharing about their extra need for resting. I feel the energetics are really taking a toll on people all over. Some are aware of it and some are not. It seems like the springs keep winding tighter for humanity. Like many people are metaphorically (and some literally) holding their breath in anticipation of what is unfolding on earth...give yourself the nurturing and kindness that you need to be ok in each moment.