Currently I am seeking assistance from outside sources to help me shift to where I know I need to go. I have been resisting taking myself & my work to the next level, yet
“…the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”–Anaïs Nin
When the stallion is scraping its hooves at the stall walls to be re-lease-d. So there are 3 ways I am currently investing outside of myself to aid me in this freeing & blossoming process.
1 is a book publishing package. My father died in 2010 & just a few months ago the barren acreage he owned in Arkansas finally sold & was split between my half-siblings & myself. It was a small amount but enough to buy a new computer (my first & only computer was nearly 9 years old!) & a semi-self publishing package. I figured tools for writing a book were the best way to spend my inheritance. And since I put a bit of money down, I reckon I’m more likely to do the extensive work needed to actually finish the book I’ve started which is a more personal look at the Seasonal Structure & how it culminates in coming home to one’s own sweetness in Svadisthana, the 2nd chakra.
2 is an advanced teacher training March 2016 with the only teacher I have ever actually desired to train with in person, Ana Forrest. She’s a tough cookie & also steeped in First Nation medicine training. She’s also known for the more advanced postures that I have mostly avoided for years, saying that there’s plenty in the Basics. Which is true, yet I realize that there is also gold locked up in the more advanced practices that I will access when I face myself there. By committing my resources to this training, I will now need to shift my resistances & up my personal practice game so that I can prepare to attend & not collapse on the first day!
3 is a marketing mentorship with Yoga Journal professionals. It was an Aha! moment when someone asked why I don’t get someone else to do the marketing. I have a web guy, an audio guy, a video guy, a bookkeeper, a US accountant, a NZ accountant, a liability lawyer. All these professionals doing the bits I am unskilled (or uninterested) in doing for the online yoga school. Yet the part that I struggle with the most is marketing & it’s a whole different ballgame Online.
I am, believe it or not, private & shy. What you see publicly is me playing with that edge. I personally do not like someone telling me what to do & I pretty much abhor advertising. There is some that is intelligent & clever. But generally I have operated under the premise that if I want something, I will figure it out & find it. Advertising seems to assume I’m incapable of such a thing & pushes it’s wares into my face. If you know me at all you know I have never owned a tv though my parents got a wee black & white one when I was 8 & then a color one when I was 12 & they both transfixed me. I don’t read the papers or listen to radio or spend much time on the internet. So I’m really not the expert to be doing my online marketing! Yet, actually, I am.
MYOGA is not separate from me. It is not All of me, obviously, yet the aspects it represents are embodied ones. One of the reasons I have continually returned to yoga over my entire lifetime–having been introduced to it at age 7–is that it is not separate from my values. Some of the other industries I have worked in have strained against some of my values. For example, the film industry can be hugely wasteful of resources–human energy, materials, money. Yet yoga doesn’t require anything except your dedication. Acting can be ego-calcifying while Yoga can be ego-dissolving.
So advertising has felt very tricky for me–like trying to calcify the process of positive dissolution…
In this mentorship I am being asked to clarify my values, my vision & my signature stories. And that’s just the first 10 days! I am having to clearly communicate what I do & who I am. The writing below is me riffing a bit on the question:
What do I do professionally?
I offer practices to connect with oneSelf. Through those practices in person & online I support you accepting your brilliance & then dropping the dusty & caked layers that obscure it. This is behind MYOGA’s byline freedom to unfold. In recognizing how you are still held tight in the bud, you can then choose to re-lease the restraints that hold back your blossoming. This is evident physically when core & leg muscles strengthen as stronger roots & stem so the blossom feels supported. If the blossom aspect of us, the heart & head area, feel unsupported then what you get physically is shoulder, neck & jaw trying to hoist the rest of the body around & pulling in tight to protect the precious bud. So, feet on the ground, legs & core strong then means that hips & shoulders can be more fluid. And what is evident in the body gratifies us because we can see it, yet there are more subtle layers that the body was simply a metaphor & a siren for. The emotional, mental, & more cosmic aspects of ourSelves are just as transformed. We develop the strength at our core of accepting our true selves, we feel more capable & willing to connect with others from that core integrity & we begin to grok in the true reality of existence which is that our separateness is a (sometimes) convenient illusion & an opportunity to play, but it is not the truth. The truth is that we are all one. But that’s big & can be overwhelming so we start with it in our own systems. We unify within ourselves first, reclaiming aspects that have been disowned or abandoned or ignored. Yoga, union, wholeness.
So how is what I do different from all the other yoga teachers out there? And I can say in the past 35 years in the US, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia & New Zealand I have watched this practice evolve from a scary, hippy cult practice to becoming an “industry”. I’ve seen the numbers of styles, teachers & participants exponentially increase over those 3+ decades. You’d think that would spur me on with a capitalistic zest to make the most of the growth, but actually it has had the opposite effect. This past year has been my “spiritual sabbatical” where I’ve pulled inwards even more, cocooning into myself & asking bigger & bigger questions. Is there a place for what I do in this commercial marketplace? Do I even want to do it?
The answer to that last question is the same answer I’ve come up with my whole life–I can’t seem to Not do it. I do it for myself, for my own evolution, & it seems to naturally extend beyond myself. So then the question is whether the wider marketing in the international marketplace that feels soooooooooo commercial (& so often feels like it lacks depth & integrity) is something I can commit to. Yes, because I am not committing to anything more than my own continued growth & unfolding into greater freedom. I know I will continue to check the integrity of my intentions by asking myself each step of the way, Is this choice coming from an egoic desire or is it part of my own re-leasing into wider vistas & greater challenges?
This quote has guided me for years & like anything True, its truth doesn’t go out of style or lose its value with repeated use:
If you want to awaken all of humanity, awaken all of yourself.
If you want to eliminate all of the suffering in the world, eliminate all that is dark & negative in yourself.
Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own transformation.
What are your edges? What do you actively avoid? What scares you shitless? What are you holding tight as too precious to share? What stallion of true unfoldment have you kept locked up in a stall that you can prepare to release into wide open vistas?