Wednesday, May 14, 2008

radiant self

Today was my first new yoga class that will meet every Wednesday from 12-1 at Whole Yoga. Fourteen people came. That was thrilling. The energy that is created with that many people mindfully moving their bodies and focusing on their breath is palpably powerful. My teacher came,too. I was glad she wanted to come and nervous, too. I told her it was my opportunity to work through all of my authority stuff in an hour. I knew it was a good stretch for me. I was afraid she would see that I don't know what I'm doing. I realized that that fear is based on the belief of the same name-that I don't know what I'm doing. The truth is I am a good yoga teacher and when I listen to my ego telling me I'm doing it wrong I get flustered, my brain gets cloudy and I don't know my left from my right. This is very confusing. Teaching yoga, as I was trained, means mirroring. For instance I say, Step back with your right foot while I step back with my left. For a person like me who sometimes has a difficult time knowing my own left from my right you can imagine how challenging mirroring can be. Today I interrrupted my ego in mid-stream when I began to criticize myself. I also did some self-soothing about it being alright to be nervous and afraid. I let myself be present with those feelings in the midst of teaching the class. That permission allowed me to focus on being in my body and attuning to my breath. Moving out of my head to being present with the experience I was having made it easier to show up and teach. I am really getting that if I am willing to show up for myself with whatever is going on, there is actually a chance I can authentically show up for others. I was brought up to believe that if I showed up for others, they would show up for me. That left being in my circle out of the equation. If I am ignoring myself and taking care of others there is an expectation that they will caretake me too. That leads to resentment and disappointment. In my circle, I pay attention to my own inner process and am responsive to what I want and need. Then I am in a position to give to others without expectations. Freely giving is so much more joyous than giving to get. My goal today was to feel satisfied with the class I taught, and to have that include what ever happened. I got good feedback from the students which I enjoyed. What felt even better was being able to celebrate feeling good about the class from the inside. Internal validation is easier to trust than external validation. I am learning to see my worth as separate from what other people think. That is very freeing. Being myself instead of what I think a yoga teacher should be like is much more effective. I heard the saying once," What other people think of me is none of my business." I would like to be free of changing my behavior according to what I assume other people want. If I am myself then when I am loved I can believe I am loved for who I am. If I am pretending to be someone I'm not when I am loved it is this false persona who is being loved. That supports me in not feeling lovable. What does being yourself mean to you? Is there a situation where you could experiment with mindfully letting down the false persona and letting your radiant self shine through?

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