You know that you are rock solid when things and people around you change and you stay steady in your seat.
I used to wake up with lyrics in my head every morning some twenty years ago. And one song that repeated itself often was from “The Wiz.”
“Suddenly my world’s gone and changed it’s face, but I still know where I’m going.”
God, that was wonderful.
So much has changed for so many of us recently. And the truth is, this time I don’t know where I am going at all.
After my last two surgeries, I thought I had a job to count on once I was fully recovered. Not only did I not know that was not to be the case, but I also didn’t know that so much would change from inside of me.
The fire that once burned so bright has now become dim and subsequently, I began to question everything. But why wouldn’t I? It has taken a long time to walk. I have a new configuration in my body. I am not quite sure about how safe I feel practicing yet.
And the yoga world as we have known it has been turned on its head. So many of us have been questioning where they want to be.
Many still know where they are going.
But I don’t.
The good news is I still know myself. I still know my soul. I know who I love. Who matters to me. But I’m not so sure what matters to me in terms of work. Asana, which once was everything, no longer is.
I sat, amidst, 70 something yogis, at the apex of my practice, just a week before my second surgery, when Desiree told everyone how hard it was for me to be there because I would be having a very major surgery and posed the question to the group:
“What do you do when the only identity you know suddenly has to change?” and without hesitation someone shouted out, “Well, you just practice one of the other limbs of yoga!”
These are things we say to each other as spiritual practitioners in theory. But how many of us, ACTUALLY live into this practice?
I can speak from real experience now.
And I have to say, at times, it has completely dismantled me.
The day that Desiree made this announcement I actually ran out into the woods and I cried out to god. It was probably like a scene directly out of a movie. But it was real. I ran as fast as I could and I poured my suffering out to god.
Because I knew in a week I was going to have to surrender my body completely and it was a grief that at that moment, I had to prepare myself for.
Folks, you don’t just “GO” to one of the other limbs of yoga. It’s a lot of work. It takes discipline and listening and practice and there is suffering which must come out.
What I have come to now is another layer.
What if I don’t want to teach anymore? Who will I be then?
I sat in a meditation and I listened and I saw the fiery, buoyant, enthusiastic woman many of you have known. The BIG person with the BIG laugh. And I asked her if she wanted to continue teaching.
And I listened. And the answer was “no.”
And I cried. And cried. Deep painful cries. I cried for what my body has been through. For what is also ahead of me with some further changes (god bless change). I felt into all of the places of pain that still need rest and healing and I cried because they needed to be heard.
I cried because they needed to be heard.
Not because I don’t know where I am going. But simply because they needed to be heard.
So that they can heal.
That is all that is wanted here. Healing.
Just like in the woods with god.
Just like in prayer.
I have noticed that I am a bit of an enigma in that I have not identified myself by what I do. Some of that has come through privilege. And although my finances have changed radically, the way I identify myself has not. I would say I have always I identified myself by how I feel.
And in a world which is focused on what one does... it has always been quite fascinating , compelling, frustrating (for the sake of wanting more) and at times, inspiring, to relate to others from this place of feeling. After all, although I am still working hard at it, my life coaches named me a “PARALYZED SENSITIVE” (which I found accurate and humorous all at once).
Here’s the good news, though. I may not know where I am going, but one thing is for sure about me, I will always know how to name what I am feeling. I am clear there. I am sure of myself there and damn steady there, even if I am soaked with tears. Determined to get through anything, is what I know I am. If I love you, you know it. If I am upset with you, you will know about it so I can clear it up with you as soon as possible. Those who know me best, will even say I am quite “pushy.” It’s true. But these are all qualities that say I always do know where I am going. It’s just not in the same realm everyone else is headed. And the truth is, I’m okay with that.
“Love isn’t just those words we’ve said
It’s something that we do.” ~ Clint Black
“Do” good, everyone. Even if you don’t know what yet!