Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child

What amazing things did you step up and do that you never thought you could? How are you feeling about the incredible year that you've had?First the old woman stands in front of you and looks deeply into your eyes. Her voice is the most beautiful sound you have ever heard. She looks at you and says, I am honored to be in your presence. Before you can speak she puts her finger over your lips and tells you to hold on to the love and not give it away with your words. Coffee date love. Lifetime-forever love. And yes, most importantly, they find self-love. Never find love, my ass. Community and Friend Love I'm learning so much about the power that having a circle of friends can hold in my life. Not just one friend, or a bunch of acquaintance friends, but rather a tight-knit circle of people who know you, love you, and support you. It's a farting wonderful thing. It's also a farting important thing. Obviously, who you surround yourself with matters, and when you're learning to love yourself (and your body), it's critical to be around those who are aligned with your values and supportive of your ultimate goals. You could also have Mary the first timer to yoga who has done a little Pilates before. You also have a gymnast in your class as well as a large burly builder. You also have a keen yoga teacher trainee in your class. Does this caution of not doing headstand after shoulderstand (or vice versa) apply to everyone in this class? My Laura defies the laws of physics at times.

Is she to NEVER do these poses in that sequence because it is dangerous? What logic is this rule based on let alone any science? The basic laws of health and fitness say that when you are writing an exercise programme for a client, the exercises selected should be suitable for that client's ability levels. This is common sense. So, nothing is dangerous if the client or student has been built up for the more complicated exercises. Asking these questions stems from some good democratic values that certainly benefit the children. I often ask my wife what she would like for dinner without being obliged to serve this. Likewise, she might ask me which dress I think she should wear--only for her to return a while later in a completely different one. Questions of this nature show an interest in getting some input, inspiration or perhaps a desire to be challenged. Neither party should feel bound by the answer--irrespective of who asks. Being right or getting things your way might mean that you are taken seriously--but it is only one of several ways of being taken seriously. Sometimes it might also mean that the one who asks does not feel like having a conflict or getting into an argument. The spontaneous No! I am confident that many parents regularly feel they instantly need to say No! They might have norms or values that are so ingrained that they do not need any consideration at all. She hugs you and then she is gone. Next the old man stands in front of you and says, I too am honored to be in your presence. His voice resonates through your entire body. You take a deep breath and take his words in. He smiles and before he leaves he reminds you that they will always be with you, right at the edge of your reality, waiting, and wanting to love you.

Whenever you think of them you hear their voices reminding you, loving you. They are a part of you now and always. You stand alone in the middle of the clearing and you are filled with love and peace. You are your true self and you know you are a gift, and you go forth into your life to share your light. Take your time getting up. Take inventory of those around you. Make sure they respect themselves and you. Make sure they are the kinds of people who are working toward happiness. Make sure the good they bring is good, and the bad they bring is far less than the good. A favorite tweet of mine? Find the people who will help you create that life. Love them unconditionally. That's from my gal Virgie Tovar, of course. We are taught to be nice and polite humans, and that those who in any way disregard others must lack some sort of moral upbringing. We are also conditioned to believe that the more people like us, the better. In a yoga class, nothing is dangerous if the student has the capacity to tolerate the stress. So, saying one should never do this or do that is absolutely incorrect. The teacher just wants to be perceived by the class as authoritative and knowledgeable and I sympathise. In the modern and very competitive yoga teacher market, what teacher wants to tell their students that everything is fine? If I say to students, Yeah, just do whatever as long as it doesn't make you cry and another teacher says, You should never lock the knee, which teacher appears knowledgeable to the new student?

It certainly is not me. Yoga teachers put too much stock in what some senior teacher said or what they hear. Very little of what they say is based on actual evidence. It was the Buddha who urged us all to find and seek for ourselves. We should also apply these wise words to our teaching. This might be something they carry from their own childhood or something rather irrational and very difficult to explain. If this causes a serious conflict it is worthwhile considering our motives but it is not always necessary for you to be able to explain the reasons for the No! It is, in fact, more important that the parents are able to stand up for their right to be irrational than that they invent some convoluted pedagogical explanation. For example-- I can't tell you why I say No! I just know it is what I mean and you will have to accept that for the time being. Humans are not rational beings and I honestly believe it is very important that adults as well as children stand by their right to be irrational--and even unreasonable. A few days, weeks or months later we might revisit the issue and talk to the other person about it again. Were you to make up some explanation to suit the occasion you might also be blocking your ability to subconsciously work on the issue. You would be none the wiser from the experience. You might want to put a sign on your mirror that says, I'm honored to be in your presence. Read it often and speak it lovingly to yourself as you stand in front of the mirror and look directly into your eyes. Agreements--Consciously or unconsciously we make contracts or arrangements with the people in our lives and with the world itself. We have agreed to believe certain things and to act in a specified manner. If our parents believed intimacy was unsafe we may have agreed to believe that too.

We may have an unconscious agreement with ourselves to remain unhappy. We are generally unaware of our agreements and yet they dictate most of our choices and our actions. Assumptions--We often assume that we know what another person is thinking or feeling. We assume other people think the same way we do. We assume people mean the same thing we think they mean. As in, the closer your individual feedback rating is to 100 percent, the better a person you are. This is sometimes called the Need-to-Please Disease, and there are a number of causes. It's especially common with those of us who have super low self-esteem. When we don't believe in ourselves, we think we need a large number of other people to validate us. Unfortunately, while support systems are definitely necessary, accumulating copious amounts of devotees ain't the answer. We don't need a million friends; If you find yourself struggling with the Need-to-Please Disease, try spending less time trying to seduce lots of people to like you and instead focus on cultivating relationships with those who are also working toward a life full of love, happiness, and (most importantly) progress. Now, I'm not saying you should ditch any of your friends who aren't wildly successful and spout affirmations every ten seconds with a shit-eating grin on their faces 24/7. In fact, if you had friends like that, I would be completely weirded out and wonder what they're hiding, because Jesus, whatever it is, it must be BIG. What I AM trying to say is probably better said by Jade Beall: The Buddha taught us to know for ourselves what is hurtful or divisive. The emphasis is always on seeing and knowing, not on calculating and believing as seeing creates wisdom. Knowledge that has been imposed on us or borrowed from someone else is not wisdom. We must be convinced of our own logic before we tell our students what they should or shouldn't do. The more one studies the human body, the more you question what you read.

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