Owning Your Bullshit

The most amazing thing happened when I started teaching yoga.

As each of my students came and left, their questions poured in. What do you recommend? What can I do?  I have a problem with (insert anything!). Even meeting new people brought many questions. What type of yoga do you practice? Where do you teach?

Heartaches, illnesses, successes, and addictions were uncovered. I suddenly became aware that the time had come to own my bullshit.  I didn’t take this internal struggle seriously until now.  It suddenly became unbearable to live another day masked and confused.  I spent the earlier part of my years trying to “figure it out”.  I was the rebellious teenager who experimented with hairstyles, friends, and drugs.

At that same time I discovered yoga, all alone in my room at night.  I would light the candles, start the breathing, and feel that peace.  I would focus on the breath and try to conceive my unchangeable self.

Years and years passed and I tried to live the double life of a partier trying to escape my past, while chanting in solitude trying to find inner peace and a better future self.  Slowly and in good time I decided to finally get certified as a yoga instructor. It was something I always knew I would do.  As I started teaching, I became struck.  “This is it.” You choose this path.  Are you really ready for this?”

Some say this occurs after many lives of lessons, but my life started out so hard, I had to believe that I was getting closer.  This requires a lot of spiritual work.  How you act, what you do, and what you say, becomes more important and will be the front page after the end of every day. At the same time, you’re this spiritual being that’s having this human experience and the waters get testy.  When people piss the fuck out of you, you need to go deep into that “zen” self and learn to say nothing or “that’s ok,” then go back home to deal with it and let it go.  Hopefully there was no alcohol involved, and if so… forget about it. Our perceptions of reality will not always agree with everyone else’s and we as teachers need to learn more to stay in this “true state” and not delve back into the other “illusion state,” or Maya.

Here is what I’ve learned that you can hopefully relate to on the path.

  1. It’s OK to cuss and be angry. As you try to treat everyone as a divine being, there will be times where you want to do anything but that, and possibly cuss them off.  This is normal.  We are still working at this.  It will get better with each experience, as long as you can track your spiritual progress.  That is, see that you are growing a little bit with each experience.  Did you hold back a comment? Did you forgive someone?  Did you say you are sorry? Note the progress.
  2. Stay focused.  So many times there will be people who interfere with your path,  Wolves and the wolves in sheep’s clothes.  But recognize them all as a teacher, so you harbor no ill feelings.  The only thing that matters is God, whatever you perceive that to be; get that connection straight.  Let God handle them in the end.  Your fight is not with them.  It is within you.
  3. Retreat to your hyperbaric chamber.  Gold is to be found in retreat.  You deserve it and need it.  It is not a luxury but a requirement.  You must reflect, refresh, and bring awareness to the events that have caused distress in your life and what lessons are to be learned.  This is necessary to continue on and make you spiritually stronger.  Develop a plan to change course and change the strategy if need be.

Yoga teachers are not perfect beings. If we were, we would not be here, duh!  We would be floating in the ethers as pure light.  Ugh I want to be pure light!!!!!

My final straw was after being clean for 30 days of no alcohol, then returned to drinking alcohol.  I was in a situation with people living a lifestyle that was no longer a part of mine.  No judgement, but pure awareness on my part. It brought me further from the path.  I was not in control, and I was not in pure awareness.  In pure awareness we are perfect.  Be in pure awareness. Of course, if this is what you seek.