“I’m not insisting that we be brimming with hope — it’s OK not to be optimistic. Buddhist teachings say, you know, feeling that you have to maintain hope can wear you out, so just be present… The biggest gift you can give is to be absolutely present, and when you’re worrying about whether you’re hopeful or hopeless or pessimistic or optimistic, who cares? The main thing is that you’re showing up, that you’re here, and that you’re finding ever more capacity to love this world” Joanna Macy
Ever more capacity to love this world.
That’s a row to hoe, amiright?
It resonates though, deeply. Showing up and finding more capacity to love the world…that is work, good work
I don’t know why I chose that quote for this post, maybe by the end I will.
I wanted to write this right now, after just returning home from my last day of yoga teacher training. I have a pretty strong feeling that there are too many emotions and feelings rolling around up in here for these to be my final thoughts on it….
Lots of tears today, lots of jitters as we all had to do our “Final Teach”. I was reminded that in week 3 of the training, the first time I was asked to teach, I basically threw up my hands and said I had no interest in teaching and I don’t even want to try. Yeah,I did that. It’s what I felt at the time. Today I nailed a long, hard sequence, did one last week too…a few others I am sure. The growth is what counted, from the scowling 3 year old stomping her foot and saying NEVER to the woman who gave the gift of pure presence this afternoon, which is all I can do. I showed up.
I showed up every weekend for 12 weeks, and did things that were impossible, and I was changed. There were a lot of Nevers at the beginning of training, most of which have been completely busted. I still cannot do Urdhva Danurasana (look it up!), but guess what? I try, every time. Handstand or headstand away from the wall…nope. Maybe never, who cares? I can do both at the wall. And I know how to teach someone else to do it.
I am not optimistic about becoming a vinyasa teacher, but Yin? Why not…I have seen some trainings advertised that I am going to look into further. Some training for older people, gentler flow?….yeah, maybe that.
I’m present and more open. Does that translate into optimism for the usual pessimistic me? WHO CARES? “Feeling you have to maintain hope can wear you out”….that resonates, and probably always will. But so does “you’re showing up, that you’re here, and that you’re finding ever more capacity to love this world”.
Being present and finding a sense of presence. That’s a gift that this training gave me. So much more…confidence, trust, willingness, the ability to look at myself and my capabilities differently, the ability to bond with very different people, so many shifts. I wrote a post near the beginning of the training about my hatred of the wall of mirrors. The last few weeks I have chosen to be near it, to look past all the self-judgement and criticism and see my form, the way my body moves in a pose (sometimes that has, admittedly, been quite depressing!), to learn from what I see and accept that person looking back at me in the mirror. That woman who barely exercised a day in her life who loves, loves, LOVES yoga, who attempts everything, who asks for help to be shown the proper way to be in a pose and…my god! doesn’t judge it at all. There were quite a few, MANY , self-deprecating comments thrown around during this training and the last few weeks? Not so much.
I am present, I am who I am.
I am. So Hum, one of my favorite meditations. I am.
And until I’m NOT I may as well be present, always looking for more ways to love myself, to love all those wonderful people I love so much and to love the world. Me, you the world, the basics of a Metta meditation. We need to find the capacity to love ourselves with a clear mind and heart before we can send that love out.
I’m a little in love with myself right now. I did this, I did this big thing. I am feeling pretty awesome, and I am definitely feeling VERY present, very here and now.
“The biggest gift you can give is to be absolutely present, and when you’re worrying about whether you’re hopeful or hopeless or pessimistic or optimistic, who cares? ”
I don’t care.
I have been repeating this little saying from Patabi Jois for the last few weeks. He says “Practice and all is coming”. Focus, do the work, be present and let go of any expectations or, maybe even optimism and hopefulness…it is what it is, and what it will be. “Practice and all is coming”.
I showed up and practiced, and what is coming? I have no idea. But the shift HAS come, and I am so grateful. I don’t completely understand that shift yet, I’m sure this post is convoluted and not very clear, but that is what I feel right now.
I also feel a deep, deep peace. A deep, deep gratitude.
And absolutely present.