I have absolutely no idea why I expected that all things would come together after I finished my TT. I didn’t miraculously think my life would be solved, but I did think that it was a big thing I did and brave and that now I could handle anything, keep moving through, have the skills to….
oh, yeah. That IS what happened.
It’s like my sweet friend who chose “forgiveness” as her word for the year and who has had to deal with issues around forgiveness in huge and unexpected ways ever since.
We get what we ask for, though not necessarily in the way we want it.
So, during the last week of teacher training I was scouring the internet looking for new trainings I could take. I found an amazing Yin training in August and I found a Restorative training that happened this last weekend and I was chomping at the bit to move ahead, do something more, keep moving. After all I had learned to deal with things, my relationship with myself was changing, meditation was growing, all the things I had asked for were happening.
Well. All those things I asked for and ask for are ways to deal with what life actually hands you, really.
(An aside…in terms of the final testing I absolutely killed the teach, probably a post about that coming, but the written test? That 40 years of no school and testing showed. I give myself about a 50/50 chance of having passed. If I didn’t I can retake it. I’m hoping for the best and not worried about the outcome.)
On Sunday, the last day of training, I started getting this weird rash on my forearms. I already had a different kind of spotty rash on my stomach and legs, but I figured it was because (TMI?) I was sweating so much in yoga clothes, some sort of contact dermatitis. This arm stuff was weird, but I’d hit the dermatologist and all would be well.
Then it began to spread up my arms. Then my neck.
On Tuesday , two days after TT ended, I bit into a soft piece of candy and a crown fell off.
DAMMIT! Oh well, dentist, he’ll glue it back.
It can’t be glued back, I’ve been in and out of dentist offices for 2 weeks . Next week I get the remnants of the tooth pulled (under general anesthesia! ugh!)) and get prepped for an implant which won’t actually go in for almost a year, because that is the process.
Meanwhile my new “woo woo” doctor (he wears a kilt and does kinesiology) says the rash is me detoxing from some unfamiliar foods I was eating during TT (popcorn and nuts) and the derm has no idea but is giving me cortisone (which is all they ever do and I am not taking it) and I am sitting here typing this naked slathered in coconut oil and lavender (TMI?) and chewing adrenal supplements…
Kind of what the fuck? Kind of shit hits fan! Kind of WAH! this is not FAIR!!
Kind of, YEAH! I have the tools to deal with this.
Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do. We could smell that piece of shit. We could feel it; what is its texture, color, and shape? We can explore the nature of that piece of shit. We can know the nature of dislike, shame, and embarrassment and not believe there’s something wrong with that.”
― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
So the training in August won’t happen.There will be some trainings coming up closer to home (that one was in B.C) that I can drive to.
I’m supposed to go to MN for a wedding and family reunion with Tom’s family in June….was going to drive and then meet my friends in KY. Who will, sadly be out of town.. Have a trip planned to a meet-up with friends near SF and was going to extend my stay with friend in the city, who, sadly, will be out of town. What?
Hmmmm…I have tools.
If TT taught me nothing else it taught me that there are still possibilities. That I can do and walk through hard things (not like life hasn’t taught me that, but I wasn’t listening. You know)
Here’s another Pema quote I cherish and remember all the time :
Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape — all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.”
I come to my edge every time I get on the mat. My preferred style of yoga, Yin is all about that. Starting at your edge and holding for time, allowing yourself to relax and breath into a new experience, a new edge.
It’s what I asked for.
I am itchy and rashy and it’s hot and I am sleeveless, a little embarrassed but there’s nothing wrong with that.
I am missing a tooth that will take a year to replace and cost me SO much money that I don’t really have. Shame. Embarrassment. Nothing wrong with that.
All my travel plans are weird
All my further teaching plans are weirder.
I’m at my edge. So what do I do?
The thought of a cocktail hasn’t occurred, hasn’t entered the equation. Some of the other ways I do remove myself from the edge (like ice cream, chocolate ) will be taken away. All I’m left with is who I am and what I have….
The reminder that plans are useless.
The reminder that all I need and want is in me
The reminder that all I have to give is service and compassion (even to myself) and that by doing that I reduce and lean into my edge, allowing myself to go deeper and discover more about myself.
I can lean in and triumph over this “shit” . I can smell it, explore it, accept it and let it be.
I always have a choice with shit, you know? We all do. I can throw up my hands and gnash my teeth and curse the heavens and stop my life.
Or I can keep digging for the pony.
Pass me that shovel.