… and I am wide awake. Am not necessarily unhappy about it, however.
Last night, Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina Republican Primary. I have been out of the US for only 4 1/2 months; what the heck is going on up there? That news made it difficult to fall asleep.
When I woke up a little while ago, the cats did their best to lull me back to dreamland. They curled into the crook of my knees, gave each other baths, and settled their warm, sleepy weight against me. It almost worked.
But I am idea-full, simultaneously sorting through plans for the upcoming yoga retreat (and feeling excited about leading that annual February event in the deep snow and piney woods of the Berkshire Mountains) AND sorting through my reasoning and emotions around parking my yoga-teaching career in the garage, indefinitely.
Newt Gingrich, two cats, yoga retreats, and a garage. This is the stuff of 4am blog posts.
The upcoming yoga retreat gives me the opportunity to work with people I have known over the full arc of my time on the teacher’s mat. This year, I am more present than at any other time to what it is I want to share with them. It feels like the heightened awareness that comes before a period of introspection and learning.
Two, maybe three weeks ago, I sensed a big shift in my desire to continue teaching. One strong voice, that I tried hard not to hear, was telling me it is time to stop. In my search for inspiration and grounding, I came across some downloadable offerings by a yoga teacher I have been aware of for some time. Embracing the idea of becoming a student again, I put the class sessions onto my laptop and iPad.
I follow the practices at home and in the meditation room at a local learning center. I am on the mat from 90 minutes to 3 hours, moving, breathing, reading. I feel shifts happening. I see a possible path to follow. I sometimes wonder if I am too old for this, or regret that I did not come to the path of yoga sooner in my life.
My lower body in particular grows stronger, yet I am less able to articulate the other things I notice. I feel disinclined to write about something before it has ripened within me.
There is clarity in these preparatory practices, and that is what I need. That clarity points me towards a more solitary place, which feels easier to accept in the landscape of Mexico. Once again, I find myself letting go of a clearly labeled rope; this one had ‘Yoga Teacher’ written on it. I feel okay now with the not-knowing. There is always something to be looked at when I step onto the mat, take the seat of the student, and tune inward to the space of self-reflection. My real sabbatical starts now, 1/3 of the way into the year we have allotted.
It is almost 6am, and the cats are here to escort me back to bed. Having off-loaded, I am ready to try for sleep.