At the end of my last blog post, I posed some questions:
“… there is now so much in my various practices that feels familiar. i can identify more clearly the things that scare me, or the things i want to avoid, so might this mean i have arrived at the next threshold? am i at a place and a time where i might open more fully and step in more deeply- to whatever is coming- backed up and supported by all the tools i have so carefully cultivated all these years?” My husband read the post and later asked me if I had begun to work on answering those questions yet. The post was barely two hours old! So much for being rhetorical…
On March 10th, I had hitched up my overalls and blown on my knuckles and entered the temazcal holding this question: “What seed(s) of self-knowledge might I plant during or after this event?”. By the third round of the four-part ceremony, lying on my back with not a thought in my head, I had my answer: “You are a yoga teacher. You know this about yourself. Why are you avoiding one of the things that you do best and that has brought you so much over the past 12 years?” Damn you, Self-Knowledge.
Readying for the March 17th temazcal, I held the question: “Could you expound further please on the whole yoga teacher thing?”. I think I received some indirect direction to that one. Rocking around in the bowl of my pelvis, I was amused and delighted to witness my internal garden of earthly delights. Color, shape, texture; a kind of sweet, almost new found appreciation for that which makes me female. I started to draw my inner landscape (in my mind, in colored pencils on thick cotton rag paper), and could even picture the frames the drawings were hung in, and which gallery I would most like to show my work. Aaaaaand then I reined all that in and went back to the question.
My father’s death still haunts me, eleven years on. I have a lingering sense that he peaked early in life (he had tried to run for President of the United States when he was barely into his 40’s). At some point, with decades of business accomplishments behind him, I think he gave up. Addicted to the highs of all the energy, attention and responsibility it required for him to be the somewhat brilliant, somewhat insane entrepreneurial man he was, when he left that life he withered. I have had this fear that I too would wither after leaving behind the life I built over 2+ decades in Massachusetts. I had so many identifying labels that I could conveniently affix to my chest, so many roles I could step into and out of with ease and authority~ she who could run a household with 4 sons and a traveling husband; she who could whip out costumes for shows season after season, she who could turn $500 and a dream into a successful yoga center. A year and more on sabbatical removed a lot of the external markers that mapped my days.
Today, four days after temazcal #2 and three days before temazcal #3, I practice being at a threshold. I would like to enter that dark womb-like place one more time this month, closer to breaking the amniotic sac that holds a developing part of my Self. I can see her through the slightly cloudy waters, feel her form under the slippery casing. She has all of my qualities, and more, and the umbilicus that feeds her begins in my heart. The step forward includes many long looks back.
So to my husband I would say: “Yes dear, I AM working on those questions, and the answers thus far are really challenging, and they might take me to far off places, to new teachers and practices, and just how many frequent flier miles DO we have???”. I will start by honoring the people I have been privileged to have in my classes and workshops and retreats; people who have been dedicated to their own practices and their own paths of self-discovery. I am guilty of something I still struggle to understand: deflecting, rather than accepting, praise and thanks. So today, just after the equinox, I will read through some of the short notes and longer letters I have received over the years (yes, I pretty much kept them all), transplant those seedlings of inspiration into my garden, and begin tending to my potential with greater sensitivity and daring and commitment.