Back in May, 2015, before I even packed a suitcase or planned much of an itinerary beyond purchasing plane tickets, I made a fairly significant decision.
I quit identifying as a ‘Yoga Teacher’. I hollered my frustration at my office walls, and I hollered my grief into the spacious sky above my desert walking ground.
I told my husband, quietly and evenly, that I was done. I quit, I quit, I quit.
It was L I B E R A T I N G.
I quit because after almost 13 years of teaching yoga, I no longer recognized myself in this social media-driven thing that the business of ‘modern’ yoga has become. I like to work with people~ live and in front of me. People I can smell, and watch breathe and lay instructive hands upon.
When did it get decided that yoga is about the fabric covering your ass, the amount of ‘Likes’ and page views and followers and a whole bunch of stuff that~ frankly~ borders on being bullshit?
At the end of June, I packed my ‘I quits’ into a teeming sack of disgruntlement, and went into the woods and lakes and streams and shorelines of coastal British Columbia. I walked and walked and walked. The more I walked, the more vast my sense of not-belonging to the world I had known became. It was never scary or even depressing, but there seemed to be a whole lot of ‘I don’t know…’ for me to contemplate in the great Out There.
Then came the Day of the Tea, psilocybin mushroom tea. An armful of blankets, a walk to a favorite spot overlooking a busy strait. Old, old arbutus trees, and cedar and oak. Trampled grasses for cushiony comfort, and small boulders that created a wall for back support and privacy. Four hours flowed by, and suffice it to say the mushrooms simply and elegantly guided me towards that which I already know.
Back at my home in central Mexico, back at my familiar desk and rapidly aging computer, I recall what I was grappling with 3 months ago. The challenges of feeling ever more invisible as a woman in her mid-50’s. The disconnect between all I wish to share, and what feels like a shrinking audience for what I have to offer. The sense that this place I have called ‘home’ for 4 years is done with me~ and I with it.
I often feel buried in and bowled over by the electronically-delivered cacophony that has become the visual and aural score of 21st century life. This summer, walking amongst ancient trees and delighting in the off-shore antics of river otters ameliorated the jangle in my nerves and healed a breaking heart. The big questions about livelihood remain, but I am done hollering ‘I quit’. There are retreats to plan and clients to see and the ongoing invitation offered by my unrolled mat.