One of the first things I was taught in both my Yoga Teacher Trainings was that the universe is always working for you. We come to each moment willingly – we can choose to come to a moment as a victim of circumstances or life-stories, we can choose to come to a moment as the ego-mind, or we can also choose to be open to each moment. But what does it mean to be open to each moment?
For the last year or so I have felt very stuck in my life. You see, I had a plan – a plan from about a decade ago now. And this plan of becoming a Social Worker took ten years to complete (welcome to going to school in your thirties) but last year I finally completed the first flag post of that journey – I achieved my BSW – and back then my thoughts were – now is the time to live for me and only me – no more being defined by the fact that my spouse is in the Canadian Forces, no more following him around and attempting to make a life everywhere we moved – this is MY TIME. And then …. nothing happened.
For a year nothing happened. For a part of that year I had a job (if you could call it that – Costco employees make double what I made as a Service worker in a drop-in centre dealing with all sorts of crises on a daily basis) but for the last few months I have not had a job in that field. For a part of last year I occasionally looked for new opportunities – always somehow falling short. And since the New Year I was actively looking for new opportunities. But by this point I was tired of all of the rejections. I was tired of either being too educated or not educated enough. Tired of difficult questions in interviews that did not highlight my skills. I was tired of no call backs. Tired of my life really.
Until one day. A few days ago in meditation I came to a realization. I was resisting. Resisting the moment. I did not want to face the fact – that right now is not my time to be a Social Worker. I was banging on a door that would not open no matter how hard I banged on it – no matter how many times I’d sit to meditate and my first thought of the day would be: why me? No matter how many times I complained about it. It just wouldn’t open.
In that moment, my heart lifted – a year of a sinking feeling in my heart lifted in one moment because I realized I had a choice. I could keep banging on that door until my knuckles were raw and the tears dried up OR I could change my perspective.
I did have a job – not full-time – but a job I loved with all my heart – I am a Yoga teacher – each time I lead a class, I lead people to themselves. It’s an amazing job to have. For so long the yoga job was my escape from the drudgery of the 9-5 lifestyle. Why not make my yoga teaching job – my job for now? Why not let go of pounding on that goddamn door that would not open and turn around and walk away – I very well know where that door is I can come back again when my path leads me there – but for now I needed to let it go.
So I did.
I stopped searching for jobs, I concentrated on my self-practice, picked up an enormous amount of subbing opportunities, started selling myself as a yoga teacher around town – and guess what? Doors started opening all around me. Enormous doors that I thought were too queenly for me – started opening.
The dread of each day, the difficulties getting to my practice, the melancholy, and the passive role I played in my life completely shifted.
I say this often, but it astounds me how deep wisdom which I thought I learned long ago in my self practice and self reflection seem to always pop back up in a new form along this path. I learned this lesson long ago when I first began practicing yoga at home. The same sort of shift happened for me and I saw for the first time the deep benefits that a yoga practice can have – and I was hooked for life.
Yet, here I am almost ten years later and the same lesson creeped up on me once again. This time showing me that no matter what we have planned, no matter what society says we should be doing, or no matter what internal or external conditioned pressures we may be feeling – the only way to understand the moment, the only way to connect to the self, the heart of the issue, and the lesson beneath the experience – is to let go.
Let go of control. Let go of analyzing, comparing, and judging ourselves and others. Let go of the victim mentality and realize YOU HAVE A CHOICE.
You can continue to be asleep to the moment – the only moment that exists, or you can wake up and look around you. See what is working right now, what is not. And what is not working is a sign to let that go for a moment, bring your energy and awareness to growth, to change, to happiness, to fulfillment, to what makes you smile when you get up in the morning even if everything is not perfect – and focus on that.
I did just that. I just finished teaching 16 classes in four days – and yes my body is very tired, my mind even more so (I had the opportunity to teach four more today but luckily I do not make decisions with my mind any longer but with my heart and I knew I needed a much needed and rewarded break today). And even though I came home last night from my last class completely exhausted, this morning I woke up happy. Happy to have shared this practice with so many people this week, happy that now that I have committed myself to it I finally see the fruits of this practice without the ego mind but from my heart, from the eyes of the witness – and what I see is truly amazing – it makes the aches and pains a small price to pay for this amazing and truly blessed opportunity to witness the waking up of so many people.
A week ago I was questioning where my future would lead, I was questioning even if I had made the right choices along the way in my life – and now that I have finally opened my eyes and turned away from that goddamn door the path is beginning to be so much more clear, opportunities surround me, and my heart and my spirit are finally leading the way.
I may be a yoga teacher – but first and foremost I am a student of this practice that always always has something new to teach me about life and about myself.
Hari Om Tat Sat