This quote seems the perfect way to begin this entry. It's been a wild few weeks with big changes in the Anusara world. It seems it is a time of revealing secrets, of bare bones honesty and ultimately, change for the better.
When I first heard word of John's indiscretions and poor personal choices, which are way out of alignment with Yoga as I think of it, I was shocked. No... I was stunned. Shortly after the jolt of the truth hit me, then came the sadness and of course the desire not to believe what I was reading and hearing. How could this be?! What does this mean for this amazing community that I have been a part of for the past 11 years? What does this mean as far as my teaching in concerned? What does this do to the credibility of Anusara?
In the 6 consecutive years that I've attended both workshops and teacher trainings with John, I never saw anything unsavory, nor did I ever hear rumors about him conducting himself in such a way. Of course, I am not among those in his close inner circle, so I know very little to begin with. In fact, the last training I attended with John was here in Tucson 3 years ago as that was the last time he was here. It's not that I haven't wanted to attend a training or workshop with John, it's just that life has thrown several curve balls my way over the past 3 years with two miscarriages, the eviction of our tenant, the birth of my daughter, a foreclosure on our Tucson home, and a move into a new house. My life has simply been leading me another way. My energy, effort and time has been needed elsewhere.
So in the wake of this madness, I have just been trying to take in the information that is out there so that I can get an idea of what has gone wrong. The more I read though, the more disheartening and disappointing it all is. Don't get me wrong, John Friend is a brilliant teacher and has created an amazing system of yoga that works. This practice has changed my life and it has changed me. I love Anusara's message and the method, and I have learned a great deal from John during my studies with him. I have much to be grateful for in that regard.
I feel compassion for him and can't help but wonder how he got to this place of imbalance and misalignment. I suppose, though, when you don't take proper care of yourself and take time to digest the happenings in your life, you begin to get sloppy and tired. You become less aware and am sure you can rationalize anything when it comes right down to it.
The odd thing about all this is that it has thrown me into the unknown. For years, I have been on the Anusara-certification path; now I am questioning my direction. This all started with Darren and Christina's resignation in October. I had a bad feeling then that something was really wrong and am sure had been for a while despite how sudden it all seemed. As more and more of the teachers that I love and have studied with have resigned, it has only made me ask myself if it is time for me to do the same. I am not one to do something just because others have. I like to know why I am doing what I am doing and make sure it resonates with my heart and feels right. That said, with so many resignations in short amount of time, it seems clear it's very serious and am sure I don't know a fraction of what's gone on. However, I can't say that I want to know anymore.
I have not yet made a decision as far as my Anusara-inspired status goes, and I don't have to. It isn't necessary for me to do anything. I can either have my teaching assessed, the paper work filled out, sign the licensing agreement and pay my Anusara dues or not.
As I write this and think about things, I do notice that I no longer feel the same fire and determination in my heart to get certified as I once did. I do notice and feel myself being pulled in other directions. I find I feel a desire to study with Judith Laseter and take her restorative training. I feel a desire to attend a workshop or training with Rolf Gates because I love his book, "Meditations from the Mat," so much. I feel a desire to see what School of Yoga has to offer and is all about, and I am interested and excited to see what one of my very favorite teachers, Christy, has created. Mostly, I want to learn. I want to grow as a student, a teacher, a mother. I want to increase my capacity to do good in the world. I want to know my gifts and talents and make use of them for the greater good of all.
I mean this is why I teach in the first place. I teach because I want to give back what has been graciously given to me. I teach because I sincerely want and love to help, to be of service. I teach because it matters to me to make someone else feel loved, cared for, seen, valued. I teach because I want to learn to be better than I allow myself to be. So, for me, it all begins with letting go into the learning.
I guess this is what all this wildly uncertain, totally questionable time has shown me or has helped me to realize is that my life is full of opportunities to learn and my teachers are everywhere. My main teachers right now are Liam and Lila. I am certain they are little Masters who will gracefully come into their own and they will help me to do the same.
Live to Learn and Learn to Live each moment fully,