Monday, September 16, 2013

Full of Faith~

I must have a lot on my mind if I am writing a second post in one month!  I usually post once a month, though,  I would like to post more.  I am not sure where this is going but will begin with what's been on my mind...

I have been thinking a lot about teaching and having a teacher and being a student and feeling very much at the beginning in some ways, and yet finding myself in a more mature place than ever in my life, practice and teaching. What I mean is that I am really trusting myself and my own way doing things not just in teaching but in all areas of my life. I feel a deep sense of gratitude for this. 

 It's all been so strange since the dissolution of Anusara.  Now, I know that the Anusara method still exists and some amazing people are still out there sharing the best parts of this system of yoga, and I think that is incredible and brave. That said, it does not feel present to me anymore.  In fact, sometimes it feels like that time, the time spent at immersions and teacher trainings with John, is a far off dream.  I remember my time spent at these gatherings with fondness, yet those moments and teachings are not as vivid or prominent in my life as I figured they would be.  Maybe in order for me to really forward, though, onto the next phase of my learning journey,  I have to let go of some of that, my past.  I am sure I will naturally keep what is essential as it will either already be a part of me or it won't.  

Anyway,  I find myself in a strange new land of not really being sold on any one style or teacher at this time.  I have had wonderful teachers who have influenced and inspired me greatly and who have taught me a lot along the way.  But at this time, they are not really present in my life as my teacher.  Maybe this is because I am getting most of my teachings from my children and my own life and that is keeping me quite busy and occupied.  

Even so,  I crave learning.  I want to improve and refine my skills not only as a teacher but as a human being and as a spiritual being.  So I've been contemplating a lot this idea of having a teacher, or someone to learn from.  And the more I think about it,  the more I realize that this idea of one teacher just does not work for me.  I think that sometimes we are our own best teachers and that we just have to learn and discover some things on our own for ourselves. In some ways,  I think we can get hooked on having other people inspire us and tell us how we should be doing things: the way to sequence, the way to teach, to theme or not to theme, the exact way to do a posture, the right teaching language, what we should know about the history and philosophy of yoga, and so on and so on.  Don't get me wrong,  I know that good teachers have a lot of personal experience to back up their approach to teaching and practice and that is what is passed on.  I can appreciate that for sure. That said,  there is no one right, perfect, better way to do this.  There is just the best way each individual knows how.  And you either jive with that or you don't. 

Not long ago I had registered to take a Restorative Yoga teacher training with Judith Hanson Lasater in Austin, Texas, for this October.  I was very excited about going and learning and just being in the presence of a long-time yoga teacher and seeker on the path.  Unfortunately,  I had to cancel my participation in this training due to needing to use our funds for Lila's dental work.  Needless to say,  I am bummed and still wish I could go, but I know this is the right thing to do at this time for me and my family.  I will just have to pick another training to attend in the very near future. Maybe I will attend her training in Boston, MA, in March as my 40th birthday present to myself.  Either way,  I will get it worked out, and I will get there because I need it and want it. 

So here I am back at this place of not really calling any one particular person my teacher.  It feels odd and open all at the same time.  I think I am just wanting and willing to learn from anyone, everyone and everything. I guess I am more interested in finding my way and not just following one way.  I keep feeding myself and learning through reading and writing and practice and just allowing myself to be inspired in a multitude of ways through art, music and more.  Maybe I can do some online courses to take in a little more.  I have yet to do that anyway.  And although it seems these days there has been little extra in the way of money, we always have plenty of what we need.  So maybe I am getting exactly what I need right here, right now,  and there is no need to search out more than what is already there.  Huh, that's a thought.  I'll sit with that one a bit. 

I guess I'll end with this quote that caught my eye yesterday:

" has taught me that it knows better plans than we can imagine, so that I try to submerge my own desires...into a calm willingness to accept what comes, and to make the most of it, then wait again." 
(Julia Seton- By a Thousand Fires)

So now, I will submerge my own desires into a calm willingness to accept what comes and stay open to what life has to teach me, wait and thenmove forward when the time feels right. 

Full of Faith~


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

There's always more

About a month ago I took Lila to see a pediatric dentist about her broken front tooth and received some shocking news.  The dentist told me that she had tooth decay on every single tooth and that every tooth in her mouth would have to be crowned.  I was more than shocked; I was completely stunned.  I think the only word I could utter at that time was "what?".  Tears welled up in my eyes and I had to work hard to keep myself sort-of together.  I left feeling worried and panicked.  All I could think of on the drive home was: how could this happen?

After the initial shock wore off and I had gathered my thoughts and feelings back up,  I decided that the question of "how" did not matter so much as "what do I do next".  So the next thing I did was start asking friends for dentist recommendations.  I called 7 dentists and took Lila to see 4.  It's been quite a ride and I've learned that there is always more.  There's always another perspective or opinion, approach or way to go about doing things.

So after seeing 4 dentists,  what we now know is that Lila does not have tooth decay on every tooth and that she does not need to have crowns on every single one.  Yes, her front two teeth on the right have decayed and need to come out and she has 3 or 4 cavities to be filled in the back (molars), but that is it.  Three out of the four dentists we saw had a similar diagnosis regarding her teeth, so that was helpful to me as someone who has to make the best decision possible for my daughter's care.  In fact, the last dentist we saw said he had no idea how only the two front teeth have decay while the others have none.  He said it's an anomaly really.  He didn't seem to think it was that big of deal or such a big problem, which I was surprised by.  So, quite thankfully,  I left the last dentist feeling relieved and hopeful for Lila.  I hope that the x-rays will reveal the same as the lap exam so that that's all the work she will have to have done: two teeth pulled and a few fillings. And I hope that once this whole dental procedure is done, that Lila will be pain free,  and that all her teeth will be happy and healthy from here on out.

As odd as it seems, this has been a quite a learning and growing experience for me as a mother.  I left the first dentist feeling so panicked and was totally taking on the tooth-decay problem as my fault, like I had failed the nutrition portion of my mommy test. As I started researching tooth decay and taking Lila to different dentists for a second, third and fourth opinion,  I realized that the power is in my hands.  No, I am not a dentist, but I do have great intuition and I will do what I think is best for my child no matter what. I can choose to say "no thank you" to whatever doesn't feel right or work for the best interest of my child or myself for that matter. Being strong is a must on this path of motherhood and of life in general if you ask me, as is faith in one's self. We have to have faith in our ability to make good choices in all situations so that we feel empowered and strong enough to say, "NO" when necessary.  I mean really, if something doesn't feel right or good, than it probably isn't. And this is applicable in all situations.

So the big take home lesson for me in all of this is that there is always more.  It's up to each and every one of us to educate ourselves and really look at things from all angles before we do anything.  What I mean is that a good decision or finding our way forward sometimes takes some investigating.  The answer or solution we need or are looking for isn't always so obvious or clear.  So sometimes we just have to sit with things, listen, dig a little deeper, reach out for help, ask more questions and be willing to learn in the process.  Then, the next step forward or the right choice to make will be clear.

Live and Learn,