We go on into July! I have never had to employ the skills of practice so much as in the last few months. I've been noticing how easy it is to forget that the world we knew not long ago has been completely shaken and changed, and likely a completely new world is coming in its place. Our natural tendency is to try to cling to what feels safe and familiar. We want to immediately restore a sense of order when things feel groundless. One of the great blessings of Buddhism is learning to embrace a fundamental truth: Life is always groundless and uncertain. Whether we realize it or not, we're always floating in midair. This can seem scary at first, but it also opens us up to life in a very powerful way.
"That's the beginning of growing up. As long we don't want to be honest and kind with ourselves, then we are always going to be infants."
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön
I want to state clearly that I and my business firmly support Black Lives Matter, and centers black women and black people who identify as trans/non-binary as well. The wellness world has been taken to task, and rightly so, over the last two weeks for its lack of action on racial justice issues and I accept my responsibility for not seeing these issues in our community sooner.
BIPOC are always welcome to my work.
So here's the deal my friends, it's time to get uncomfortable, and uncomfortable is putting it mildly. We are suffering the karmic effects of centuries oppression, suppression, invalidation, and violence. We often think of karma as some kind of payback, but it's much deeper than that. Karma is a causal chain, it is a system, and no one can escape its effects. What we inflict on others, we inflict on ourselves. What we allow to happen to others, we allow to happen to ourselves. We exist in an interlinked system of causality.
I remember reading BKS Iyengar’s book “Light on Life” many years ago and marveling at a paragraph where he describes “burnout” as an occupational hazard of being a yoga teacher. It was a huge relief. At the time I had been experiencing a sense of burnout for a few months and felt horribly guilty about it. It was really comforting to know that this was a part of the profession of teaching yoga and that a teacher I admired so much had suffered from the same feelings in his career.
How many time have we all said, “God I wish I’d trusted my gut.” We receive information all the time that is hard for us to logically interpret. This information comes in the form of feelings, non-specific knowing, and just a sense of “this is right” or “this is wrong.” But why don’t we listen to our gut? Why don’t we listen to this accurate information that is always on our side? I have some ideas below of why this was true in my own life and what I often hear from my clients and students. We all have the ability to draw on this amazing field of information at any time and the information is always on our side, even if we may not want to hear what it has to say.
So why don’t we listen?
Teachers I want you to be successful. We need you. In the world today, we need everyone who is called to a healing path to step up and help us through this very difficult transitional period in which we find ourselves. When you begin teaching yoga finances can be difficult and it can feel like it’s impossible to make a good living in this field. That is not the case if you apply some ideas that help with the flow of money into your experience. It takes some time and patience, but it is possible and anyone can do it.