OMG! do you know how important I am? let me just tell you all the things I've done which make me SO important....
First Graduate school, then Graduate school with a kick-butt internship
working with psychiatric patients and a big long commute to do every week
Then a bad break-up
Then a new relationship
Then getting married
Then a new job with psychiatric patients and a really
long commute, "I work long hours to do what I love"
Then Yoga Teacher Training
Then I just quit my job and went to Bali .. and then to Italy to boot
Then I teach a little yoga and I'm doing Immersions
Then I'm pregnant
Then I have a young baby (and my baby needs a cast, and I have a shoulder injury)
Then ANUSARA teacher training
And now I have a young child AND I teach yoga.
I mean, I TEACH YOGA.... Anusara-Inspired Yoga,
That must make me really important, you know?
Holy Shiva/Shakti! somebody stop me from importancing myself right out of my own life! Or, well, maybe I'll just take the responsibility myself to clean up the mess that all of this has made.
So, to rewind. A few months ago I was walking in to teach class one evening and had a realization. Part of why I like teaching is because it makes me feel important. People are counting on me to be there. People are interested in what I have to say. I make an impact, or so I am told. It's hard not to get a bit of an ego around those things. And in the next moment I realized how much I then used those lovely excuses as reasons NOT to make connections with the people who matter most in my real life. (I can't connect, I have to go teach, I have to plan my classes, I have to practice now, I have to go to this workshop... etc.) The realization went something like this: If I suddenly vanished off the face of the planet, disappeared into cosmic dust struck down by a lightning bolt from Shiva's third eye let's say, who would be most affected? I certainly hope the yoga students would still do yoga. They would find a new teacher and carry on. The people who would be most affected for the rest of their lives would be my mother and my daughter. Then my husband and father and siblings and friends, co-workers, students etc.
And who do you think I tended to take the most advantage of in my life? and spend the least amount of time connecting to? [my mom, my daughter, my husband] And who do you think I saved myself for? and gave my all, my best to? [yoga students] I realize my priorities were a bit skewed. From that day on I've made much more of an effort to be sure to call my mother, and to connect with my daughter in a real one-to-one way.
Thing is, what I'm realizing is that I'm seriously afraid of real intimate connections. And so to avoid the fear, I make my life super important. So important, in fact, that I can't possibly connect in a real and deep way with anyone. All of these reasons listed above become the excuses for not being in physical proximity with friends/family, for not picking up the phone and having meaningful conversations. And really, they're all just crummy excuses. In the long run they leave me lonely, disconnected, and blaming others for the misfortune I've upheld.
Welcome yoga and meditation into my life. Thank Shiva/Shakti. Awareness is a beautiful thing, and now that I'm deeply and painfully aware of this situation, I'm working to change it. Starting at the closest most intimate relationships and slowly working my way out I am connecting more in many sweet and powerful ways. I mean, if I want to really change the world into a truly loving place, it can't just be with the people on their mats, it should really be with the people who live in my house and in my heart, right?
So if you're my friend, or family member or yoga student even, and you catch me making myself sound "important" especially so important that I can't listen to you, be available in your time of need, or just hang out, please call me out on it. You can seriously say "Wow, I never realized just how important you are." We'll have a good laugh and get on with making the real connection, the one that is truly important and will maintain our lives in a way we deeply deeply want and deserve.
I think when I truly get down to the depth of connection that I want to have with everyone in my life the world might be blown open with the force of love that comes wildly bounding out of my heart. Fear, is no reason to stop the flow of love and it's time for me to take a step forward on this path. I'll let you know how it goes.
(Even on the blog, if I sound blown up, knock me down a bit would you?)
Contemplation: What's so "important" in your life, and what is really IMPORTANT to you? How do your actions reflect what you value most?