All you can do blog

On the daily....all you can do is what you can do. - Betsy Poos

From Own to Offer and All Will Prosper

My flight from St. Louis to Washington, D.C. touched down Monday at 12:25pm and over the next eight hours I delighted in one reunion after another.  It’s fitting that the first reunion is a view of my city from the back of a cab.  As we swing across the 14th Street bridge I admire the Jefferson Memorial, the U.S. Capitol building, and Nationals ballpark.  Yes, this is home.  And then none too soon Bodhi is bursting through the door ready to load momma up with kisses.  Nice of Bodhi not to hold a grudge for my time away, and I had high hopes that my daughter wouldn’t either. I swiftly unpacked and then sat for a full hour unable to formulate a direct thought or action.  It was then I had the first inkling that this week would be a struggle physically and sit heavy emotionally.  I had just spent 10 nights away from my family, my home, my routine and 9 days fully immersed in the study and practice of yogahour.  Whoa, how is this re-entry going to work?

But there was no time to hit pause for longer.  It was time to pick up Stella at summer camp and grab my first big hug from my girl.  What a feeling, that first hug after 10 days without it!  My heart burst wide open.  It was a wow moment and I happily filled the afternoon playing princess castle and sesame street play date.  Every other day her imaginary games can drudge on as if time has stopped, but Monday afternoon time flew and then Jason arrived home.  No more single parenting.  We settled right into the familiar family routine.

Tuesday.  Go. Go. Go.  Work. Work. Work.  What’s done?  What’s undone?   No thinking, just doing.  I had made a mental list in St. Louis of all the self-care habits I wanted to re-institute when I arrived home.  They seemed simple enough – take a warm bath at the end of the day.  Blow-dry my hair each morning.  Apply lipstick a few days a week.  But today wasn’t the day, and neither was Wednesday or Thursday.

Thursday was like that first hour back home on repeat.  Unfocused.  Unsure. Immobilized with disappointment that I hadn’t been able to step into something more upon returning home.  Everyone around me wanted a download on my time away, my relaxing (ha!) yoga week, but there I was skirting away any change, any revelation, any progress that might have come in those 10 nights and 9 days.  I hadn’t even mustered enough energy to put on my sneakers and go for a run.

Each morning I’d hit snooze enough times to miss my morning run, but finally on Friday I pulled myself out of bed and laced up my sneakers.  And after dropping Stella off at school I returned home, plugged in the hair dryer and took 5 minutes to blow-dry my hair.  It felt great.

In talking to Jason Thursday evening I realized I had been beating myself up for needing the time to both absorb past routine and decompress from what accumulated into face time overload for this introvert.  And so here we are on Friday and I see some light.

The final exercise of the teacher intensive was to wrap up the training into one word that created a catalyst for improvement in myself to forward to my students.  My word:  own.  I’ve always felt somewhat less than as a teacher for my heavy reliance on my kinesthetic learning style.  And then I watched my teacher, Darren Rhodes, communicate with us over the 9-day training.  When Darren models a kinesthetic teaching approach he is clearer, more concise, and I feel a greater connection to him as a student.  And so when I step into the yoga studio Saturday morning I will own what makes me a great teacher, rather than always apologizing for it.

There you have it.  My big revelation:  I am what I am.  Own it, offer it, and I’ll have more space for ME, more to give, and more aptitude to embrace the one constant which is change.

Authentic

I have a love/hate relationship with the word authentic.  Get a couple of yogis together and more often than not we start gossiping about authenticity - present company included.  It grates on me.  What does it matter and is being authentic always the optimal choice? My previous blog mentions the book Quiet by Susan Cain.  Funny how me, the introvert, has become the one that can't stop talking about it.  Quiet illustrates how one's true passion can push pass an introvert's otherwise insular wall to open space for success in an unlikely career.

In my case every career choice has felt unlikely and has come from a deep seed of passion.  As a young girl I wanted to dance constantly.  Performing let me be somebody else.  Today as a yoga teacher I'm often at my best when I'm performing, when I'm a little more Sasha Fierce than Beyonce.  Maybe that's not super authentic, but it's often the best I can do.  It is my job to deliver an informed, well taught class each and every time…even when the authentic me is sad, tired, mad, stressed, sick, or just plain quiet.  Put it aside and perform.

I don't think there is a darn thing wrong with that.  I've noticed myself really fighting back against yoga stereotypes lately, wanting to prove that there isn't just one way to practice on and off the mat.  My diet is for the most part unapollogetically bad, I rarely "do yoga" everyday, and if there is a kirtan in town…I'm not there.

This post is so authentically me - right now.  And there is the love/hate.