In being a teacher, I cannot teach what I have not learned.
These days I teach yoga but really I offer messages of calm, peace and wholeness. I teach my students that they are whole and good from their very core and that their part in it is to calm down and allow it to emerge. I teach this because I have learned it.
When they lose a job or a loved one or have any number of difficulties, I remind them that their practices of meditation and faith--whatever they be--- will ground them and that all will be well. I can say this because I have learned it through my experience.
It makes sense though, that if I am to continue to teach I am going to have to continue to learn.
The easy part of continuing to teach yoga is taking workshops and classes. This keeps things fresh and, hopefully, interesting to my students. The hard part of teaching what I really teach...wholeness and basic goodness... is where in life I get to learn this.
Two weeks ago I breathed with my mother while she breathed her last breath and learned something new.
This week I took a new breath. The hard, deep, very long inhale of rejection followed by the long, strong exhale that threatened to remove my sense of value from within. It didn’t , of course, have the power I imagined it did. To have my remaining parent withdraw from me and who I am hadn't happened to me so far.
But now it has.
My mother is gone, my father is still here.
We continue on.
And now its time for class. I begin with the prayer in my heart, as I always do, "Dear God, Please let me be of service to someone today". Then we sit, breathe, calm down and allow ourselves to emerge.