Mining for GOLD...
Updated: Aug 19, 2019
The lessons in life, they show up unannounced, but always anticipated. Strange how they arrive en masse at the times that we are ready to receive them. This Summer has been one of these such times for me…
I am in the middle of my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, and LOVING it! I knew that it would be good, but never could I have imagined the wealth and depth of knowledge that would have come with learning the practice of teaching what I have been practicing for close to a decade now. And never in a million years would I have believed the energy that I feel in the learning… some of them 13.5 hour days! My body feels tired, but I am alert for the learning, excited for the nuggets of GOLD sprinkled throughout this learning.
GOLD being a theme for me of late. Each morning, as I quiet and still for my practice of writing and meditation, I ask for guidance, for healing, and recently… for the GOLD. The GOLD comes in so many ways… not always the gleaming and shining kind. Sometimes, most times, there is some sifting through of silt, dust, mud, clay… it’s mucky, it’s dirty, and it’s hard work! But this gold, it is so very valuable.
On a Monday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I had to perform a 25 minute practice teach. It was the first time that I would ever lead students through a yoga practice of any kind. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. And why? I teach every single day. I lead classes of students through learning practices every single day. I have done this for 26 years! Why was this so different? Why was I so nervous? I wanted to do so well. I wanted to be so good… read: perfect?! And these were not teenagers watching me… this I am used to. These were my peers, my people, and my teachers. I have so much admiration and respect for them all, and I wanted so much for them to think I was good at this. And so I got all up in my head. I planned it all out, wrote it all out, panicked about not remembering it all, and put my nervous system into overdrive. We all know how that feels!
Five o’clock Monday afternoon arrived, and I lead my practice teach. It went well, and I felt good about it, for the most part. My body was tingling with energy as I received my feedback. The appreciation I received from my peers, and from my teachers, was very positive… my students felt calm, supported, nurtured, and safe. My instructions were clear, and they liked the flow and sound of my voice. Interestingly, however, were some of the offerings I received. Trust that your body knows what to do. Trust in what you know. Trust that the language is there. Trust in yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not… be Lori… bring more Lori into the flow of the practice. The Lori-ness you bring is enough. The Lori-ness you bring is the GOLD. Allow her to SHINE.
Fast-forward to the following morning. I received a text from a very dear friend with whom I share a beautiful, meaningful project. I had been feeling insecure about this project of late, as I had not been contributing as much to it as I wished to… in other words, I had been putting off what needed to be done. I had been procrastinating. Procrastination is not foreign to me, it is my modus operandi. I want something so badly (this project), I don’t believe I am worthy of having it be successful, fear takes hold – enter insecurity and self-doubt – and I start to freeze, to put off today what I can do until tomorrow and then hold my breath and hope no one notices, until of course she does, and then she will not want to do the thing with me, I will fail at it… leaving me where I believe in my mind I am meant to be…. Just wishing and dreaming of what I want to happen in my life instead of actually making it happen! Aaahhhhh! This is CRAZY-MAKING!
But wait… the text. We needed to have a conversation. OH GOD… not the CONVERSATION! I can’t have a conversation. It is TOO HARD to say all of this. To be honest. To admit my faults. To be so vulnerable. Yes… even with one of my dearest friends that loves me and respects me and values me. Back up to my modus operandi… AVOID CONFLICT AT ALL COST. AVOID DIFFICULT CONVERSATION AT ALL COST. Back out now. Admit defeat. Admit you can’t do this. You can’t handle it. That way you won’t have to have the difficult conversation. You won’t have to SHOW UP… you can just do what is easiest, less risky, less SCARY.
We met over lunch. The conversation was hard for me. My dear friend was feeling overwhelmed, and slowly but surely, I had been sinking into the shadows. She was breaking her neck trying to do the work of the two of us, and I was making excuses as to why I couldn’t do it. The fact is… I didn’t believe in my value. I was doubting myself, doubting the worthiness of my contribution. My mind had taken over, FEAR had crept in. If I slunk down far enough, if I slowly backed away… maybe she wouldn’t notice that I didn’t bring as much to the table, that I wasn’t as valuable, that I couldn’t do it!
She noticed. Not that I wasn’t valuable, or worthy, or that I couldn’t do it… she noticed that I wasn’t SHOWING UP. She called out “the Gremlins”! She was feeling overwhelmed, unsupported, and…. Doubting whether I still wanted to do this project with her! Wondering if I wanted to be working with someone else instead! WHAT??!! Do you see what just happened there?! FEAR had crept into her shadows too! She was scared too?! But she didn’t allow the Fear to take hold. Thankfully, she called out those damn Gremlins: Where had I gone? Did I still want to do this work? Was I still IN?! YES. More than anything I want to do this work. This, the most valuable, important, meaningful work I have ever done. And Yet… my fear had been about to take over, and allow me to let it all go… to walk away from the most valuable work I had ever done. How strong is this? How crazy is this?
Strangely, this may have been one of the most honest, intimate conversations I have experienced. Intimate. Intimacy. IN TO ME SEE. She Saw Me. I Saw Her. I didn’t pull away, and she didn’t let me. She believed in me, and I in her.
Once again, the lesson: Trust. Trust that your body, your spirit, your heart knows. Trust that you already have in you all that you need. Don’t try to be someone you’re not… be Lori… bring more Lori into this work. This work needs me. The Lori-ness I bring is enough. The Lori-ness I bring is an equal part of the GOLD found in this work. Allow her to SHINE. Trust that this work found you, not the other way around. Have Faith in the Process of how the Universe unfolds, supports, and guides us.
I did another practice teach for my yoga training yesterday. I was very nervous again. However, this time, as soon as I began to breathe and feel into my practice, my lesson, I felt my body take over… I allowed her to. I think Lori came through… pure GOLD.