First, allow me to apologize to my regular readers for being remiss in my weekly Sunday afternoon/evening posts. This last Sunday was the graduation from my Yoga Teacher Training Program. After the ceremony and attending dinner at a local Indian restaurant, I was quite emotionally spent and arrived home only to crawl into bed hoping Monday morning was a while away. No such luck. 5:00 AM came as it usually does, with the gradually increasing volume of the guitar riff at the beginning of the first track of the Tantric disc that I’ve been playing for months. Despite the cold and the dark and the feeling that I wanted to revel in my accomplishment, I rolled out of bed vowing to write this post Monday evening. Well, that came and went, and here I am, almost 10 PM on Tuesday, but worth the wait. I hope.
As I confessed in my journal assignments during my yoga teacher training, I signed up for the program not necessarily to teach yoga, but for the promise of transformation. That was offered and upheld ten fold. A few months ago I began to entertain the idea that perhaps I could teach yoga as another stream of income. Then, about a month ago, came the brightest epiphany I think I’ve had, and I’ve logged quite a few. The transformation I’ve undergone, because of this program, has allowed me to acknowledge that in this life, my lot is to teach. Whether in the arena giving a horseback riding lesson, at a kitchen table tutoring, in my classroom at the high school, at a conference with a group of teachers, or in the studio instructing students through the poses, teaching comes naturally to me. I’ve fought it for a few years, wanting to write or wait tables or be employed at Discount Tire, anything besides teaching. This year has taught me much, including how to accept myself. Now, I’m teetering on the edge of bringing what I know to others, not just for possible monetary reward, but for the joy of sharing what I have found. And, I’ve discovered, leading others through an asana class, I emerge with a different flavor, but still a “yoga daze”. Once I complete the few remaining requirements, I’ll be able to apply through the Yoga Alliance for a 500-hour teacher certificate.
So, why is this significant? It dawned on me the other day that if I were to put all the letters after my name reflecting all of my ‘achievements’, I would look like Joe Alphabet! Seriously, I never considered myself a Type-A personality, and haven’t chased after all of my certificates just for the sake of having them. Each one was in the hopes of helping others. This, too, falls into that category, but first, it was designed to help me. In reviewing all of my ‘achievements’, I could have written, at that time, what I felt, thought, and wished as the outcome of the training or program. I suppose, in a way, Volume I of my yoga poem book did just that. As I continue to transform because of this program, and as I assist others in finding the ease/harmony/peace in their lives that I have found, other writings will emerge and I’ll be able to trace my reasons and progress.
In peering into that place, which I believe we all possess, that churns, spews, oozes, or sprinkles our creativity, what does it look like? What does it feel, taste, sound, and smell like? What emotions are easiest to pinpoint when we’re in the mode of creating something? Intensity? Anger? Joyfulness? When we remove the piece from the kiln, the printer, or the easel, what arises? Is it a sense of accomplishment? Achievement? Or does that only come when our ego is fed by compliments given, or solicited, by those that we view as an authority? Or is it only when we receive a monetary amount that we view ourselves as having achieved? Not in an act of purposeful humility, but when I view my three novels now in print, the yoga poem project, and the other artistic endeavors I’ve dabbled in, not to mention the stories and ideas that continue to clamour for my attention, I don’t feel that they are an ‘achievement’.
Numerous people have told me what an ‘achievement’ it is to even put pen to paper, let alone complete a piece, then publish it and share it with the world. Perhaps for them, and even for you, it would be an accomplishment to dip into that place that speaks quietly, asking you to pay attention to it, to allow just a little of it to escape. If you sit in silence, even for a moment, and listen, I’d wager that gentle ripples inside that well of creativity is urging you to set aside the critic, the ego, the concerns of what you create is worthwhile, or an . . . achievement. And just do. Follow, even for a step or two, the whisperings. You might surprise yourself.
www.myjoyenterprises.com is perhaps my ongoing achievement, which seems to be in a state of growth. Of Stars and Secrets, my newest novel, is at a special price until Christmas. Check out the poems and short stories I have available, and decide for yourself . . . what have I achieved? Then ask, and jot down a list, what have you achieved?