When The Time Is Right
Timing really is everything. We use time to measure out our lives. Sometimes we find the right things in our lives, but at the wrong times. Sometimes we find the right things at the right times. Through time's passing we see ourselves grow and change. In some cases, however, time doesn't show us change; it shows us what was there all along.
This post being written this particular week feels timely. Monday, September 26, my studio celebrated its one year anniversary in Kansas City. Which means I celebrated my one year anniversary with Power Life this week as well. A year ago I showed up for a free week of classes, and I stayed for much more. It’s been a full year since I truly stepped on my mat and began this journey. As we know there are few things I like more than pausing at a year (i.e. birthdays/anniversaries) to reflect on each particular journey.
The last year has easily been one of the most challenging and one of the most uplifting in my life. This place, practice, and group of people, in a lot of ways feels like home. Yoga, and the community of people I found through it, has become something there for me when I need to escape, support me in times of struggle, celebrate with me in times of triumph, and challenge my perceptions of my own capabilities.
After struggling to just get through a class in the early months I evolved enough to do something completely uncharacteristic, I signed up for sculpt training. I loved learning the mechanics of the format and how it helped me deepen my experience but the whole time a little voice in my head was saying I couldn’t do it, that it wasn’t me. And I listened. I let it get louder, I let it take over. The day before my audition I stepped on a nail. A painful, in my mind, manifestation of the universe telling me it wasn’t right, it wasn’t for me. I listened. I let myself be defeated without even giving myself a chance. From that point I had to pick myself up and find a path forward in my practice. Luckily, I have a supportive community and jumping back in was easy. Watching my friends begin to teach it would have been easy to be bitter or jealous, but I wasn’t. I was so happy for them it kept me going. I kept showing up. I kept smiling when people asked when I would be teaching even though I didn’t know when, or if, it would happen.
Then the opportunity to do a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training was presented to me. Taking that step again was scary but it felt right. Even in the enormity of that undertaking, it felt right. For the last thirteen weeks I spent time in the classroom, studying, and in classes to prepare to actually teach yoga. Pushing myself beyond what I thought I could do. What I know I do really well is remembering things, a good and bad trait actually. I knew I could “teach” a Power 1 class. I had been in them enough times and heard them enough that I could parrot it with ease. That isn’t teaching, that’s talking, it’s repeating, it’s an echo. I wanted to learn to teach. I wanted to learn to guide. Was I capable of that? I had to push myself out of my habits, out of my comfort zone of memorization, to really understand the purpose of a teacher and how I could bring purpose to my teaching. As our training drew to a close that little voice started to pipe up again, telling me I wasn’t right for this. I didn’t belong. I wasn’t capable. I would be lying if I said I didn’t listen, that I wasn’t nervous to audition again. It’s scary. It’s pouring your heart into something with the possibility of being told, “not quite yet, the time isn't right,” I had come back from there once but was I strong enough to do it again? I could have put all my energy into the what ifs and the doubt but that wouldn’t have served me in that moment. Or ever, actually. I should remember that.
I had a quick conversation with one of the studio founders after our last class, a few days before the audition and recounted my nail story he told me it happened for a reason, everything does. I took that in, thought through it, and realized how true it is. Had I not struggled with acceptance at the beginning of my practice (and now), through the sculpt process, and showing up even when it was hard, I wouldn’t have brought depth to my training experience. I would have learned to be the best little parrot teacher there could be, but not the best teacher I could be. Through the struggle my abilities were tested and I learned that I am capable of more than I tell myself. Our last night of training each of us received a small token, a reminder of our new way of being, mine says “CAPABLE.” Because I am. I always was, I just needed time to see it.
Now I know I’m capable of leading someone through a class and that's enough for me but if you’d like to see for yourself, you can join one of my classes at Power Life. I start teaching this October. Like I said, it’s been quite a year.