This week of yoga training has been physically and emotionally demanding. Almost every teacher got a chance to teach a full yoga class and rarely do I have the opportunity to practice 4 classes a day, over a span of a week. My body really enjoyed it and I’m really grateful to be able to dissect and analyze their classes and be in the presence of so many diverse and impressing teachers.
When it came time for me to teach among this group of teachers, I experienced anticipation, excitement, preparedness and elation. It was not until almost the end, when I knew that I had gone over my 60 min time frame and started psycho analyzing the expression of the students faces did I begin to doubt the effectiveness and experience of the class that I offered. Why do they look like they want to fall asleep? People are dropping off like dead flies. Was Savasana long enough, should I chant here or just stay quiet? Are they angry that this class took so long? Were my jokes too dry and corny?
A assessment of myself is often highly inaccurate and contaminated by self deprecation and reservation. And why is that? It’s challenging to step back and observe from an objective unbiased point of view, and so my thoughts want to go directly to critique: what did I do wrong, I probably should have done that, and I wonder what they think now? All of which comes from creating meaning about something that someone said, did that has no direct evidence for relevancy or truth.
What I discovered from the feedback from these teachers is that the thoughts that I had of myself and the reality of what actually happened were inconsistent and delusional! Sure there could be a person or two who agree with the concerns I had, but that narrow focused thinking took away from my ability to see the positive things that I also offered.
My expectation of myself and the contrived conclusions of people’s responses lead to negative beliefs about a false reality of who I am, and, also of other people. To misread (and even read into) how you feel is unjust to your character and creates an invisible wall between us before having even had a chance to truly meet. Can self-deprecation, (this need to be perfect and feeling not enough,) create unnecessary challenges in connecting with people? Is this way of being blind me to my own greatness and of others?
Subconsciously I don’t want to come off as being arrogant. It’s the Leo in me that wants to outshine. What’s worse than someone who thinks they’re the shit, they know it all and not consider what other people think? I guess what my teacher has brought to my attention in this training is what’s equally worse than false pride, is false humility. To not step into greatness and allow oneself to shine is like being a gloomy cloud in Vancouver, no one likes that either. Too much and you cause a drought, not enough just makes you depressed. Neither is fun to be around, so how is one to expect to connect and engage in conversation if those are the cases. It’s not a moral question of which is right or wrong because it’s just learning which is required to suit the appropriate occasion.
I’m confident in my teaching, and I’m hard on myself, which is a common mantra among other teachers in the room, and perhaps a predisposition of many people in the general public as well. I critique and strive to improve myself because essentially, I want to be liked. Digging even further however, comes a deeper truth of my desire for an intimate connection with you, to feel a sense of oneness and compassion. To no longer be burdened by my judgment towards you and of myself, to really experience life in greater freedom. I choose to love and accept who I am because ultimately, this is the only way for me to connect in a genuinely powerful relationship with you. May the wholeness of me bow and honour the wholeness of you. Namaste नमस्ते