I have a moment to sit, write and reflect on this summer. It's been amazing and full! I can't believe the Wanderlust Festival was over a month ago and school starts in a few days! It's been 10 years of Wanderlusting at Squaw. I like to use the festival as a time to reflect where I am at in the evolution process and also where the greater yoga community is at too. I use it as a check in to "How can I be of more service to my community?".
Over the years, I have experienced Wanderlust as a married woman with a husband that had no desire to get anywhere near the festival. I have experienced Wanderlust as a mother giving her little girl a mini Wanderlust experience. I have experienced Wanderlust coming off a 3 week meditation retreat and having to leave a class where the music was blaring and I felt I was going to short circuit. I have experienced teaching at Wanderlust and getting miked up in front of lots of people. I have experienced it where I am working and where I am not. I have experienced it alone, with sisters, with brothers, but this year I experienced it for the first time with a partner. Not only attending the festival with him, but working together. This is a huge, and scary leap for me, but I have committed to be with whatever is unfolding through this relating.
All this has me pondering commitment and what it means to commit. When I take a look at our community, I have often seen that we are, in general, commitment phobic. But, at the same time I have seen undying commitment. For example, it seems easy for us to commit to our sports, but what seems to be more challenging is committing to the awakening of ourhearts which is so darn scary. Opening our heart is much scarier than the mountains we climb and the cliffs we huck ourselves off in all the ways that we do. I am not saying these activities don't involve heart, they absolutely do. But what if all these sports/activities were taken away, where would we be at? Some of us have experienced this the hard way. I guess what I am pondering is; what am I/are we committing to and is it really serving me/us and the whole?
For example, this summer I assisted my friend, Nikki Dean, in her yoga event, Yoga for Life. She had arranged for two other teachers to join her and a live musician. All of the proceeds were to go to cancer patients and their families to receive alternative therapies such as yoga, acupuncture, and massage at Tahoe Forest Hospital. What an amazing event to commit to and I was a little heartbroken when she told me a week before the event that there were no sign ups. This is when I started to look at my own unwillingness to commit and it always comes down to some sort of fear. Fear is just fear, that is it. I know healthy fear keeps us alive and that is why we experience it, but it can also keep us from living. Fear is just sensations in the body if we allow ourselves to be with it. And, having conscious company to help us be with our fear can be, Oh so transforming! So why not commit to what your heart is calling you to do, where your soul nudging you to go, or even where life is pushing and shoving you?
In my last email I wrote about how I have been working on my beliefs around men for the last 2 years. I have been inviting more men into my life so I could know myself better. What I found is my brothers are really hurting and that means my sisters are too. Upon self-reflection, I found that I took on, at some point; who knows, maybe lifetimes ago, that it was my job to heal men. I see now that the reason I have never succeeded in doing this is because, it is not my job! If I could insert the laughing-crying emoji, I would do it here. I don't know why it took me so long to have this realization. It is our own responsibility to heal ourselves, but often we give this responsibility to someone else to heal; a partner, a son/daughter, a teacher, a doctor, a therapist, a guru, a friend, etc. Or, we take on someone's healing as ours and therefore we avoid our own healing because we believe, "if they are healed then we will be happy." I see where this belief comes from some version of; "If mom is happy, we are all happy" or, "If dad is happy, we all feel safe and loved," etc. Where I personally have found the most healing is in Presence, when I commit to being with myself (meditation), AND giving myself conscious company that holds me accountable to Presence. So, I realized that I may not be able to heal men, but I am getting the call, nudge, push and shove to provide a container for men to help themselves heal. Does this scare me? Absolutely.
When I am teaching, I always appreciate when a man walks into my classroom because 97% of the time he is the only male there. I think it takes a lot of courage to show up like that and my goal always is for that man to feel supported by his sisters in the class. I remember when I taught yoga to the local football team a couple times and I was the only woman in the gym with a bunch of teenage boys and the coach. Did it bring up some armoring? Sure it did. But, what if one day I walked into a gym full of men and felt held by my brothers there? That is the world I want to live in, where we honor each other's strength and power. The more conscious men and woman I have in my life, the more I feel that this day is coming. I no longer want to be in the company of woman that are bashing men and I certainly don't want to be in the company of men that are bashing women. I really don't care to be around anyone that is bashing anyone. The only way we are going to heal this spiraling diametric pattern is by each of us doing the inner work and looking at our beliefs, patterns, and being with the tough stuff. This is what I call "committing to the awakening heart." Do you, dear reader, hear a call to awaken your heart?
For years now I have asked all the conscious men I know to start something for men in our community, but either there was fear, or not enough desire. I have always had the desire, but knew I could not do it alone. Therefore, I am super grateful to have found/been given a partner that can hold this container with me. Together we are super excited about offering a class series for men. See below for details.
Men, Guys, Dudes; if you feel a calling to commit to yourself and be supported by other men, I highly encourage you to sign up. Women, Gals, Dudettes; the offering is for you too; encourage your male friends, partners, family members to make this commitment to themselves. When we make this commitment to ourselves all our relating becomes more intimate and we experience the fullness of life. My hope is that you feel the call to commit to, and join us for one, or both, of these Class Series.
So much love to you all.