Sitting in meditation. Drawing on the awareness of breath. I feel my heart beating in my ears. The pulsation keeps my attention from wandering about. Then a wave of fatigue washes over me and my whole body jolts as I realize I am nodding to sleep.
I become alert again. My focus more sharp, as I am determined to allow these thoughts of inadequacy as a mother, friend and teacher to wash over me and then pass. I am reminded as we finish our quiet meditation that I am just like the woman on my right as she shares a secret with me.
She is afraid to start teaching yoga and doesn’t know how to release feelings of inadequacy. She thinks she’ll appear a fraud. I silently nod, unable to offer more than a reassuring smile. My eyes sting with tears as I not only understand but feel the sameness of us all.
When I first started teaching, I thought surely someone would sniff me out as a faker. A poser. Was I really a yogi? Did I know enough to lead people through yoga? Certainly, I did not. But, thankfully I came to realize you teach from what you know as authentically as you can.
Show them not the shiniest version of yourself but the real version that can’t get into lotus pose or nail a handstand in the middle of the room. The one who doesn’t always say the right thing or be the best daughter. One who often serves her kids plain noodles for dinner because she forget to go to the store, again. The one who would rather have a longer savasana than a longer, sweaty class. The one who feels humbled by the nervous excitement of having another teacher take her class. The one who occationally nods off in meditation.
“Be. Just be,” I tell her as we hug one another.
With change and challenge, fear will come along for the ride. It’s in the diving into rather than avoiding it, that we find new elements of our own strength. We are capable of great things often hidden from us until just the right time. Turning into my fears rather than avoiding them, cultivates acceptance and brings me to the contentment I seek.
These days I’m more keen to let the warp speedy world fly past me. I feel it moving at a dizzying pace. Just thinking about keeping up makes feel like I’m on the Tilt-A-World at an amusement park waiting for the bottom to drop while my back sticks to the metal wall. I become nauseous just thinking about it.
Most days I’d rather sit and be still. No longer jumping through others’ hoops or qualifications, I seek to make progress in my own timing through experience. I find so much peace in just keeping step with myself day by day- pose by pose- listening and growing because I desire it rather than because it’s expected of me.
Amazing that a sleepy mindfulness meditation unveiled to me that all things are perfect in their own way.
That is perfect. This is perfect.
When Perfection is taken from the Perfect,
Perfect alone remains.
~ Shri Shankaracharya
Melissa Smith, Yoga Alliance ERYT® 500 in yoga therapeutics; Yoga Teacher Trainer with Holistic Yoga Teacher Training, Jaya Yoga Teacher Training and Yogshakti Teacher Training; Thai Yoga Massage and Level 2 AcroYoga® certified Teacher. Native Texan, Melissa currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her 2 sons and leads Love and Service Retreats in Thailand, Bali, France, Malaysia and Texas. Join her for a Restorative and Yoga Therapy Teacher Training, November 2016, Koh Samui, Thailand. MelissaSmithYoga.com