We are a Baptiste Power Yoga Studio where we sweat, challenge each other, laugh & cry, and have fun. We are a stand for bold leadership & community. A Power Yoga is a community committed to the growth of each student, member, teacher and leader. We are about creating connection and having fun!
This morning I was reading 40 Days to Personal Revolution and something jumped out at me for the first time - “this sensitivity to words continued to shape us in ways we didn’t even realize.” While I have spent a lot of time in inquiry around words and teaching about the power of word, I never looked at it as a sensitivity level. We each have unique sensitivities to food, smells, sensations in particular parts of our bodies etc - the same goes with words. And it is so clear that this sensitivity level is something that we have the power to adjust.
I have learned to stay in yoga poses for very long periods of time. Yes, I feel the burning of the tapas, the nerve and muscle signals from my body parts telling my brain to adjust or move and I have chosen to stay in the experience rather than react to it. It has been a practice and a learning. A eye opening of sorts that nothing in fact will happen to me and that those bodily processes are normal. I am not sensitive to them and I see the truth of what is happening in the moment. What is possible if we looked at words the same way?
I know what it looks and sounds like when I hear something or someone says something to me and I choose to react. It is a downward spiral of hurtful feelings and internal story telling which often leads to physical exhaustion and a lot of wasted time. And I never get the result I am looking for. Just like if I constantly move away from the pose, I will never get the result I am looking for. What if we lean into others words, take away our personal sensitivity and stay in the experience. What if we create an atmosphere that allows us to get to the truth vs reacting to the superficial surface? I believe the results of our interactions would dramatically change and in that we could start to respond to one another versus reacting to one another. And the words themselves just might change as well.
It has been a while since I sat down and put anything down on paper, but I have been blogging every day in my head for the past month. When I consider writing, I suddenly feel stuck. Even now, I am typing in Word versus directly into my blog. I have been feeling foggy and uncertain around my words. There are a lot of things swirling around, all good things but seemingly difficult to sort out. What I have discovered, is that it is ok!
It is ok that I do not understand what I am thinking or what is happening right now. It is ok that everything is just a little unclear and yet I keep moving forward. It is ok that it is all messy right now. And once I got clear that it is ok, I realized I feel really good in messy and unclear. It is exciting. It leaves me open to discover little things about myself every day. Messy and unclear is new, thus something new can arise out of it. For the longest time whenever I was unsure of what was going on, unsure of a timeline around my life and unsure of what might happen, I tirelessly worked to figure it out. To make something happen. To find out what was making me feel this way and fix it. To come up with an answer. Guess what, with every answer or false sense of clarity also came another moment of unclarity, another unexpected situation, another something to work out. In reality, I was stuck on the same hamster real of “working my life out.” And that is exhausting!
So where can you just arrive in nothing more than “it is ok”. Give up arriving in “this is exactly what is wrong”, “I now understand”, “I need to be fixed”, etc etc. In reality guys, arrival sucks! When you arrive, you are at your destination and the journey is over and then you just have to do more figuring out of where to go next. This is your life, the only thing that is next is death. Give it up. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of constantly going somewhere next and am grateful and very content to be in the process of my life right now, as it is. With only growth and yet with no arrival in site.
The other day in class I was teaching and class was moving, I was ON, tapas and flow was happening and then something suddenly occurred that got in the way and stopped everything, literally. I called Upward Facing Dog, called the breath and then asked them to stay and everyone moved instead! So, I repeated myself, stay, they still moved. I was like what is happening. Why is no one listening. It was after the 3rdtime that I repeated the word stay, waiting for the class to come back to what we were doing, in the pose I called, that someone in class (who happens to be a teacher) whispered “you called Downward Facing Dog, not Upward Facing Dog.” Lightbulb on!!!!
This is a perfect example of when we are sure that we are right, that everyone else is wrong (in this case 7 other people) and that we simply get in our own way of reality. It was so funny, I laughed out loud, everyone else laughed and I used that exact moment to create a share on how this practice of Baptiste Yoga shows up everywhere in our lives. I was so sure the class was not listening (my reality) and what was actually happening was they were listening to every single thing I was saying (reality). I was the one not listening, to the own words coming out of my mouth. In those 30 seconds I was stuck in “me” and my perceptions and literally arguing with others in my head and thinking “what is wrong with them.”
The bigger picture and the point is, where in your life are you so sure of what is happening and in reality it isn’t even close, possibly even the opposite. Where do you get stuck in “I am right” and “they are wrong”? Where do you keep repeating yourself because you cannot see past your perceptions? It was a perfect moment in time where me versus them showed up, listening was turned off and I got stuck. In my stuckness, I created everyone else to be stuck. So, where in your life are you stuck and what are you not listening to that is a contribution to what is actually happening. Step out of what you think and see what is.
Let me tell you a story about a trip to Florida. We arrived on Tuesday, checked in to our hotel and immediately noticed the sign across the street that said "best tacos in town." Well if you know me that is like a dog seeing a squirrel - I honed in and made a bee-line right up to the bar. I did not order food first, or even a drink, I asked the bartender what her name was. And that was the beginning of our vacation. That conversation brought us back later that evening for margaritas and a pool game, where we met a local and chatted up the northeast, he was from Pittsburgh. The next day we came back and met the new bartender, Jamie, and another vacationer from Canada, Jeff. Through conversation, Jamie directed us to one of the best sushi places I have ever eaten at. Jeff later spent the day with us at the beach and invited us to his home for a visit in Canada. Towards the end of the vacation, we decided to check out a new bar, and much to our surprise the bartender was the local from Pittsburgh we had met two days ago, he remembered us and made us some special drinks. It seems like our entire vacation was based off our first conversation, and it only got better. The first day on the beach we spoke to a couple from Ohio, it was their last day, so they gifted us their boogie boards (which make excellent drink holders in the gulf), we later gifted them to a couple with kids when we left. We met and chatted with every Uber driver. We made friends with another Jamie, the front desk greeter at the hotel, who later saved a fresh banana for me as I wanted one without brown spots. And so on and so on.
The point is, everything we need is right in front of us. Connection! I used to be one of those people who sat in the corner and refused to talk to strangers. My vacation was meant only for me, time to relax and find peace and quiet. What I was really finding was isolation. I discovered more than ever on this last trip that the gift we can give ourselves and each other is connection. Talk to people. Ask questions. Get curious. Allow the universe to introduce you to new people and things and then happily receive all the toys, food, drink and kindness that comes your way. Simply by starting a conversation!
Opening a yoga studio looked perfect on paper. All the classes laid out in excel, expenses calculated, teachers lined up, contracts signed, a fancy business plan in place, it was everything I needed. I was ready. Now, a little over three years later I can share that about 85% of all of that never happened. Or it happened and within weeks fell apart, much of before day one. All of the details that seemed so important and necessary before I told myself I could start, didn't mean anything at all (except a lot of work and worry).
What does matter, is the 15% that did occur. That 15% looks like my vision, my dream of community, changing lives and developing leaders. That part has been realized in a way that I could not plan for. You see, when you plan every detail, then you can only come up with what you already know. What I have discovered is that there is so much more out there than what my simple mind can imagine and the universe has surprised be beyond belief. In all the mistakes, failures, disagreements and broken promises, bigger possibilities opened up. Possibilities that would not have been present without failure. I have learned to give and receive love in a way that I did not know existed. I have developed deeper relationships that I have ever known, something bigger and stronger than the traditional definition of family. And I have seen others do the same. People have come to the studio and people have left the studio, but regardless, relationships have been formed and continue. This is my vision. This is the WHY behind everything else. So when things do not go as you plan, set your sights on your path, get clear around your vision, buckle up and stay the path. Allow things to happen, especially the things you dont want to happen and then sit back allow the surprises to unfold. You might just be surprised around how much more awesome everything can be when you give up the need to control and plan it all. You might just discovery your best self! I know I did.
I have recently had a new outlook on my life, my practice, my teaching and just about everything else. A looking from a place of observation and for search of a better word, from detachment. Then I cam across the word stewardship as I was prepping for yoga teacher training. I have heard this word so many times, spoke it and taught it. But in this moment, it really hit me. That is the new place from where I am living. Moving away from ownership and towards stewardship.
Stewardship: "the careful and responsible management of something entrusted in one's care." THIS IS IT my friends! Recently I keep speaking to the idea of giving up "mine". My studio, my classes, my students and even my life. I am discovering that in order to truly be up to something bigger than myself, "me" has to step aside. And if I step aside, give up ownership and attachment, it will not only give me access to peace and freedom but to also the POWER to be a steward in life. A steward of the studio, the class, the practice, this LIFE that we all share. To take on the responsibility to carefully manage something that has been entrusted in my care. The body I live in has been entrusted into my care. The practice I lead has been entrusted into my care. The people who come into the studio have been entrusted into my care.
When I put aside my wants, my likes and my ownership, I get to put aside my reality and take a look at THE reality. What is really happening. What has been entrusted in me to play a role in. This is the opportunity to be really up to something. To be fully awake and alive and to create from a place of wholeness. This is what it is all about!