Spiritual Chocolate

Find the joy. Keep it real.

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Ready, Set, Go…

I’ve been wanting to do this for ages–to come out of the closet, as it were.

I jokingly refer to myself as “the reluctant yoga teacher.”  I never intended to be a teacher and believe that the only reason I am one today is because MY teachers saw something in me and gave me ridiculously generous opportunities that were too good to turn down.  I’ve never seen myself as particularly spiritual, athletic, graceful, wise, or grounded.  The reflection that stares back at me in the mirror, when I’m brave enough to look, is of someone who’s putting on her face so the rest of the world can’t see how lacking she is.  I’ve always felt like I’ve had to compensate for my flaws by pretending they don’t matter or by exuding massive amounts of personality in order to shield my tender self.

The fact that I’m still teaching, teaching well, and enjoying teaching after eight years continuously amazes me.  And what’s even more amazing is that that more I teach, the more real I allow myself to become in front of my students.  And the more real I am, the more I love teaching.  And the more I love it, the better I get.  This is the next logical step.  And it’s fraught with the same sense of danger that coming out as a teacher was.

When I was little, I couldn’t wait to jump off the high dive.  The first year I was tall enough to climb up, I was recovering from an injury and had to wait an extra month.  Each day seemed like an eternity until the doctor gave me clearance.  But when I climbed up the ladder and looked at the water far below, it was…well, really, really far.  And I was really, really high up.  Instead of jumping, I turned around and climbed back down the ladder, feeling ashamed that I couldn’t bring myself to jump past my fear toward my heart’s desire.

Luckily, in addition to being acrophobic, I’m incredibly stubborn and determined, and I climbed up and down that damn ladder every day until my need to fly exceeded my fear.  And when that happened and I plummeted down for a split second before crashing into the water, I was, in my mind, the baddest badass in the entire camp.

This is the same feeling, except harder.  What I’m showing you is ME.  This is the me who shows up on her mat jazzed and ready to share what she’s been working on or what she’s learned over the weekend, but this is also the me who’s not worth the space she takes up and can’t believe that anyone would want to listen what she says, let alone PAY to listen.  This is the me who’s strong and fit and balanced, and this is also the me who’s too fat to bind and whose boobs get in the way of her Crocodile Pose.  This is the me who rocks Astavakrasana and the me who can’t do Lotus without blowing out her knee.  In spite of what all of us may project on our yoga teachers, we are really just people like anyone else.  We fall out of poses.  We get injured.  We lose and gain weight, and if we are lucky, we age.

None of us perfect, but at the same time, none of us is as deeply flawed as we believe we are.

I’ve always had nightmares that I’m screaming and screaming at people at my life in anger, and instead of responding to me, they laugh and turn away.  And what frightens me more than people laughing at what I’m writing is people  not even bothering to read it.  But I’m ready to jump.  I need to do this.  I have things to say, and I am creating this little corner of the web where I can say them. You can say things, too.  I’m putting this out way before I’ve made a pretty page, but I’m hoping there’s a comment section, and if not, there will be soon!  In the meantime, email me at spiritualchocolateyoga@gmail.com and join me in this amazing journey we are all on together.