Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Doing the best I can 

The blog is not dead. It’s just that every time I’ve been online has required taking care of things rather than reflecting on them. I am still here. Balancing practice and rest, the restaurant and sharing the teachings, sometimes soaring, at others crawling- into spring and new starts.

In my heart, I now know my time in Mysore would have been very much bitter sweet. A challenge to be at the shala without Guruji sharing his wisdom, grace and presence with those of us lucky enough to be spending time by his side. The teachings were here for me, this year. My heart sings and the flickers of faith and courage become steady flames at the memory of my moments with Guruji, his teachings, his ability to be so completely present in his every encounter, his fierceness, his kindness. His love, inspiring me to try to keep my heart as big as I can, every day.

A good friend recently observed that my life has been completely transformed, in these last several weeks. My mom's dear friend moved to a nicer place, after three long months in the hospital, to rest and be taken care of like she deserves to. She is very much back to her old self, with the fighting spirit firmly in place and her dog by her side. I am free to dedicate time and effort to other things, once again, with the memory of those dark December days keeping me from flying too high. Just as the memory of winter grounds us on manic summer days, so the memory of summer’s light keeps us buoyant in the heart of winter.

Speaking of pets, a new cat adopted me! Her name is Kira and she is an ashram cat who came to me after spending six months locked in a basement with two other cats. This little one settled into my home and life with the kind of grace and ease I dream of. She spends her days giving me joy and companionship and reminding me to always make time for play and rest.

I am back to spending sweet time at the ashram, after a three month hiatus. That place, those grounds, those people, are very much a part of my heart, just as Eddie’s is. I have my little yoga class there, and this month am so thrilled to be part of the teaching staff for the inaugural Ananda Ashram 200 hour Teacher Training. Those women, who are spending the month onsite, are so very blessed to have this experience, this amazing environment and these amazing teachers at their disposal. One of them is a student of mine, and it makes me equally proud and a little freaked out to hear some of my little quirks and intonations in her teaching voice. She even busted someone for not being in synch with the rest of the class, popping into upward facing dog too soon, as I’ve been known to do once in a while- and Guruji has done endless times in countless led classes. A reminder to be present, to not rush. Don’t hurry!

After these last couple of years of doing exactly as I pleased, when I pleased, the tightening of the reigns on my schedule, as I pick up more classes and keep waiting tables and keep some semblance of a regular practice and a social life has stretched me pretty thin. Suddenly a major source of strain has been the concept of not-enough-time. Find myself constantly checking my watch or the clock. It just slips away and the hours turn into days and weeks and I don’t know where it goes! I do realize most of humanity lives this way, with more than just one major thing to do on a given day, but boy is it an adjustment for me! Really positive though- my friends see these changes in my demeanor and ability to cope well and be kind and smiling on a daily basis. I am happy. A little scared, sometimes, but willing to be brave and put myself out there and take steps forward and make changes and keep on learning like I need and want to.

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”

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