Ease the Heck Up, Fierce Warrior

To move to greater levels of health and well-being, we have to start where we actually are today, in this moment, not from where we would like to be. Movement toward greater health is only possible because of now, because of where we are.      – Jon Kabat-Zinn

The meditation mantra this month is “ahimsa”.  This is described  as non-violence and non-harming. It’s more than just generally being nice, but being very thoughtful and intentional to be kind and not injure or hurt anyone or anything; including yourself.

I haven’t written a post for quite a while as I have been fairly consumed in figuring out the how, where, when, and why of this little gig of Daily Bread Yoga.  I have spent the last two months working hard, out of my comfort zone, to set up an online system where soon I will be so brave and grown up as to take credit cards and you could even pay for class online.  Gasp! I know.  I put out the offer of a 6 week class series for teenage girls and another monthly class for youth with special needs. I have even put out the idea that I’m going to make some t-shirts.  What?!  I know. t-shirts.

For several months I chewed on the idea (a lot) of renting a space and calling it my own.  But, it just felt weird.No space was quite right and wow do they charge a bucket-load?! And it honestly made me So Tired just thinking about it.  I couldn’t imagine how I would still be the Mom, Wife, and general human being I want to be.  To say nothing of the reality that I seriously need down-time with my girl, Rachel (me).  I didn’t want to open a yoga studio, I just wanted to be able to control my environment a little (a lot).  And most of all, my ego kept telling me that I had “enough” people coming to class, that the logical next step was to open my own space.  That this was The Way to grow my business.

After some really helpful conversations with this Daily Bread community and myself, I have come to the conclusion that at this moment in my life I am not actually interested in growing this thing “bigger”.  I don’t have the energy or time.  I want to hang out with my kids, go swimming, be able to cancel class to visit dear friends without fear of my business failing.

All that being said, there is so much more I wanted to do and be about.  I am not interested in getting bigger, but I am interested in going deeper.  So, I’m naming and claiming the fact that my classes are cheap because we (the community of people who come and me) practice yoga on a very imperfect concrete floor that is covered in worn thin industrial carpet that is not always (ever?) clean, in the middle of a church fellowship hall, where random people walk in and out, gathering supplies for the local food pantry.  Somehow the uncontrollable, un-spa-like qualities become part of the magical work of staying present to the yoga.  It’s kind of like doing yoga in the midst of real life, with the world around you continuing to move and work, not pausing because you are doing yoga.

I want to support the congregations who support this yoga class.  They are the ones who make it possible for classes to be cheap.  I know that the building is the greatest cause of financial stress on a congregation.  It costs a lot to keep everything working, lit, and clean.  Often it costs so much to maintain the building that the important work of social justice & outreach take the far back burner.  How can we, the yoga community who benefits so much from these wonderful spaces, support the congregations by supporting their work in our community and world?  What if instead of paying rent we raised money, energy, and love to support their emergency food pantries, Habitat for Humanity builds, or work in the prison system?

How much more awesome would yoga feel if you knew it was making a tangible difference in the world?

So, what does this have anything to do with this month’s mantra of ahimsa; non-harming?  I’m practicing ahimsa by getting really honest with myself about who I am in the present moment, and not forcing myself (and my family) to be and do more than I am or can do.  I’m practicing ahimsa by easing up on my expectations of productivity and shifting my understanding of growth and success.  I’m practicing ahimsa by easing the heck up and having a sweet, lazy summer. Want to practice ahimsa with me this summer?  🙂

Movement toward greater health is only possible because of now, because of where we are.  – J.KabatZinn

Peace on your head,

Rachel

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