Thursday, March 18, 2010

Back to Blooming


I'm home again after a week of yoga teacher training. I had these lofty goals of blogging about my adventures while I was there, but in the reality of it, at the end of each day of the training, I had barely enough left to call my husband for a quick hello. The week was intensely and emotionally exhausting and at the same time absolutely magnificent. I came up to the very edge of my comfort zone, to the very boundaries of my self-imposed limitations and then I pushed past them. I am growing not only as a teacher, but as a person. I stood up in front of the whole group for the first time. I let go of my guard and let my peers in (which is usually something I struggle with letting happen). My teacher, Ann, told me at the end of the class that this experience of becoming more myself, is like being a flower bud, pushing against it's own contraction to be able to unfurl into the flower it blooms into. And that experience can be uncomfortable and strange.
So, I am beginning to bloom, but I am feeling a little shy in this new form. A little unlike myself and there is a part of me that wants to go back to old ways. I am resistant to change. Because with the brighter light of blooming, also comes a bigger awareness of the darker shadow that I no longer can ignore, that I have no choice but to embrace.
Here is this shadow:
I am sometimes very closed off. Shy. Quiet. Withdrawn. Unconfident. Nervous. I'm not good at reaching out and embracing people who've been in my life before or are about to enter it. I feel fear of holding space for others, afraid that my holding will be weak and false: 'who am I to be strong for someone else', I think, 'when I am not being strong myself'. So I retreat. I feel uncomfortable being myself. It takes me forever to open up. And then sometimes once I do, I pulse in and out of connection and disconnect.
I am learning,
that the more I open my heart to others,
the more I choose to hold space for others,
the stronger, the braver
the more courageous,
that makes me.
In holding more space for others,
I actually end up holding more space for myself as well.

So as I step more into the space of light, I allow more holding space for the dark. I'll do my best to appreciate the budding as much as the bloom.



Kristen (Creative Stash) said...

Thanks for sharing so deeply. I love how your art and yoga worlds overlap and have enjoyed reading your posts!

Leaves and Feathers said...

Hi Eliza,
I am just catching up on your blog and I am just loving it. The post is so beautiful and insightful. I'm glad that your time at training was so full of growth! Oh, and I love your new banner too!

Lis said...

Such rich lessons ... you have stepped onto the path and while it is uncomfortable at times, your awareness of the growth and the gifts will make it impossible for you not to continue blooming and growing.

My teacher training was a month long and midway or so through, one of the teaching assistants read a Rumi poem about a cook boiling up some chickpeas ... oh my gosh! It perfectly described our experience:

"A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot
where it's being boiled.

"Why are you doing this to me?"

The cook knocks him down with the ladle.

"Don't you try to jump out.
You think I'm torturing you.
I'm giving you flavor,
so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being."

Find the rest ... it really is lovely. And I remember it was so much harder for me to express my power, my Light than to talk about/hide behind the shadow. But we choose, each day we show up, to shine that light upon ourselves!

Boil away my little chickpea!

Namasté - Lis

(what tradition are you training in? I am a Kripalu teacher)

Eliza Lynn Tobin said...

Lis~ Thanks for that beautiful chickpea story! I feel like it describes the process perfectly! Feels like torture sometimes, but also adds flavor and spices things up! So true! Kripalu! Did you do your training there at Kripalu in western MA? I've spent a good bit of time there after college because I did a program with them called the Semester Intensive at the Institute for Integrated Leadership. Right now I am doing my training with two Anusara teachers who were at one time Kripalu teachers. When I've finished the training, I will be a "Hatha" yoga teacher and than eventually hope to work towards becoming Anusara-Inspired!


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