I didn't really grapple with the true meaning of the sentiment of being present until I was 24 years old. I was in a relationship with a recovering addict and went to my first ever Alanon meeting. My MO up until that point was that I HAD to know every single detail and prepare myself for an array of outcomes before making decisions. It was hard on me and keeping me very stuck to do so. I would talk myself out of a lot of opportunities because of my debilitating fear of the unknown. I can't do that because what about this? I don't know about that because what if that?
I thought I was going to Alanon for the addict in my life, but as most people in this recovery program will tell you---you begin to realize that the work is an inside job. I was blessed to have a supportive sponsor for a boot camp style of reprogramming my habits and usual ways of thinking. I came to the program with a lot of fear inside my body. Only until I could see my troublesome ways of thinking mirrored back to me along with the affirmation that it is ok to let go, did I begin to loosen the grip on my life and surrender to the needing to know everything all the time attitude. I began to trust in a bigger picture and felt looked out for by something greater than me.
I recently started teaching public meditation classes. It is edgy to hold space for people in stillness and it's taking my growth as a teacher to another level. I am having to be more vulnerable with my students and show up for them with my journey in mind, letting them into aspects of my practice and myself to allow them to see me. To be seen in this way is sort of new. Teaching others how to be present with themselves, is allowing me to see how I am showing up for myself. Do I get tripped up in future thinking or distraction or am I tasting life on a moment to moment basis?
I was chatting with my friend Erika about touching into the present moment. My mind still wants to test out every possible avenue before settling on a choice and I have subsequently talked myself out of things---I've been playing around a lot with the idea of detaching myself from the story line and instead, just noticing. So much of my current journey--in cultivating my own private practice and attracting clients--and teaching vulnerable things--really forces me to tap into the moment. There is so much that is simply unknown...but that doesn't mean that a beautiful thing isn't just lurking around the corner.
I taught yoga and meditation to a lawyer's convention in downtown Austin over the last several days. For months and months I anticipated this. Would people come? Would they enjoy it? What would the room look like? Would I seem prepared and professional and taken seriously? Would my dad like it? Would my professional choices seem more valid through this effort or would I seem young and unsure?
The conference itself, when finally here---didn't prove to be worth all the anticipatory worries and fears. Everything went on without a hitch. My dad attended my class for the first time and enjoyed it. My mom came to each one and we spent time together joyfully. It wasn't what I expected. It was better and easier...like most things are. My mind is a battlefield sometimes filled with what ifs and story lines that build and build so intensely that I create an alternate reality for myself.
I'm learning to let go a bit more and step into greater presence. It is a necessity at this point. I don't know what the future holds. I have some ideas of what direction I'm headed....but there are a lot of murky unknowable things in the future that I will navigate once they arrive. For now, I'm going to nap and enjoy the quiet of the afternoon as my window unit billows warm air into the room.
I love my life with all its uncertainty and ups and downs. I am in a dance with it and ready to lean in more and more.
Until next week,