Day 57: Unsettled

July 27, 2008

I’m sitting here at 11:30 pm totally unable to sleep. I didn’t intend to get up and write. But here I am. And maybe the blogging will help my mind to slow down and rest.

Today was great. I took regular class at 9:30 then took Advanced at noon. I feel great. My body is really showing up for me and I can’t believe I’ve come this far already. 68 Classes! Wow.

But as I get closer and closer to Training, I am finding it very hard to settle my mind. Especially during class. I am constantly thinking. Constantly thinking about Dialog, constantly thinking about Training, constantly thinking about being away, traveling, what I need to pack, managing my life away from my family for nine weeks. It’s maddening. Some days are harder than others. Some days it consumes my thoughts and my energy. A week or so ago I had a very hard night, where I felt the weight of all of it hit me at once. I’m a strong person, I’m determined, I’m stubborn, I know I can do this. But, man, it can eat my lunch from time to time.

Even tonight, I was laying in bed, with a particularly tricky chunk of Dialog running through my mind. I knew I wasn’t getting it, I knew something was missing. So my brain ran over and over it. Then I started thinking of how I have less than seven weeks to go, and well, it didn’t help the relaxing part. So maybe I should just vent it all out and be real and transparent and vulnerable here for all of you. Maybe that will somehow purge this vicious anxiety for me.

Going away is huge for me. I’ve never spent more than three days apart from my children, ever. I’ve never been apart from Dave since we’ve been married for more than five or six days. Nine weeks is a little bit longer than that. And I guess really, it’s not about the time. It’s not even really the distance. The thing that sets my mind reeling is the unknown. I know I am ready for this, I know I can do it. I know that. I know I can do the yoga, learn the Dialog, I know I can face my demons, but what else is there? The unknowns of Training are the scary part for me. I like to plan, to make lists, to keep things orderly. I like to know when, where, why, who, and how. Yes, I’m a control freak. I readily admit it. It’s part of what I believe makes me who I am. But it also challenges me. Because flying away to Acapulco for nine weeks with a slew of unknowns ahead doesn’t exactly lend itself to a controlling personality.

I can’t control what will happen while I am gone. I can’t control how people will respond to my absence. I can’t control the grief I will have over missing my family. I can’t control how my life will be managed by others for that time. I can’t control the if’s and when’s of being in class twice a day for nine weeks. I can’t control the uncontrollable.

What I can do is believe. I can believe in my support system. I can believe in the path I am on and the direction I am going. I can believe in my own abilities, the strength I have, and my own determination. I can trust that the preparations I responsibly make for my family will work themselves out over time. I can trust Dave. I can believe that things happen, in season, at the right time, when we are seeking them. I can believe in the yoga. I can believe in the process. I can trust myself, and never give up. I can do all of those things.

Tonight, I got up and came downstairs frustrated with my body. I wanted to control it, make it sleep so I can make it get up and make it go back to my mat. I wanted that control. But Michael reminded me, “Your body doesn’t want to sleep, so listen to it.” He’s right, and I have. But the root of the issue is that more than just listening, I need to let go; let things be unsettled and messy from time to time. Let it go, Ren. Get on the plane, go to Mexico, do the Training. Let things be as they will be.



2 Responses to “Day 57: Unsettled”

  1. Michelle Says:

    just stay “present” and the rest will work itself out as it should. You have many blessings and will have a wonderful journey.
    Michelle from Vegas…

  2. olddogpaw Says:

    It sounds to me as if you’re experiencing yoga. Yoga is all about the need to let go, to allow detachment from not only results, but from care, worry, fret.

    It does not surprise me at all that you are going through this right now, on the eve of your teacher training. Think: how else are you going to be able to sympathize with your students? If *you maintain control all the time, how are you going to help those hopeful folks coming to class who can’t balance, can’t control? Yoga is less about precision of movement and posture, and more about compassion, flexibility, the ability to fall and then go back into the pose forgivingly.

    So, you’re experiencing something of a fall now, or an imminent fall. A loss of control. I know Iyengar is not your style, but Rodney Yee once said to a class I was in that in vrksasana (Tree) we must not only be firmly rooted to the earth, but we must be able to sway. For that is what trees do. Sometimes, they even fall.

    When I first went into teaching (English), I worried about my ability to control my students. I worried about my ability to stay focused, to get everything done that needed doing. I started out incorporating all kinds of checks and balances into my syllabus and classroom practice so that students would never get out of hand, and I would never falter. But my first class was assigned and I was teaching at 8:00 AM – a time when few new college students are really awake at all. Immediately (unless they were all going to fail), I had to modify my policies and regulations. In fact, I had to modify my approach to teaching altogether. I realized that teaching is not about drilling in ideas so that students will “get it right.” Teaching is about providing a safe space for people to make mistakes. Because we learn from our mistakes. (We learn from our successes, too, but we get to our successes through our mistakes.)

    Nine weeks away from your family will be very hard. There’s no way around that. But it sounds like you have their support. It will be important – you already know this – to all of you for you to stay in touch, keeping them up-to-date on the new experiences you’re having. You will come back both the same and a very different Karen and, take it from me (a man whose partner travels a lot for a living), keeping your family as much in the know about what’s changing for you will be vital.

    All that said, enjoy. Enjoy the confusion, the frustration. Enjoy the sleeplessness, even. These are the lessons being given you right now. The lessons that show you that being on the mat is only a metaphor for the rest of our lives. (Every now and then, you gotta bend that knee. God put it there for a reason.) đŸ™‚

    Namaste, Karen. All that good, juicy, faltering, divine self.


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