I know from the stats that at least a few people besides me read this blog and I wish I could honestly say that I write this for you. But today especially, I don't. Like the pencil markings on a door jamb recording the progress of a child's growth this blog helps me to see that indeed I am growing. However unlike a child's neatly linear ascending growth, spiritual and emotional growth is not quite so linear. A few marks up the door jamb and all of the sudden a descending into doubt and falling on the floor, then an inching up the door jamb and before you know it your completely off track in another room entirely. So, you slowly make it back to your path and begin to ascend the door jamb over and over and you fall over and over and such is the path of a spiritual seeker. And I tend to write this blog after a period of ascension to mark a joyous occasion of growth or illumination. But today I am back on the floor so to speak. And I want to use this descending to grow and so I write. So, fair warning, this is a pretty self indulgent post and you may want to stop reading now and go watch Netflix!
It has been twenty two years since I began working with peoples bodies and a few years since I started working with their minds, but it seems like something has shifted in the last few months and all of the sudden a lot of my clients are working with me on a different deeper level. I suppose the neat label is the level of the spirit. I have recently had several students tell me quite seriously that they trust me as their teacher and apparently I take that responsibility seriously, maybe too much so. It is all well and good to be the teacher as long as we are working with mechanics, alignment, fleshy things. I even feel a certain small level of competence guiding them toward healthier neural pathways and cleaning up our minds a bit. But when people get vulnerable with me to the level of revealing their spirit, well I just feel like I am holding a rare and fragile butterfly in my sights and
a new level of care and awareness is required. Now, of course, I know this is all so much bigger than me and I cannot alter someone's spiritual path, dharma or karma. Their journey is between them and God. But I do want to be so very careful to not plant seeds that will grow into weeds that they later need to dig up. I have felt Gods grace so strongly on this journey I suppose two decades in, it finally hit me: teachers can do harm. (slow learner)
Yesterday, circling back to the physical level, I brushed my hand along a students hip in triangle pose and they fell over and for a moment time stopped. She was alright, the class was alright and I am alright. But last night I dreamt that I tried to catch a student as she jumped off a high shelf and I didn't and she smashed into the ground and I sat with her as she bled. For hours. I tried to help and I couldn't. So, here I am not with a shiny victory blog after inching up the door jamb, but a story from the ground floor down where all the dirt is. Questions swirl around in my mind, can I keep my students safe or at the very least do no harm? On a physical level I think the answer is yes but we are going so much deeper than that these days.
The beautiful thing is that as I write this I am reminded that my only "job" is to be present and compassionate and this begins with myself. This includes the times when someone I am assisting on their journey has an "a ha" moment and it includes the times when I upset a students balance and they tumble over. The thing is, the touch was so light, so very light that caused this lady to tumble and it made me realize how fragile we all are on so many levels. But that does not change my immediate conclusion that this was just a hard lesson in being present and compassionate with myself. I am not sure if I am going to hit "publish" or "delete" for this messy blog, but I do know that writing it has softened the distress I feel this morning. So, if you haven't left for Netflix thanks for "listening". And remember whatever shiny facades we share in blogs, in social media and in person, they are just that facades. Beneath everyone's skin there are layers of dark and light, love and fear, saints and sinners all wrapped up into one glorious human equation. And it is our job to be with it all holding ourselves and others in the light of love. Peace to you today readers, thanks for reading.