Life is a stream of moments that contain experiences. This stream is constantly moving, shifting, changing. In one moment we might be experiencing joy and happiness and in another moment anger or sorrow. Life is not solid ground and this is a blessing because it keeps us learning and growing. It is easy to view the experiences that we call pleasurable as blessings, it is harder though, to move into experiences that bring discomfort or resistance and find the wisdom, the blessing. Sometimes what seemed like a horrible circumstance, when looked back upon later, becomes an obvious benefactor, an angel that has brought insight or evolution. Even more challenging is to surrender and allow that possibility in in the very moment of the resistance, in the very moment of fear.
A dear friend and fellow yoga teacher was talking to me about this very topic as related to our lives as teachers. It is hard to show up in the role of teacher if you had a bad day, or did not sleep well, or just don't feel "on". Sometimes circumstances show up in class beyond our control that bristle the ego and bring up our places of sensitivity and fear. He had one such story which I found touching and a testament to taking a pause and a breath, to summon faith. A reminder to look for and expect blessings to arrive no matter what the initial perception of a situation.
I asked him to write a little about this and he agreed to allow me to share it with you.
One Angry Yogi
One student showed up at my class recently - the only student in that class, actually. In the past, I'd be upset and wonder why my classes were so poorly attended. Was it me? Do I have bad breath? Am I not sexy? After spending much time alone with myself, doing my meditation, breathing exercises and yoga postures - what us yogis refer to as "sadhana" (pronounced SAHD-NAH) - I began to let go of such worries. I realized that stressing about what others thought about me, and worrying about how many people were coming to my classes was simply a function of my ego itching for attention by distracting me from the beauty of the souls who actually did show up. Now, when even one person comes, I truly believe that is a gift. It is a unique opportunity for me to share my experience with that seeker, and to learn what makes him or her tick. And to be a good listener.
As it turned out, this one student has been known around our town as a very angry person who, in a very nasty way, complains and moans about every little thing, including a perceived failure of our town's government to satisfy his special needs and rights as a taxpayer, etc. Lately, I have begun to notice an almost palpable shift in this student's energy and "vibe". Through the regular practice of yoga over a period of about six months, changes are occurring. Kindness and a real "slowing down" are emerging. A miracle is being born in this angry yogi. That little voice inside this student has said "go and enlighten yourself", and through the grace of the divine, I have been placed in front of my subject to witness transformation of the most profound type. So, when you see someone who gets under your skin, who just rubs you the wrong way, try stepping back for a moment. Pause long enough to withhold judgement. Realize that this individual may in fact have a very precious gift intended just for you.
~ Shivaraj Doug Greene
This is relevant on so many levels. What in your life today is your "one angry student"? Maybe it is your husband or wife, a colleague, a circumstance, an event or emotion. What are the things that bristle your ego or make you afraid? What if you tried letting your guard down even a little bit and considered the possibility of looking at it from a different angle? When we soften and see challenges as opportunities to play and explore, to become more of who we are......expect blessings, expect miracles.