Friday, December 28, 2012

when the student is ready

When I first started to get to know my yoga teacher I learned that she had recently adopted a practice that prevented her from offering advice.  She explained that she loved giving advice but was backing off and instead focusing on honoring the feelings those in need were having in order to support them in meeting those needs.

This made me feel like I had just missed out on learning the secret to life… or to my life anyway.  At that time I felt directionless and unsure and I longed for someone to tell me what to do.  I was pretty sure that, given an hour and a half and a fair amount of chocolate, my yoga teacher could examine my life and point me in the direction of certain prosperity and happiness and had I only come to her a year earlier it would have made her happy to do so.  So for the four years I have known her instead of advice I’ve received the gift of being in the presence of my teacher as she handed off one habit that made her feel good in the moment for one that, by virtue of the practice, sometimes creates very uncomfortable moments but ultimately (I believe) leaves her truly contented because she is constantly uncovering and honoring the truth.

In the time since I met my yoga teacher I have noticed in myself the desire to be given advice has fallen away.  I have learned to recognize the signs that point to the fact I am on my right path and understand that when things are going right it isn’t a fluke, but a result of the way I have been tending to all levels of my existence.  I had nearly forgotten my desire for an advisor when a few months ago my yoga teacher offered me advice.

At the time I was sort of crushed.  I was setting out on a difficult journey but had begun to set up systems that could put me on cruse control.  My teacher suggested that taking the scenic rout would not only be more beautiful but also offer benefits that I would be glad for later.  The last thing I wanted to do was follow the path she was sending me down, but I trusted that she had my best interests in heart & she had already been down the road I was traveling at the time so I made following her advice a priority.

As hard as it was to do as I was told, when I would feel like giving up I would remind myself of who had told me to do it and was able to stick with it (and its likely that had I taken the shortcuts I originally thought of I would have abandoned the trip all together).

As hard as the act of following the advice had been, I found accepting the fact that it had been offered even more difficult.  I though about my long forgotten wish and it soon occurred to me that as I released the desire for someone to tell me how to live my life I had developed the need to be told I was living my life was right… I’m currently working on just living my life, and it’s the most difficult thing since slicing bread.

It turns out that receiving advice from my teacher was exactly what I needed.  In the end I needed to hear what my teacher told me and my teacher is the only person to make me listen to what she had to say.  And though in the grander scheme I’m at a loss for how to live my authenticity and be fulfilled, I still have my teacher and shed bound to come up with something good to help me find my way.