A voice had questions this morning : Why teach this yoga class today - who am I to teach others? What sets me apart from them? The voice continued, screeching : You ate meat in this lifetime - You were drunk with vomit in your hair - You’ve cussed - You’ve flipped people off - Who do you think you are? What kind of health and wellness can YOU offer anyone?
I took the questions seriously and into my meditation, I was like : Who DO I think I am?
The other night, it was cold in Austin, Texas. I was driving around and there were so many homeless people on the street. Some of them paced back and forth, many of them were talking to themselves. I felt, in my wrists and bones, the same cold wind on their skin, their faces.
When I was homeless, I told myself : I just need to get to point XYZ and it will be ok… Then I was homeless again. Then I told myself : Maybe I just need to accept who I am - what I’ve become, this is my life… Then I was homeless again… Each time, I went through a different process - accepting where I am, wondering why, planning to get out of that there and then… different processes…
But this morning, when these questions and criticisms arose, I wasn’t homeless or uncomfortable. My spine ached so I moved it. Why these strange questions?
When I lived in a homeless shelter, no one could have guessed it. Even now, it will be shocking for others to discover this fact about me. And this can be like spitting and thinking no one sees you spit - a kind of hiding, a kind of lie.
When I walked into the office to lead a yoga class, I shared that with the people. I said : This morning, the voices tried to persuade me to not show up. I’m here anyway. The voices asked me who I think I am? I showed up anyway. The voices reminded me of all the reasons I am not good enough. The voices tell me some other yoga teacher would be better for you. I showed up anyway.
My yoga Mentor, Anand Mehrotra, says : Show up fully! And so I do. He says : Practice when no one is watching. And so I do.
After the first Kriya, the energy pulsating, the mind humbled by the breath, we paused together, palms facing up. I heard Anand : Stay. Stay. From my heart, I repeated : Stay. Stay. Let all the crows fly away.
I put my hands on my lap and enjoyed the smile appear across my face, over my whole body, and I knew I would never be homeless again - not ever - no matter what is above me - roof or sky. I’m always good and I’m always home now.