The Yoga of Creativity

It’s been a lifetime since I had the back to school jitters. To be clear, I got them when I was teaching, not when I was a student. I barely slept before the first night of school every year–partly out of excitement & partly out of fear. Even after I’d received teacher of the year, I still was afraid before the first day of school. I also never slept when trying something completely new for a lesson plan. 
Why? What was I afraid of? Failure. Standing in front of a room full of people. Public speaking still makes me feel weak in the knees and slightly nauseous. Not getting through to my students. Feeling like a phony. I mean, I didn’t learn all that I taught to my students when I was in college. Especially grammar! I remember working late into the night trying to make grammar lessons exciting—but what took even longer was first trying to teach the concepts to myself. 
I’ve been feeling those feelings all over again. Because of a yoga class that I’m supposed to teach in the fall. Not just any yoga class–a special series of classes that are beyond the scope of what I usually teach. With our house on the market, I’ve had even less time to delve into my own already shortened practice. I feel under-prepared. I feel a little like a phony.
That feeling is also why I’ve avoided my health coaching practice–even though I’m certified. Even though I see other coaches with bigger, thriving practices with less training than I’ve had.
This morning I got a little shove from the universe, from God. It came in the form of a belated morning meditation from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s pink book Simple Abundance. I’ll also read the meditation in my Instagram stories today, so check it out if this speaks to you. 
The reading was about owning your talent. In it she paraphrases the New Testament parable about the rich man who gave his servents talents. The first two invest their talents wisely and gain abundance and are given more from their proud master. The third, fearful of losing what he’s been given buries his talent. His master is furious that he didn’t even deposit the money to a bank where at least it could gain interest, so he takes the talent back & gives it to the most successful servant. It seems cruel, but life is like this.
Last fall I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Another must read. In it she tells the story of how a novel that she started writing was put away for years, and then the story left her. More years passed, & as she sat down to coffee with friend and novelist Anne Patchett, Gilbert asked what she was currently working on. Her jaw dropped when Patchett described her story–the one she’d started years ago and never finished that she’d never told anyone about. It was as if the story wanted to be told, but was waiting for an open conduit. 
Guys. Every time we get caught in fear, we close that conduit. I’ve closed it a hundred times. And I almost closed it before my teaching career ever started. I’m serious! I was the WORST student in my teacher education class. The lead teacher told me maybe I should consider another career. That maybe I didn’t have what it took. I believed her. Words are powerful spells. Both the ones we hear from others, but also the ones we believe or the ones we tell ourselves. 
Anyway, the night before I was supposed to teach my first practice lesson in my teacher cohort before I taught it to a room full of actual students, I sat crying in my mom’s office. Convinced I should quit the program. Convinced I couldn’t do it. My mom grabbed my arm and took me upstairs to an empty classroom in the community college where she worked in financial aide, and told me to teach her. I was paralyzed by my fear. She had me breathe, and every time I stumbled, she had me start again. 
See, in the earliest days, I rehearsed EVERY thing I might say in a lesson. Eventually, I learned to breathe. To open up to Spirit. To let lessons, words, inspiration flow through me. 
But I’m out of practice teaching yoga…..or am I? 
I may not be able to physically hold the same poses that I once did. But despite what Instagram might indicate, there’s more to yoga than handstands and insane flexibility. There is also stretching the mind. Quieting the noise. Opening up to allow life, creativity, spirit to flow through us.
So, I’ve decided not to cancel this fall’s yoga workshop series. And I’ve decided to plan winter sessions as well. If you are local, it will be a series meant to help you open up to creativity. It’s inspired by Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way & the asanas will be appropriate for beginning yogis. All levels welcome, but if you are a super strong, flexible, solely body improvement focused yogi, this class probably isn’t for you.
And if you aren’t local, let me know if you’d like an on-line version of this class? A class designed to open your body and mind to the possibility of living a more creative life.
With love ❤️

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