On Week 1 of the course we were told we would have to teach a class in the end of the Course and that along those 4 weeks we would be given tools to do so. Have you ever taught a class? Or spoken in public? If you have, then you know it takes a great amount of self-confidence or – at the very least – faith (fake it until you make it, right?). It is especially worse if you’re acting to professionals and on top of that being evaluated for your performance, which – if we think about it – we always are, we’re just not so self conscious about it, meaning that we are often more relaxed and therefore we tend to feel more comfortable and perform better.
I’ve always struggled with self-confidence (raise your hand if you have never felt that!). It’s funny because since I am also a highly sensitive empathic, I was sometimes portrayed as arrogant or too sure of myself for taking the step to counter act that sensation by making the effort of putting the others at ease, meaning by talking and expressing myself and making questions about the others while simultaneously sharing my experience. What might have happened at those times, was that I then struggled once again with my self-confidence and maybe even self-love for an inability to see myself as the world perceived me or to be misinterpreted for being able to face those fears and put them aside in the name of creating bounds with the human beings that surround me.
Another funny thing that maybe you will recognize in yourself too if your an empathic person is the way we always seem to be so attuned to other people’s energies that we often perceive it as our own and indeed we often adopt those – sometimes not so healthy – patterns of speech or behavior. Dr. Joe Dispenza explains this majestically in Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself on why energy often decreases in the presence of certain energies as opposed to raising and how to shift that.
I thought about my good friend Irene, the person who initiated me in this essential oil journey and that I had intensely in my thoughts for a few days of the last week of training and who coincidentally (there are no coincidences!) contacted me those days. The best thing about true friendship is to feel that time passes, but your essence, your connection to that other human being remains unchanged. It’s a meeting of souls! That was a really good vibe for me that I desperately needed on those last days of the Yoga Instructor’s Course when the Mother of a good friend of mine had just passed away, my Bank Card had been cloned and was therefore cancelled due to the fraud (excellent work of my Bank since they were the one’s who detect it at once and who contacted me immediately to prevent the situation from escalating) and the nerves for the exam raised. On top of all this, the energy vibe I’ve described on the previous paragraph was trying to hunt me down. The exam didn’t go as close as I wanted it to, which was disturbing for me since I am also dealing with perfectionism and learning to exorcize it out of my life. But given the circumstances it was the best possible after such drawbacks. I kept thinking that the strongest are not those who never fall, but those who can raise after each setback. And, after all, the feedback I had was actually good (fake it until you make it, right?).
I also learned about non-judgment and non-attachment. We never know what each person carries in their own journey. But we can choose what we wish to carry in our own, just like that Zen tale:
“Two monks crossing a river: One helps a woman across, and hours later the other, clearly stewing in judgement, asks why he helped her given their vows to avoid contact with womankind. In response the older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”
There was a moment during the exam week when I was frustrated and upset about the script we had, mostly due to my perfectionist habits. We had this script developed by our Teacher Johnny about how to teach a class and we basically had to know it and deliver it. It all seemed so fake to me, so devoid of heart or even meaning. How could we just memorize these lines with a sequence that wasn’t even our own creation and somehow feel like we were Yoga Teachers? I must confess that everything happening that week, including the amount of energy it takes to deal with other people’s energies, was weighting much more than I would like to admit. Why was I carrying all of that with me, just like the monk seemed to carry the woman way longer after they’ve crossed the river? I took a moment back and used some of the techniques I’ve been using: meditation, journaling, gratitude attitude and music to support me and give me perspective. The best part about travelling and the gratitude journal is that you are more and more aware of all the beautiful things that make up your day. You are also more aligned with like minded people and that gratitude attitude was what crossed my mind when I met one of the most joyful human beings ever: Mario, when I danced bachata (to the sounds of a music it was a hit when I was like 6 or 7), salsa or tango in unlikely scenarios, when I travelled with my yogi sister Blerina, whose name rhymes with Ballerina, because she’s one of the most graceful life dancers I’ve ever met and a true inspiration for those who cross her path, when I heard the waves of the sea under a magnificent night sky or when I found the most adorable dogs ever (which took me back to my childhood memories amongst my Grandmother’s dogs) and hang out with them by the beach for a couple of days. I was also grateful for all the lessons I had learned during the Yoga Teacher’s Training and all the people who crossed my path during that experience. What we take from each experience, what we take from each person is our solely responsibility, what we choose to carry with us and how light we want to travel.
And I finally realized that it was never meant to be a script. These were just guidelines. Our (very smart) teacher Johnny Nasello was just giving us the guidelines that we could use to walk our own path. These were guidelines for the way we teach a class, just like all the books we had to read, all the poses we had/have to make were/are just guidelines for the way we live life, the way we face each challenge. There are no formulas! Just like Osho describes in “Tao: The Pathless Path”, the path of life unfolds as we go along. We just have to have the courage to take each step and embrace the unknown.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anaïs Nin
That was a true liberating moment for me! Johnny’s course was based upon guidelines to be a Yoga Teacher and pass on this knowledge to others, as was his example of a human being guidelines meant to inspire us, question ourselves and walk the path of life with our own steps. And for that I am forever grateful to Johnny!
“The greatest teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.”
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