Sunday, January 23, 2011
The "E" Word
There is a new four-letter word, the "E" word. This word is "The Economy." Strangely, it's neither four letters long nor even one word. Regardless, hearing the phrase (brace yourself), "The Economy" probably conjures worry and a knot in the stomach. Analysts on NPR say we’re on the slow train up. Regardless, whether directly or indirectly, we are all being effected by what's happening with (here it is again) "The Economy."
Unfortunately, hard financial times often makes us feel like we need to circle the wagons, draw in our resources, and look out for our own interests. The scarcity of financial means sometimes leads to scarcity of good will toward each other.
But despite what is happening on Wall Street, there is another form of abundance we can all cash in and rely upon. This resource is each other. Us. You and me. Instead of shielding ourselves from others, we can enrich ourselves and others during this tricky financial time by investing our sincere humanity (our love, compassion, trust, and laughter) into the reservoir of well-being and happiness of each other. We are each other's bail-out plan in the essential economics of human capital, a resource without a deficit and yes, one that is even more vital that dollars. We are each other's interest and will receive an immediate return on our investment each time we share a little of love and care from our endless account of humanity.
This is yoga's (read:union) true meaning. One-ness of all.
Tough financial times is an opportunity to draw together and build friendships and communities because sometimes that is all that is left. Community is what's essential. Community will get us through. Ask your grandparents who may have lived through the Great Depression. We can help each other out in myriad ways. Give each other rides. Share job opportunities. Even just making the effort to come to yoga and give your best effort is an investment into the energy and spirit of everyone else who came to class. We feed each other. Plus, tough times moves us toward fun creative solutions that we'd otherwise never have discovered.
I love my job. I love it because I am constantly feed by your generosity and your human capital. One of my treasures of what I do is connecting with you on a personal as well as group level. I am often allowed a sneak peak into many of your hearts and get to see first hand how yoga has effected your lives. Countless times, I have looked into your eyes as you've spoken volumes to me by the tender tears rolling down your cheeks and perhaps mixed in a few words to describe some of your unspeakable challenges. You've shared with me your immense peace and joy and your stunning moments of clarity. You've shared with me the ways in which yoga has been your lifesaver, an island, an oasis. I'm deeply honored to play a small part in your unfolding.
I love these emails. For one, I can practice being vulnerable, something I'm still learning. You all know much more about me than I think I'd normally be comfortable with, but you know, it's only in that vulnerability that connection can happen. This is part of my growth. Unfortunately, you don't see the tears in my eyes as I type this jazz. I also love these emails because I often get responses back from you in which you share your personal stories, insight, and appreciation for these principles and thoughts. Thank you.
I communicate with you. You communicate back to me. But I feel a little selfish. There is a missing link with this connection--your connection to each other.
In this community that we're building by practicing yoga together, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't encourage you to see who else might be feeling the same way you do or what other insights others might offer each other.
Therefore, I encourage you to visit my Facebook page or my blog where you can both read this same message, review past emails, but perhaps more importantly, comment on the message and share your experiences (either anonymously or publicly, you have a choice on the blog).
I also invite you to check out my Facebook page as a way to see how big your yoga community really is. You may be pleased to see that you have several friends who are coming to other classes. You may make new connections and friends. One dear friend predicts 3 marriages from this idea. We'll see. Maybe you can find friends with whom you can carpool to yoga. If you know your friend is going to pick you up for 6 am yoga (coming soon to a Studio near you) it's an added incentive to do 'Get-'Yer-Butt-Out-Of-Bed Asana.'
Please don't stop sending me your personal emails. But you may also want to consider posting a comment for others to read. To see this same message on my blog and to post a comment about this or another message, check out my blog (see the link below). At the bottom of the blog, you'll see "comment" where you can click and leave a comment and see what others have said.
Please know that all of the information you send me is private. You are in charge of what you post. I will not post anything you say unless I have your permission.
Click on Add Friend. If you're not a member of Facebook, it'll ask you to join. Don't worry, there is no fee, no hype, and its fun.
Now, I know that this invites more technology mayhem into our lives but if managed with mindfulness, I feel this can be a great way to connect to each other during difficult times. And, it's free. Possibly priceless.
I asked one of my private students to write in her journal what she feels about yoga. She's a woman who I'm so proud of, a woman who has seen immense personal growth since she's started to practice yoga. She gave me permission to copy it here.
I Love Yoga!
Recently when I was planning out my week, looking to see which days I could attend a yoga class and which days I would need to practice at home, it suddenly came to me: I LOVE YOGA. The truth is, I love almost everything about it. I love thinking about it, talking about it, practicing asanas, meditating, learning from my teachers, going to the studio, being with my yoga friends, putting on my yoga clothes, reading yoga books, studying about it...You get the idea. For whatever reason, yoga just does it for me. I'm addicted to those yoga "moments" - when I'm in a pose and I feel completely weightless and at ease, when I'm meditating and I lose track of time and place or when I'm consciously breathing and I feel it in every inch on my being. I started practicing yoga about 2 ½ years ago and I was hooked from the beginning. I'm a fairly straight-forward, no nonsense person so I feel a bit silly writing this. But truthfully, I feel like a five year old who's found the hidden candy jar. I love yoga and it has changed my life.