I’ve been sleeping well for the past 4 weeks. Even on Sunday nights after tango, I finish dancing at 9 in Oakland, I fall asleep by 10:30 in the Mission and sleep all the night through. I’ve had decent energy, too, consistently throughout the waking hours.
N-Judah Muni light rail line becomes J-Church after 9:30 PM for maintenance work, conveniently for those of heading to the Mission or Bernal after the Friday night philosophy class, so there we are. Checking with each other how it’s going. “I’ve been sleeping so well,” I share, “with all this yoga and reading.” “I haven’t,” says M, “I wake up a lot and have weird dreams.”
It’s been 4 weeks since I’ve started the 6 months basic yoga teacher training. We’ve meet 2 hours each Friday after work, 3 hours each Saturday and Sunday afternoon to learn, so far, philosophy, anatomy, basic asanas: how they work and how to teach them.
In addition to that, I logged attending more than a dozen 90 minute classes, meditated for 108 breaths most mornings, read the assigned books.
That sounds like a lot. It is and it isn’t.
What we learn is interesting; it resonates with me, and it makes me stronger. Sometimes I panic, because I can’t imagine myself teaching in a few months, but then I remember that I don’t intend to teach; I am taking the teacher training to learn, and learn I do. Who knows what the future holds, but for now the thoughts about teaching are from ego, not from calling, so nothing to panic about.
Learning a lot doesn’t even take all the time. I work, of course, but also carve out a little bit of time for tango, and some for non-dates (note to self to elaborate on the subject of non-dates in a later post, maybe). I ride bikes for parts of the commute, and stop by Toastmasters at work every other week or so.
On the other hand, I made time for the training, so that, wherever it takes me, I’d know I gave this fair effort and attention and learned whatever was available to me at this time.
So I don’t volunteer with the Tree Team on any Saturdays, I don’t dance tango on any Fridays or Wednesdays. I don’t read anything that was not assigned or recommended at the training; the 3 or 4 books I started earlier lie there forgotten, bookmarks anywhere between a quarter and a half through. I don’t knit; the couple of projects I started earlier lie there forgotten. I don’t do any leadership in Toastmasters; I don’t have a Toastmasters speech in the works. I haven’t posted a “Happy to Meet You Tuesday” report here, and there won’t be an “Ex Libris Saturday” quote tomorrow, which is a shame, some of the anatomy I’ve been reading is really cool!
Now, clearly, my life is full, and I chose to give all that up for now deliberately and enthusiastically. And yet giving up all that shows how much I define myself by what is now missing. The mind is used to latching to one of the above and running along with it. In the space that I’ve made, there is nothing to hold on to. In waking hours, it feels like floating. At the edge of dreams, there is nothing to hold on to, and there are weird or downright scary places to float into out there.
That’s not bad, just a little scary and lonely, as in lonely journey. Lonely is dangerous, but OK, it’ll pass with some attention and a few more late night N-Judah-J-Church rides. Scary is exciting: what’s on the other side? And, for that matter, what’s on the way there? There will be time to be engaged and creative out there again, now it’s the time to observe and to receive.
I’ll leave you with a thought of the two artist books I’ve seen at an exhibit in Philadelphia some 6 years ago: