Yesterday I pulled 3 cards from 3 different decks. One from the “Teachings of Abraham Well-Being” Cards, one from the Magical Unicorn cards, and one from another deck that was out at the sanctuary. The first card I pulled said “All is Well”. The second one I pulled said something I cannot remember and had a swan on it. The third one said “Grandparents”. All very powerful cards. All had something to do with the moment. I sit here and smirk, but I fell like yesterday I became a swan, and all is right where it is supposed to be.
Ok. I’m going to get real for a minute. A little back story, and probably being way to honest with the internet, but here we go.
Born and raised Catholic until somewhere around my dad’s kidney transplant when I was in the 6th grade. I took to some books about witchcraft as a teen. I was a goth kid, it was par for the course. I didn’t really care about it though. I didn’t really care about anything. As a kid I liked plants, but I didn’t really care to know anything about them. I didn’t want to spend the time learning. I didn’t want to spend the time to get into my own head long enough to figure out what I liked or was interested in or whatever. Nothing sparked my interest. Singing was where I got my high. I had a Soprano I register, and a love for Broadway Musicals. There were a couple of solos in high school chorus and chamber singer (I got a Letter in btw), I competed in some things, but after high school the outlets aren’t really there for more. I didn’t want to study music. Because what can you do with a music degree? Teach it or be a professional. I didn’t want to do either, not that there is anything wrong with either, just not what I wanted. So in college I found art.
Y’all. Art is the thing that makes us who we are. It is the one thing that connects us to the world and our very essence of existence. We get to look at the pain that someone felt and maybe we felt that pain too. You can get something similar from written words or music, but it isn’t the same. They are different kinds of connections to the senses, but visually connecting is something that is harder to do. It also isn’t as readily in your face as music is in your ears, or words are in your mind. Art hits you in the core. It might be sheer pain, or utter bliss. Sometimes it just comes to you when you don’t even expect it to. I remember when I moved to NYC and I went to the MOMA for the first time. I knew that Van Gogh’s Starry Night was in that building. I had a map, I didn’t use it. I went strolling from gallery to gallery, floor to floor, and while I saw some things I loved and wanted to see, the minute I turned the corner in the last gallery and came face to face with it, I never knew what emotions felt like. I cried. Right there in that room. Surrounded by people chattering and snapping images of images. It was like he was showing me a secret world, that I thought I understood, but had never truly seen. Even now, thinking about that moment makes me tear up. That is the kind of power that art can have on someone. The only other time something moved me to a sense of awe was setting foot inside Cologne Cathedral in Germany. The building that I had studied and knew everything about was surrounding me, and it actually felt like God was in the room. Art found me, and never let me go. I am lucky enough to get to teach people about art. I always wanted to do it, and I was given the opportunity to start 4 years ago. This August starts my 4th Fall semester teaching, and I have learned so much.
I was so terrified to teach. My first day, with my first ever Freshmen, was not as horrible as I thought it was going to be. We grew together, and learned that college thing. They taught me a lot, as each and every class as since then. Good and bad.
Going into my Yoga Teacher Training I was not afraid of teaching but more afraid of being judged than anything. Judged by everyone, including my friends and family for doing something so hokey. It is also hard being the fat girl in the yoga class. People are very quick to criticize even though yoga is an inclusive practice. But despite my hesitation I took a jump and all that worry fell away. I started reading books again. I started finding more time for myself. Quiet time for meditation or just time to sit and think. Nothing major, just little things that we don’t do anymore. I started learning about chakras and how they balance the body. I started reading about Gods and Goddesses from other religions and how they played a role in yoga. How their stories shaped the practice and help us tell stories with our bodies. I no longer felt the world judging me but supporting me. There is singing involved too. That part was really exciting for me. It was like yoga brought all of the aspects of my life together. Singing, art, and mixed it together with some exercise that strengthens your body and your mind. How could it not be awesome?
Today is the day after my first class as a yoga teacher. I have been awake since like 5:30am. I had a restful sleep but my mind turned on this morning, trying to remember and process and absorb the experience of that first class. It took me a couple days to put the routine together, but it took me so much longer to figure out what to say. I didn’t say any of it. I came to my mat open and honest with everyone including myself. I don’t think I ever felt more comfortable. I don’t think I have ever been so confident or humbled at the same time. Even as I sit here I am very calm, but there is a buzzing going on in my body/mind that is incredible. I can’t explain it, but this might be the first time I’ve ever felt what it feels like to be alive. I know that sounds mildly insane, but it’s true. We go through our lives with so much expectation of how things should be or go or whatever that we don’t take the time to be here, alive and thankful. We sit and complain and become the “victim” all the time, but rarely sit back and actually take a minute to exist and be thankful for that existence.
Today I am ever so blessed. My cup runneth over. And this is only the beginning.