On my second day (in a row) of practice, I attended a class that is a step up in skill level from my usual. It was an early evening class, and I really had no idea of what to expect, other than that my teacher told me I was ready for it. I showed up early, a wee bit nervous, and walked into a packed room. Way more packed than my smaller, more intimate class in the morning. I caught myself holding my breath. Thinking of bolting. I took a deep breath, and stepped inside. Now it was done. Once I'm in...I'm not backing out. I scanned for a spot, they were slim pickins...and I was thankful for showing up early. I got settled in, and the room filled up. They brought over a girl and put her between myself and my neighbor...we were close. I felt the twinge of claustrophobia. I breathed into it. We began practice, and all was good. I found myself thinking, I have been ready for this class. I am ready for this class. When we got to the seated positions, things changed...there was chaturanga between each and every asana. And I felt it. Practice that night kicked my booty. It challenged me in so many ways. And I made it through. As I lay in savasana at the end of class...I was flooded with these words - I am love. Absolutely every ounce of my being was flooded with the message that I am love. I was born love. And I continue to be. It's the way I move through life. Always have. Having so much to give. Sometimes struggling to find a way to. I found myself crying. When I got home that night I ordered a super mat. A mat that to me, means I am committed. An investment. In me. And how I want to show up in the world.
On my third day of practice (in a row), I decided to rearrange my day to attend a morning class. I showed up thinking that it was the same class as my usual class (my safe zone). We began practice and it wasn't until the seated postions came that I realized...holy shit! this is the harder class. A g a i n. I had that same moment of panic (again), and then as quickly as it came, it left. I continued to practice. And during this class I realized two things. One - that showing up is all that's required. I have the strength to make it through. And two (this one was interesting for me) - a realization about a story that I carry...In fact, I've talked about it here before. There's this place where I begin to wonder, or to feel as though I am being perceived as a weakling. As someone who only talks about the places that I struggle. And that sometimes I feel that others try (or feel the need to) boost me from this dreaded place. On the mat on the third day of practice, this message was given to me ~ it's a gift. It's a gift to be able to show your vulnerability. It's not a negative. It's in the postive column. It may make me feel raw, and exposed sometimes...and not feel like a gift at all, at times. But I received the message, and am now sitting with it. Soaking it in. Meditating on it.
And then my final and fourth day of practice...the big three hour workshop. A room full of 100 or so people. I was nervous. I sat in my car and breathed. I tried to decide whether I should bring my bag in. I got on facebook and left a message for an amazing little circle of lovelies. I wanted to create a vessel of safety for myself, and I knew they would hold space for me. I breathed some more. Got out of the car, and walked up to building....panic set in. Luckily the location was at the harbor. I walked over and looked at the water and breathed. Nothing grounds me more than the ocean. And I went in. As they were leading me to a spot I said that I was meeting a friend (from earlier in the week), and I looked down and there she was. I arrived just in time to be seated next to her. I settled in. And sat with all of it. The nervousness. The unknown. The energy in the room. The excitement. The fear. The ass kicking asanas. The wisdom of the teacher. The breath. The gratitude for my practice. And the love for me. For knowing what to do for myself. For remembering to breathe. For knowing how to set up a vessel of safety for myself. And for taking action. For showing up.