I love my work. I love our community of practitioners and the spaces we cultivate together. I love to TEACH. My teaching is anchored in supporting every individual to move towards exploring and expanding the teacher within THEMSELVES. This is the great yogic evolution of our time. I keep my focus on supporting the inward journey of others toward inner guidance, inner knowing and inner peace.
And although it may seem to some “contrary” to my BIG LOVE actions, I do not like to be the centre of attention and I can shy away from receiving (yep, big lesson coming).
Last weekend, someone stood up powerfully as Teacher, and provided an opportunity for me to learn, grow, uncover and STEP into the light of RECEIVING. (Willingness, the power to receive, purpose of our gathering…but I get ahead of myself.)
Let’s begin at the beginning.
I wear a few hats in my Teaching roles. I guide public classes, offer Kundalini Online Weekly Tune Ups, provide deep coursework, currently guide an Advanced Teacher Training and (poignant to this story) work collaboratively with GuruMeher and Maha facilitating a 10-month Senses of the Soul Training (SOS). Part of our work in the latter, is to personally engage the powerful daily Meditations we share with our group and discuss the potent work of feelings and emotions.
The past few weeks we have been guiding our SOS group through Shame. (Now don’t stop reading here, I know that word can send some of us screaming from the room, lend me just a few more moments of your time).
Shame is about how we feel about ourselves, our inner measurement of self-worth, self-acceptance, and self-LOVE. I have been deeply immersed in this work for the last few years, and I have developed an intimate relationship with shame’s gifts and guidance.
Shame comes from the root “to cover.” Yet shame’s soul purpose is to take us out of hiding and into the light. This involves a level of inner trust so profound and deep that, for a while, until we are ready, we may lean away. (Our work in SOS is to provide safe steps to uncover internally and lean in).
Back to the weekend…we had a wonderful community practice exploring Stability and Flow, folks had done beautiful inner work and we were about to Tune out when suddenly…
Advanced Teacher Trainer (and amazing Teacher, human being and friend) Gerald stands up and says, “Wait Jay, I need you to give me a moment to hold the room.”
Now in full disclosure, Gerald had kindly asked me if I could give him 15 minutes “at the end,” when he arrived that morning. I said of course, and thought he was asking for 15 minutes of one-to-one time at the end of the day (we were in training until 4pm).
So, in light of my misunderstanding, I was surprised at his “jumping up,” but within seconds I knew, with his kind and loving words, that he intended to offer something to me, publicly.
CUE THE LESSON.
I stood at the crossroads of personal choice. In what felt like a big gap, but was likely mere seconds, the web of possibilities shot through me:
“There is no way I am standing up in front of everyone unless it is FOR THEM.”
“Do you feel that authentic love?”
“Can you stand uncovered in the light?”
“This isn’t happening, take control, take the room back, you are the Teacher.”
“You are ready for this.”
“You want me to sit in the centre of the room ON A CHAIR, RUN!”
“Listen to your heart space and receive.”
I am sure there were 1000 other thoughts/feelings that shot through me, maybe 100,000,000 in those 3 seconds, but here is where I landed.
There was nothing but love in that room. Gerald is a person of integrity and has earned my authentic trust throughout the years. I had completed an internal “boundary check,” this was safe. The only ‘thing on the line’ was an old shame pattern of stepping back and covering. I had done a shame meditation early that morning in my sadhana, where I energetically “cut” the ties to old shame patterns. With my internal guidance present and clear, here was a moment of convergence.
I LEANED IN. I sat on a chair in the centre of the room, surrounded by the loving intention of more than 40 souls, who offered me the Ra Ma Da Sa healing circle. I breathed very slowly. I felt very deeply. I was present. I was uncovered. I was one.
It was a transformative moment, a priceless gift.
Now the funny part of this tale? Gerald stood courageously (courage = age of the heart) in his power, love and wisdom to offer me a healing circle for health challenges (see What Really Happened blog entry).
I received that, but oh SO MUCH MORE. I healed a space to stand (ok sit) in the centre, seen, uncovered and RECEIVE.
Rather than hold the container safely for others, I was safely held in the hands of community.
Ek Ong Kar (All is one)
Sat Nam Siri (This is our true nature)
Wahe Guru (When we are here, it is beyond words…but I found a few ;)
What happens when we lean in? Nothing less than the beauty of empowered self-acceptance, and the deep peace of enjoying I AM, I AM.