An adaptation of an old Rumi quote: “How can you expect to be polished if you are irritated at every rub?”
Allow yourself a moment to let that brilliant quote sink in.
I have a friend who’s currently in yoga teacher training. Although she fears and hates the moments required to teach in front of her peers, it is her fervent and genuine desire to teach yoga.
For my friend, each peer-teaching opportunity functions as a mirror for just how hard it is. How hard it is to get clear directions out of her mouth, while visually taking in all the various practitioners in the room and their current capabilities while simultaneously sequencing and planning what is next (or remembering “what’s next” if the series was planned in advance).
If you have never taught yoga, give it a go. Five minutes…not of instructing poses by name (i.e. down dog, warrior 1, warrior 2), but how to get into them. It should serve as an entertaining and possibly horrific exercise. I venture you might stop before the five minutes expires.
My aim isn’t clarifying how hard it is to teach, but rather to illustrate that like most things done or experienced for the first, or even first twenty times – it’s terrible, and perhaps even abysmal. Each experience is often an irritating, conceivably deflating reminder of just how flawed it can be, no matter the effort applied.
But as Rumi astutely acknowledges, how can we get better, not only if we do not practice, but if we get irritated with each and every rub?
So this week, first and foremost, where are you already shiny and polished? So shiny, you can see your reflection? Did it start that way? Can you bask in how polished you are, now?
AND, what areas are worth (or require) rubbing? And rather than getting irritated so each rub feels more painful, can you get excited about the rubbing?
Can you know and hold onto the fact that that is how you become shiny?
Know that it is possible to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time (Just like the above Gerhard Richter during its early stages of transformation).
With love and light,
Rachel (to receive these blogs in you inbox weekly, subscribe below!)