8 April, 2011
I taught a private this morning, the first with a new client. It was great, the client left happy, sweaty and peaceful, and then I got to make myself a cup of mint tea with a little agave and enjoy some sliced pawpaw (that’s ‘papaya’ for anyone who’s thinking “what’s paw-paw?”). “Wonderful”, I think “Can life get any better?”
2 April, 2011
Yesterday was my last day at work. Actually, that’s true and not so true. I still have to live, put food in my mouth and pay my bills, however the notion of ‘work’ now changes for me; I gratefully bid the corporate life of Jamaica goodbye (I can admit I do not have the gravitas for it) and now shift into a new perspective of what “work” means: Kahlil Gibran says it best, and I have learnt “when you can’t say it better than someone else, let them say it.” In “The Prophet” , he makes it pretty clear what’s important:
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
He’s right. This is your life. Make it (and everything in it) about what you love, if you can for as long as you can. This isn’t a judgement on anyone. It took me a long time and lots of pain and frustration to get here, and I’ve only literally just begun, who knows where I’ll be in 5 years. Most days, I can’t think past July. But I have no choice now, I must do this thing I love and love the things I do. For me, there simply is no other way.
It might be easier for me to say than for others. I’m single with no children nor do I have any significant financial obligations. I know I’m a little different from many of my contemporaries, and I learnt that that was OK. I make my path and though it might seem like I’m practically Peter Pan, “why won’t she stop living in a dream world and grow UP already?”, it’s not. I used to think that way, that I had to bargain between doing the “right thing” and the “thing I love”. Now I know better. I have to work hard at my passion, the dream doesn’t unfold because you want it to. Add that to my list of things to learn.
We are all different, and I could not have done this alone. I have around me some of the most brilliant, interesting and compassionate people I can call real family and friends. People who will tell you want you DON’T wish to, but need to hear and they don’t always say it nicely. People who will hold you when you need to cry. People who genuinely celebrate your tiniest victory. Yeah, them. I learnt that being a good friend isn’t just about being there for someone else, it’s about reaching out to those who really love you and sharing your life and your dreams with them.
I’m a good teacher. I love Ashtanga, and I love the practice of yoga in all its forms, and I’m excited to be able to delve as deeply in it as I can. There’s a lot I have planned for the year to come, for me, for Jamaica, the Caribbean, it’s all yumminess. Asana, philosophy, teaching, travelling, writing, style, all kinds of fun little things. I have learnt to have faith and confidence in this road, and to see it through.
Finally, I know not to take myself TOO seriously, and not to ascribe my identity to my performance. Whether I soar to the heavens and beyond like Jonathan Livingston Seagull or crash to the sea below like the maybe-a-mite-too-ambitious Icarus, I am more than the sum total of my acts and no matter what anyone else says, I refuse to limit or judge myself as such. Do yourselves a favour, everyone, know that you are more than what you do, how much money you have, what you look like, or who you are to other people. I’m serious here, don’t just think it, KNOW it. Though we often define ourselves as parts of a whole, or as functions of others, we are first and foremost individuals. Whatever we call ‘identity’ must at least begin there. I had to learn that too, and if you really think about it, it takes me right back to the beginning (of this post, of my life, this journey).
Yeah. So that’s it. For now, look up and look forward, that’s where you’ll see me 😉