At the workshop on Sunday, we talked a lot about small self. Unfortunately, most of us know her on a first name basis. She’s the trash talking, flaw emphasizing, ego toting one that looks back at us when we’re brushing our teeth in the morning mirror. She’s the couldn’t have, shouldn’t have, oh no you di-nt kind of girl. The one that doubts. The one that looks around and thinks, I could never be like that, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, thinks that she’s the shit and wants you to know it in an obvious or sneaky coy sort of way. I’m the best, oh look at me, are you looking at me, no don’t look at me, no really, look. The small self stands in fear.
There is no room in my life right now for small self.
Jessica said a wonderful thing. And though she was addressing the entire group of beautiful and amazing women, I felt she was saying exactly what I needed to hear. She was speaking to me. She said it was my duty. My responsibility to share what I’ve learned. She told the story of the sage (hopefully I get this close to right ~ you’ll get the drift) who upon his death was expecting nirvana for all he had learned, and Shiva said to him, in your first life you have learned, in your second life you have learned. Now leaving this third life you have learned. But what have you given? And so he sent the sage back again, and in his fourth life he was a teacher.
I’ve thought about this concept before. And a version of this thought was one that got me on the path of teaching yoga in the first place. I wanted to change the world. And I believed that one way to do that was through yoga. Think about how you feel after your practice. Now think about every single person in the world feeling that same way. Peace? Enlightenment? How about just simple contentment for this moment? I expressed this thought to a friend once, a fellow yoga teacher. And she said something that was so far from my intention, but that affected me none the less. She said that thinking this way was my ego talking. I let that one little sentence dig into my small self. And it dug deep. But it’s finding its way back to the surface . That sense of affecting change. And now it’s even more profound because now, it’s my duty.
One week ago Sunday, my husband and I signed a lease to open a permanent location for One Rhythm Yoga. Since the Wednesday before that, when I was first considering the possibility, small self took up residency. We did everything together, and my husband was getting pretty annoyed when she kicked the covers off at night. At times, my whole self, my divine self, the part of me that KNOWS, well, she’d take over the situation in her firm voice. You know, the mother tone. And I would remember. I would remember. And I am back to the lesson of the daisy and that of my underlying strength. It’s there. And this space didn’t come to me for anything remotely having to do with my ego. I was not looking to open up a yoga studio. But then it was there, and God said, “Look Brandi. Now what will you DO with it?”
I have spent the last 13 years of my life learning what it takes to be yoga. I suppose technically I’ve spent the last 31. And I will spend the rest of this lifetime continuing that process. But here begins something new. Now I commit to being a teacher. Yes, I have been teaching. But I have never allowed myself to fully commit to it. Not really. Something happened. I discovered my duty.
I will not be surprised when small self peeks her little head in the doorway. Oh, yes, she’s a persistent little devil. I will not be surprised when she invites herself in for tea. But let me tell you friends, (and small self you best be listenin’ girl), after those lemon scones, she’s outta here. (says I in my best mama tone).