9/2 What No Longer Scares Me...
“What did you used to be afraid of, that after exposure became less intimidating? What did you have to have hands-on, in-person experience with in order for it to no longer scare you?”
Learning to co-facilitate with my partner, Kyle, is a huge YES to this writing prompt!
For me, teaching had always been a passion. I knew back in elementary school that I was set on this earth to learn how to help others grow, but finding the right classroom has been a changing pursuit over the past two decades. I taught at day schools and boarding schools, in the public and private arenas, only to be suffocated by the monotonous routine —but it was all I had in my sphere, so where to go? That is when yoga and meditation came into my world. I dropped the normality of being an academic teacher, and moved into the realm of energy. The excitement, nerves, and flow state I feel when I am guiding others and working with magic directs me to keep following the path. I understand at a cellular level what a gift and a treasure it is to have students, and I find gratitude in all opportunities to excel with my classes.
But translating this over to my relationship, and getting Kyle on board to teach with me, was quite a process. Because I never expected him to want to teach in the first place, and he kinda tripped and fell straight down into the rabbit hole with me; the more breathwork exercises we did together, the more obvious it became that he wanted to follow the path, too. He eagerly signed up for trainings and retreats with me, and made it HIS decision that he wanted to do this, even though he’s had no prior experience. Blindly confident this would work out, this whole, “Let’s move into a van and travel the country spreading the good word,” came into play, and I threw myself into a dream world where it would be blissful and easy and full of positive woo woo hippie shit vibes. Because I see Kyle through rose colored glasses. I see him as capable and talented and a role model for how others (me) can chill the fuck out and find their zen. The man is destined to lead—he is a Capricorn and people love to listen to him—yet he constructs an invisible wall that holds him back from letting his heart lead the way. He doesn’t have the lenses in his glasses that I have when it comes to planning our life on the road. Get him at the top of a cliff with some fresh snow and a snowboard, and he doesn’t know what the word hesitate means, but suggest that he plan a breathwork class a year ago? INSTANT HEELS INTO THE GROUND.
Our life coach likes to call it “paralysis by analysis.” I call it turtle mode.
I used to be afraid of the responses I would face when I asked for him to help— I didn’t feel like a lover or a girlfriend, but a pain in the ass. If we had Tarot cards for those moments in our lives, I would be The Nagging Bitch and he would be The Frightened Armadillo. It wasn’t healthy at all. Living together, working together, doing just about everything together, was my dream! And it turned nightmarish when our clashing modes of preparation for reaching out to studios became a necessity. HOW THE FUCK DID THAT BACKFIRE!?
Ya, the universe handed me a pretty little package that I thought was “spiritual van life” and when I opened it, there was a mirror inside. And my reflection was full of emotions. There is no crystal ball, just a mirror. She laughs, she taunts, she cries, she closes her eyes, and she stays with me. This MIRROR, this maya, this illusion, this reflection—-this is quite intimidating. Our transforming relationship is scary…but hands on practice of being houseless together is the only way to move through the fear. Because the fear, too, is temporary. The fear is also a choice, just as approaching an obstacle with love is an equally available choice. I don’t always feel like I have choices. But it is about the only thing I do have. Change and choice. Choose wisely….
Luckily, we have lots of great friends to support our journey and shower him with praise every time we complete a workshop together. Planning an event for 5, 20 or 75 people is a breeze. We set up themes, partner exercises, new playlists, and fun movement activities depending on our group. We read about breathing techniques together, and we practice with each other all the time. The more we teach together, the more we learn how to respect each other’s strengths and give each other time to talk and time to pause.
I can’t say that we have literally ANYTHING figured out as far as adulting goes, or life purpose, or whatever “big picture” bullshit people like to ask us. But I do know that we are mirroring this life for each other. In some strange twist of fate, our souls found each other. They decided we had some work to do. And the WORK is fucking scary still!!
But the teaching part? We got that DOWN!!! Practice, practice, practice….perfectly imperfect every time.