How in the world are we already halfway through? The program I began in May is a few short months away from concluding and I’ve done a terrible job of updating at the after each weekend, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start now.
The gist is this: I am not the same person I was when I started. Here are three ways that’s become true.
1) I’m no longer terrified of meditation.
I came to Yoga Teacher Training convinced that meditation was just not something I could do. Seriously, I thought it was bonkers to even try. I remember how I felt, sitting awkwardly on a pillow on the floor the first night when they gathered us for an introduction to meditation. Legs crossed, eyes scrunched shut, teeth clenched, I was determined to do this “well”, but as I became aware of each thought, each discomfort, I chastised myself for failing. The cycle of thought, chastisement, thought, chastisement continued for the few minutes we held silence and I was sure that it would always be a struggle, that attempts at meditating were fruitless and would only leave me feeling inept. My perspective has changed dramatically. From learning about prana and breath work to understanding that there are various paths to meditation, I am convinced that it is accessible and more beneficial than I ever realized. My weakest attempts have even had an impact on my clarity of mind and overall stress and I’m no longer afraid of it. Just last night Scott and I sat on the floor and, using the Insight Timer, took time to meditate–or at least sit. It’s shocking to me, but meditation has begun to feel like a friend.
2) I’m bringing what I’m learning home.
From breath work to gentle yoga, my husband has been my best student, but more than that, the effects of what I’m learning and how I’m changing are making tranquility and nonattachment a part of our day to day lives. I’ve found such peace with myself through this journey and, when you’re at peace with yourself, you’re more likely to create peace around you.
3) Things are certainly shaking free, both body and mind.
For the last year or so, I’ve learned some hard lessons in self-love, (you know, like how to actually do it), and YTT came at the perfect time, solidifying all I’d learned about accepting and being kind to myself. It would have been enough for this experience to simply have affirmed my journey (I know I’m being vague here, but bear with me), but each weekend, each reading, each practice has extended those revelations and I have grown more than I ever expected to at this point in the process. It also gave me the courage to finally write this.
As I reflect on what I’ve written, I can’t help but laugh about the fact that physical strength didn’t even come close to making this list, that my perspective on which areas of growth are worth the most has changed drastically. To be this changed halfway through is humbling and, as we go into Weekend V this Friday, I can’t begin to know what to expect.
One of the greatest gifts we can offer people is to embody nonattachment and nonfear. This is a true teaching, more precious than money or material resources. Many of us are very afraid, and this fear distorts our lives and makes us unhappy. We cling to objects and to people like a drowning person clings to a floating log. Practicing to realize nondiscrimination, to see the interconnectedness and impermanence of all things, and to share this wisdom with others, we are giving the gift of nonfear. Everything is impermanent. This moment passes. That person walks away. Happiness is still possible. Thich Nhat Hanh