I've just returned from my first yoga practice back at the yoga studio I co-ran for six years and recently handed over to my partner. It felt great to be back to see my friends and to be surrounded by my yoga community. It felt equally good not to be in the role of the teacher. I'd had so much anticipation over the last year of what that would be like, admittedly a sort of possessiveness that was difficult to give up. But then today I got one of those clear insights that life is difficult when we hold on. It's such a fine line. You don't want to be so loosey-goosey that you have no commitments, and yet to be committed to something out of fear of loss or the unknown is not really commitment. It's gripping, or, as we say in yoga, attachment or ego clinging. I keep having this overriding feeling since I've handed over my so-called authority a few weeks ago that when I am gripping that I don't, in fact, need to. It's like this sense of let go, freedom, or ease that miraculously keeps appearing in my consciousness.
I recognize that this is a temporary experience, and so I know not to grip even on to this. And yet it's a great lesson for me to be learning, since so much of the last six years of my life have been about a sort of gripping. When I came home to San Francisco-- after living in India for three years and being in graduate school for four years before that-- I had this overarching sense that I needed to get my work out there. And I did. I really did, and I am proud of what I have created on my own and with the help of lots of other people in my life. Along the way of "doing it," I carried a sense of anxiety, the feeling that no matter what I'd produced, it was somehow never enough.
I would not say that this sense of insufficiency is altogether gone, but, now, I have enough space within my being to notice when it's running me, along with a few other self-saboutaging voices, like the one that has something to prove to others. In short, what I am describing is that having given my role up, I am finding more access to not being led around by my patterns. This capacity couldn't have happened had I not had the courage to let go, not of a commitment, but of a fear.