Have you heard that Bob Marley song, Judge Not? It is amazing how it relates not only to our actions towards others, but also our actions towards ourselves. He was such a Rasta-Yogi!
As I continue to investigate my own healing process, I have found a playful yearning for my original practice, BALLET.
I spent hours upon grueling hours over the perfection of this technique over the past 20 years, literally pouring myself into this art of Ballet with blood, sweat and tears and in return getting less than what I thought I deserved. This led to my ballet rebellion and somewhat of a distaste for the technique. Recently I was pulled away from the studio and my art for what I believe to be a higher purpose as a caregiver and teacher.
I am now slowly returning to my 3-dimensional practice of dance within my own house and recently into the studio. There are so many reasons why we might not make it to the studio; it's raining, I'm cleaning, or gardening. I don't have anyone to go with to hold me accountable. Have you felt that? Excuses?
Sometimes just simply getting to the studio is the battle in itself, and then the practice isn't that difficult.
So I did it! I got over some negative self talk, I reached out to a friend and we made a date to go to ballet class. We went to a studio neither of us had been to an to a teacher we did not know. To all my yogis who come to class and I say try out new teachers, I was put into your shoes noticing how uncomfortable "trying out" different teacher is.
We are all creatures of habit and I got in the habit of interacting with a few ballet teachers out here (the Bay Area) that I didn't mind giving me feedback and simply being a student in their class. How difficult is that? Once you become knowledgeable about something and you go back to being a student, the Ego shows up with so many stories that make you feel like you are better than someone else, you deserve more or that you are hurting (in some cases this is true).
I felt that Ego in the most recent ballet class. I feel that ego when I go to a yoga class with a teacher I am not familiar with or maybe do not vibe with their teaching style. I begin to nit pick in my mind their teaching, their comments or corrections. "Nope I got this, I don't need YOU".
WOW!!! Check yourself, before you wreck yourself Ashley!
As humans we DO need each other!!! As artists, as teachers, as adults we must practice HUMILITY. Noticing the ego is the first step. What to do with it? Meet it with compassion and intrigue. Why is this coming up? Is it something I don't want to hear? (Disclaimer, if what is coming up either from the teacher or whomever and it is truly negative and hurtful, you should honor that and you have the ability to leave the class and communicate to the person or organization of the situation). But in most cases when all is fine and groovy it really is the EGO making up a story to have something go wrong or negative in new or uncomfortable places and spaces.
The Ego: "Nope I got this, I don't need YOU".
In this particular ballet class, I felt more like I was a little kid going back in time to my training days. I am not that little kid anymore. I am an expressive woman who just wants to dance and move freely! Maybe ballet class isn't always going to be that SOUL food, Ballet is a difficult technique and requires precision, but it also needs expression of the self.
So when entering upon a new situation, even though you have done this a thousand times before, every situation, class, and teacher will be different. Going into that uncomfortable place teaches us (from within) what makes us tick, the words/actions/styles that might not vibe with us, and the humility we need to allow for human connection.
As artists, as teachers, as adults we must practice HUMILITY.
In yoga noticing and meditating on these afflictions is the beginning of expanding our awareness and then in turn being able to step out of the story the ego is telling the mind. We are then able to become the observer in the situation and meet it with compassion and curiosity.
Even more recent the Ego showed up in my yoga teacher training. I was feeling entitled, the classes were going too slow, blah blah BLAH! Ego was telling a great story of who, what, where, when, why, and how. I had to step back and ask WHY is this showing up? Meet it with compassion and curiosity. Go into that uncomfortableness and find what needs are not being met so that the ego will not be fed but demolished.
Does this makes sense?
Turns out once I stopped listening to the EGO I could then get the small little gems that were being shared with me. Those grains of salt that I would miss if having a conversation in my head.
Humility to teach us that we are NOT ALWAYS RIGHT.
I hope in writing this, I am showing you that we all need each other to learn from and collaborate with. Even though we look up to teachers having the answers we DON'T have them ALL. We only have enough of what we know from an experiential place to share that internal knowledge.
To learn (or RE-Learn) about these vital lessons we must travel outside of our comfort zones to be able to notice and feel, honoring whatever might arise, without judgement, then to move past this story the ego enjoys to torture us with. By becoming mindful and meditating on these disturbances we are then able to move past them each time they come up. This is the practice of yoga.
We are then able to become the observer in the situation with compassion and curiosity.
Do you notice the difference when your ego shows up? How do you handle/study those situations Let me know in the comments down below!