I am a worker bee. I know how to practice. I know how to listen to my teachers and try really hard. I know how to work.
I do not know how to relax. I have more patience with my hamstrings than with human beings.
I do not know how to pray ( like Mary Oliver, I do know how to pay attention) and yet I think I pray desperately all the time. It is often on my way to teach. “Oh, crap, please let me find something at least interesting to say. It doesn’t have to be poetry. Just don’t let me dry up and stand there calling asanas as if I were at a square dance.” Most of the time something from my recent practice has stuck and I am exploring it so I share. I am not even sure that is teaching. “Hey! I saw this great movie—I think you will enjoy it.” That is also sharing.
I take class occasionally with new teachers. I am amazed how comfortable they are talking about Love and God and Compassion.
I am only slightly jealous as I know it is not in me to try it. I talk about chickens. And baffling technology. The closest I come to God is in the garden where I am a worker bee.
There is joy for me in shoveling compost. I revel in ironing the linens. Should I be sitting in meditation instead?
Many years ago I took class with Lillian Folan who ended with “Have courage.” It resonated so deeply with me I stole it immediately and have ended every class I have ever taught with that phrase. “Have courage. Thank you all.”
Coelho: “Courage is the quality most essential in understanding the language of the World”
Anon: “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,’I will try again tomorrow’.”
To accept one’s limits takes courage. To go beyond your comfort zone takes courage. To sit quietly somewhere in the middle of extremes and breathe takes courage.
Work hard. Speak honestly. Dig in the dirt if you have the chance. Practice often. Teach what you know.