At the end of each training we journal for a bit. I was reading a while back, and listened to a TED talk, all about how memories are formed. It highlighted that often times we synthesize memories not based off of the whole event, but how we ENDED feeling. The last important part of an interaction will color the entirety of our memory.
I’ve seen this play out personally with parenting all the time. If we have an easy, bright, play and reading filled afternoon, I will think of the whole day as a win when I look back on it. Even if the AM was challenging to the max. And conversely, if Charlie calls me and says “how’s the day been!” no matter how great the morning, if the afternoon was punctuated by struggle, the answer is “it’s been pretty tough”.
Based on that brain function, I’m really grateful to be doing this journaling in the moment, instead of after once my brain has started categorizing my experience a little differently.
I’m about four weeks into training, with a good few months left to go. And my feelings on it have run the gamut . . . I’ve felt like I am out of place and ought to quit. That I’m terrible at relinquishing this much time with my kids, and that I’m not good enough for this training. I’ve also felt more at ease, myself, growing, assured, and so right-place-right-time, than ever before in my life.
This circles back to my thankfulness for the timing of these journal entries. Writing down my immediate feelings on each training has kept me honest with my heart, instead of letting familiar brain patterns eat up what was a beautiful day or practice.
One of the unique struggles I’m facing is that I don’t have a studio practice at all. Only home. So there is a lot that feels new about this. The hands on nature (assists) has thrown me for a major loop. I don’t practice with other people, so being touched and assisted hasn’t been a part of my practice. But that kind of hands on, touch based help, is paramount to teaching and has deepened my practice in really significant and helpful ways. But learning it? Experiencing it? Walking through this entirely new arena that never entered into my practice before? Whoa.
I’d say that overall, when I read through my journal entries and reflections, I am feeling really steady. Really sure. Really even keeled. And that? Not my norm. I’m a high-high’s and low-low’s type, so seeing how much that grounded feeling I’ve always looked for in my Yoga is running deep through my training is REALLY reassuring. It’s also really revealing something important about myself: that when I reflect on an event, I look for ways to make it fit my typical patterns and molds.
For example, instead of looking back on my training day and seeing how calm I felt, how even and steady my brain and heart were, I focus on the few times I felt off kilter/embarrassed and make those the highlights.
I’m really consciously writing immediately, being as honest and raw with myself as I can in my journaling, and reading back those posts with gentleness. And in all of that, I can honestly say, this has been one of the most revealing and rewarding experiences I’ve had.
I’m learning more about myself, how I relate, and who I can be sans all the self-deprecating and habitually mean thoughts. I’m seeing, through my own words, that I can be an exceptionally confident, calm, and a thoroughly capable teacher, person, and partner.
I have so much more to write, about the nitty-gritty, and how much I’m learning about how my body carries so much of my cultural conditioning, how I am working through my weirdness around touching people, how deeply important I’ve found the other practices of yoga outside of Asana and how much I wish I’d cared/learned/known about them sooner, the completely mind blowing history of Yoga, and just how much this experience feels like every other academic experience. . . the more you learn, the more you realize there is so much to learn.
But, for now, there’s this. I’m feeling more calm and even than ever before, more thoughtful and happy, while still ridiculously up and down and sensitive. How all that can live in one person, who knows. But currently, I’m loving it.