Just last week at Rosh Hashanah services the Rabbi’s sermon at my Synagogue was all about convenience and the value of hard work. He spoke on how we have a become a society of convenience. This concept resonated with me deeply. How convenient has everything in life become. Drive through cleaners, coffee, down to the ability to even attend a prayer service from one's home. So I began to ponder is there a cost to all this convenience? Are we losing the ability to truly connect with other humans? I watch my kids as they have little desire to go outside and play with other kids, as they can so easily just connect via a computer device which does not require face to face contact, or real connection in my opinion. I find I too take the option to send a text instead of picking up the phone to have a conversation because it is easier, and yes more convenient. As much as I am the first to admit that I love our convenient lifestyle I also believe that there is a lot of reward in hard work and the power of connection with other humans.
For me this why it is so important that I make it to classes weekly, that I don’t just choose to roll my mat out at home, even though this is often the more convenient option. Each time a attend a class whether it be a teacher I have practiced with many times or someone new I I gain a new perspective on my practice and myself. In addition I get to connect with others, meet new people and reconnect with those I might not normally see on a regular basis. I get to share my energy and receive the wonderful energy of others. So no it’s not convenient often, but it is so worth the extra effort for what I recieve.
Several years ago I chose to attend my first Baptiste Yoga training. I was already a certified teacher but I was craving more, and I heard how this program specifically would transform my teaching. What I didn’t know is that it would also transform my life and my view of myself. The training took place outside of Austin, Texas. It was not convenient. I flew to Austin and then took a 2 hour shuttle to the retreat center. Once I got there I shared a room with 6 other women and one bathroom, also not convenient and honestly not the most comfortable. The days were long and hard work. Physically and emotionally! People were encouraged to volunteer and talk about very personal things on a microphone in from of a room of mostly strangers. This is not something I was comfortable at the time with at all. By day four I had an aha moment. I need to share, even though the thought of talking in front of 150 people terrified me. I needed to share for this reason and this reason alone. So I raised my hand, deep down praying that Baron would not call on me. Of course I am sure you can guess what happend. I was called on. He brought me to the front asked me to speak into the microphone, and before I even got a word out, he asked me, what are you hiding from? I was surprised and a bit confused. How did he know? I guess my body language said it all! After about 40 minutes which felt like 4 hours of questions and sharing, I realized my fear of being vulnerable or judged was keeping me from truly speaking up an out. It was extremely hard work to be questioned and have 150 eyes on one for that long period of time, but the hard work was worth it! It opened up space for me that I had never felt before. A new sense of confidence and an ability to let go of caring so much what others thought of me. From this experience my whole life began to shift in so many beautiful ways.
Attending this training was not convenient, it was not easy, it was hard work, but yes it was worth it! Finding different classes to go to and experiencing new teachers is often not convenient but it has taught me it is the only way to keep growing as a student, teacher and most importantly as a mom. So the next time you are trying to decide whether or not to take the convenient way or not, I challenge you to growth, because you never know how that one experience may change your life and someone else’s. As yogi’s, I believe it is our job to connect with people and to be the leaders in our communities, to create and hold space for powerful connection even if it is a little inconvenient and requires hard work.