Grateful Beyond Measure
When I was growing up, I was regularly blamed for what didn’t go well or for things I never did. It developed within me a sensitivity to being scrutinized or judged, and an absence of self value or worth. No matter how much I tried to tell myself otherwise, I was overcome with the feeling that there was something fundamentally wrong with me, that I was the reason for someone else’s unhappiness. I cowered through much of life, turning to escape routes with substance abuse, self destruction, unhealthy relationships and little or no self care.
Maybe it was luck, maybe it was destiny, that I met my teacher Master Ou Wen Wei in 2004. He helped me, he saved my health, and taught me how to save my own heart. I found my strength, my dignity and my voice. I was not always good at the things I've worked hard to be good at today, like teaching or cooking, and I still think of myself as an average writer, speaker and singer. But the difference is that I’m OK with that and continue to strive for learning and growing to embody my full potential. Over the years I’ve worked hard to build my confidence, slowly growing into a stable foundation that grounds my life and my mission, thanks to my spiritual practice, my guide Master Ou Wen Wei, and my own efforts in overcoming this deep sadness.
Having developed more strength within me and transformed some weaknesses, I’m able to know deep in my heart when I have tried my best, and when I haven’t, when I have behaved well, and when I haven’t, and when someone else isn’t doing so or maybe even projecting on to me their own deficiencies and unhappiness. It’s easy to label these behaviors as narrow-minded, childish and somewhat crazy, and they are. However I must still take responsibility for my own reactions. Part of this process for me has involved discovering how to become emotionally steady and stable amid chaos, irrationality and unstable behavior; quite the challenge for someone who grew up with all of the above. However, this discernment requires the strength of the reasoning mind, a rational analysis, coming back to the virtues of being calm, open-minded, tolerant, diligent and hard working, and a desire to bring out my most beautiful self.
I remember Master Ou saying to me more than once, even when we try our absolute best, we will be misunderstood and we will not make everyone happy. This is part of the agony of our path as human beings as we evolve. Through this process we are able to contain more, to learn patience, and broaden our hearts to embody more true love. I’ve recently felt these “growing pains," the confusion, the desire to let go but having a heart that won’t, the injustice, and also the deep prostration of knowing the need for humility, trusting that high standards and confidence in my choices will lead me to my most beautiful self and most beautiful life. The wound is where the light enters if we are willing to face the wound.
After experiencing many struggles of this nature in various communities through my 20’s and 30’s, I am so very grateful to have found a community here in these beautiful mountains where I truly feel safe, supported, accepted and loved for who I am without any projection from what’s lacking in another. It’s a true gift that often brings me to tears because it requires such trust, honesty with oneself, and each other, many times overlooking individual interests to achieve a greater goal. My tribe at Black mountain Yoga is such an example of a group of people that can achieve a beautiful vision out of genuine service, from hearts able and willing to bond through common ground, because what we want deep down is to uplift, inspire, help and care for others from a depth of sincerity in our hearts. I often wonder if every community in the world could carry this sentiment, how beautiful and different the world could be. I believe it’s possible. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones. Thank you for being a part of this community with me, for allowing me to teach and learn from you. I hope you know I always do my best with the resources I have. You have my promise always, for quality, substance and beauty. I am grateful beyond measure.
I’m beyond delighted to have the opportunity to guide you in to a 3 week series of Pangu Yoga: A Journey of the Heart this March!
AND....SAVE THE DATE! We have invited Master Ou Wen Wei to Black Mountain Yoga! Say What? Yep, it’s true. SEPTEMBER 19-22. Details coming soon.
I leave you with this quote, one of my favorites of all time.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” _ Rumi
Love for the journey,
Grateful Beyond Measure