Monday, September 23, 2013
My Main Obstacle
I am currently running a distance workshop about the obstacle removing, elephant headed god, Ganesh. (Registration was closed once we began but there will be more of these workshops in the near future.)
Within the first week -- the INTRO week, no less -- people were already feeling the surge of change, the call to bravery, and hints that this work was not going to be light or medium in nature but transformative in the way that fire is transformative.
Which is what I said it would be but I don't think humans can believe claims like that until they start to feel it for themselves.
I also think that maybe humans are of the impression that "distance" and "virtual" can't also include "powerful."
As the teacher or guide in this workshop, I am focused mostly, of course, on teaching and guiding. Providing the materials, watching over the private FB groups, and just taking care of things that need to be taken care of so that everyone can get as much from this experience as they can/need.
I'm not that focused on doing the actual work that the workshop is giving people to do.
But I did set up a Ganesh altar (pictured above). And I light candles and incense and spend a bit of time every day simply focusing on the energy of it all. I don't think about anything specific but just try to enter some quiet contemplation.
I'm also spending more time with Our Lady of Guadalupe, as a result.
More time with Our Lady of Guadalupe is ALWAYS the result for me when I focus on any kind of spiritual work. I think, "Oh...this is about Ganesh (or insert other god/goddess here)..."
But whatever it is always drags me back to Guady. She is always waiting. Patiently, I am guessing, because I can be rather stubborn and I spend a lot of time losing sight of her.
Whether I intended it or not, therefore, focusing on Ganesh and this process even in this "light" way has had consequences.
Guadalupe is one of them.
Another is learning what my biggest obstacle to my own fulfilled existence is.
I am far too attached to other people's spiritual/emotional journeys and processes.
As a teacher, it's inevitable, of course, that I am concerned with and interested in what my "students" are up to, how they are doing, what's going on with them. I am invested.
But I get truly entangled. And I am controlling.
I want to control your journey in that I want you to BE HAPPY, DAMN IT!
Which is sorta cute and also rather destructive for everyone involved, most of all ME, really.
Because no one else's journey is mine. Just mine is mine.
Obvious stuff, right? Yet it's super easy to forget that and it's super easy to justify too deep an interest and involvement in the work of others as "caring" and "compassion."
It looks like caring and compassion but the MOST caring and compassionate thing we can ever do for another human is to recognize their innate, dignified humanity and allow them their journey -- no matter what we think or feel about it.
No matter how much we think we can help.
All I can do is provide you with the tools that I have found helpful on my own journey through depression and anxiety and finding joy and then you? You have to figure out how to use them for yourself and you get to figure out what the hell you're going to do with them in the long run.
This disconnect is healthy for you and I am finding that it is not scary for me but also super healthy.
Within days of really seeing all of this, I have significantly altered my role in the workshop and in all other spaces in which I work.
I see my role completely differently.
And I am starting to feel so much more relaxed than I have in a very long time, thanks to all of this.
For a while now, I have thought that there was no way I would be able to sustain this work over my life time, and that had me confused and scared.
Now I know it was because I wasn't doing just my work but I was trying to do everyone else's.
No wonder I was tired.
As I say to my students at a local residential facility for children/teens who have had very hard lives, the yoga mat is a great metaphor for all of this: Your mat is YOUR safe space and no one else gets to come into your space.
I need to keep my own ass on my own mat.