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Sensitive.  We all are.

I know that I am. I also know that because of this, I will be a trigger to others and others will be triggers to me.  There is no way of predicting, and even less, controlling how and when we will be triggered.  Life seems to be a battle ground in which we are constantly wounded without having a place to heal.

A few years back when I was being trained as a yoga teacher, I was introduced to a fascinating world that I had no idea existed.  I was struck by the immensity and depth of it.  I was totally captured by the essence of the philosophy and grew eager to learn how to offer it back to others. Savasana, the final posture of practice is said to be the most important posture of all.  It means corpse pose.  The moment in which we die to the present moment so we may be reborn into the next.  A moment of surrender, of acceptance of things as they are, a moment to trust that we are being held by an energy greater than us.  A moment in which we lose control and rejoice in our mere existence.  A moment of allowing ourselves to just be.  The instructor holds space for the practitioners, and becomes the time keeper and the one who leads the “dead” back into a renewed life.  The instructor has the honor to offer that rest space and uses his creativity to construct a taste of the sacred. I was deeply touched when I became aware of the sanctity of the moment.  I had seen people leave class before the time of savasana by thinking that excersise was over and “resting” was not only unnecessary, but a waste of time.  I must confess there were times when I thought the same, but I stayed as a sign of respect for the instructor.  As I stayed, I grew more fond of the gift that it is and I am totally devoted to savasana today.

Anyway, during my training, I continued with my personal morning practice.  The instructor that I went to for my daily practice led us up to savasana and then he would walk out of class leaving us there to awaken on our own.  All of us practitioners would get up after what felt like ages, noting that there was evidence that we were leaderless.  This went on for a few days and I began feeling very uncomfortable.  I felt disrespected in what I had learned was a sacred moment. His walking away felt like an abandonment.  It felt as if he was careless about the holiness of the moment.  I wanted to share my feelings with him but I was hesitant as I did not want to offend him.  However, I wanted to express my dislike of the way he was managing savasana.

I decided I would write him an email.  I remember I was mindful about my potential to be a trigger to him.  I knew how hard it is to get negative feedback from a student, so I chose my words carefully. What happened next has many details that i will spare you with, but in conclusion, I was expelled from his studio.  One of the things he told me was “what an EGO you have”.   In his mind, I was a student who had to be respectful of my teacherĀ“s wisdom.  Telling him that his ways were not in sync with what I was learning insulted him as he felt I was outsmarting him.  Although this was never my intention, it became evident that my actions had been hurtful and massively misinterpreted.

“What an EGO I have”.  For many days (weeks), I ruminated over this phrase.  In my mind, I strived to convince him and the world that my petition had not come from ego, that it had come from my desire to receive a gift that I had grown hungry for.  Ego, ego, ego.  In many ways i tried to eliminate it, I fought it, I tried to convince myself that I didn’t have it. In my mind I practiced endless conversations with with my teacher convincing him that he was wrong, I even practiced court room dialogues attempting to be ruled NOT GUILTY.

G U I L T Y.

The verdict came soon enough.  It was an inner veridict.  I did have an ego. I still do, and will continue to have it until I die.  I understood its purpose.  My battle had to do with my hurt and from what I interpreted as an unfair treatment.  He had his personal reasons based on his personal standards, and my standards collided with his.  I was trying to convince him to teach in my preferred style, and by my doing so I offended him.  His ego protected him by expelling me from his studio, and my ego protected me from feeling rejected and abused.  I wanted to tell this story in full detail, accusing him of his wrongdoings.   I wanted the world to be his jury and to rule against him. I felt hurt.

In that instant when I realized i was hurt, was when the understanding came. Ego was yelling out “IT HURTS”.  Ego wanted the blessing, it wanted to be held. I did not want to feel abandoned nor forgotten.  I had a moment of clarity.  I finally understood that ego plays an important role in my life.  It protects me.  It is up to me to be able to listen to his childish language  that attempts to communicate that it needs caring.  The type of caring that ego is urging for is kindness.  Ego comes forth in aggressive ways.  It fights when it feels hurt.  However, in its darkened way, it urges us to look for our wrongdoings so we may choose the enlightened option.  It alerts us.  It tells us that something is wrong, that darkness is close.  it is a call to our awakening desire of seeing the light within us.

I am grateful to my teacher.  I learned that indeed I do have a friend called ego who will constantly be on call nudging me onto a gentle, compassionate way of being.  I understand it is the only way to be able to offer the same to others.  Everyone is thirsty for kindness, ego protects us from the hurt that our sensitive selves feel.  It relentlessly offers opportunities to choose.  Today I choose kindness, gentleness, compassion, and acceptance of what is different.  Thank you ego…my friend.

And I continue to enjoy my time at savasan.  Well… when my agitated mind allows me.  Sometimes my mind wanders and appears like the photo below…but I continue my practice, day in and day out…so I find the peace within where only light resides.IMG_2956