Friday, January 20, 2012

when our worst fears come true

Anytime I'm dipping my toes into new terrain, pondering a change, and/or pursuing a new dream, I always ask this question:

"What's the worst case scenario?"

This simple question has led to great change in my life. It's given me the first bit of courage to create and live out new dreams. It's also told me at times, "No, this is not the right time." Yes, the worst case scenario felt pretty big and real in my mind! I wasn't ready or willing to risk it.

There's something I've wanted to write about for a while now. I received the inspiration I needed this morning while listening to Babaji online as he spoke of trust and challenges.

He said, "When the worst of our fears comes true and we manage it, we live through it, that trust gives us freedom. Saying, "No matter what happens, I'll make the best of it."

Last fall one of my worst case scenarios came true and it turned out to be one of the best things to happen to me in a long time.

I usually travel to Tulum, Mexico two times per year to teach yoga. Just so happens that both times are during hurricane season. Experiencing a hurricane has always been my "worst case scenario", especially when I'm there leading yoga teacher training.

If you've been reading this blog, if you practice at Barefoot Works, if you were Sarah, or a student then you know my worst case scenario was a very big reality last fall in Tulum. The photo above was taken as we were leaving Tulum for Valladolid, a town almost two hours inland.

Writing that now still makes my heart beat heavier. I can't tell you how thankful I am for the way this all worked out. It could have been such a disaster. I can recall walking down the beach with Sarah to Maya Tulum to learn how they were handling the hurricane (they were all evacuating and yogis were flying home, including the teacher training group that was there).

While there I ran into Fabian, my dear shaman friend. This was the only time I ever rushed a conversation with when he told me, "When things like this happen and mother nature is in charge we cannot argue with it. All we can do is respect it and get out of harm's way." I nodded my head agreeing but mentally I was making a plan.

Of course I agree that safety was (and is) the most important thing. In my heart I knew we couldn't quit, fly home, and continue on our way. I had a feeling it would all be alright. I knew we had to stay and complete the training. These became my priorities and my goals:

1. Keep the group safe by moving inland.
2. Make the transition quickly and with ease in order to resume.
3. Create conditions at our new place to witness 12 students become teachers.

It was a success. I'm still in awe by the way in which this worked, the trust the group had in me and the trust I had in them. And the trust we all had in the Universe.

A beautiful, unspeakable bond was created among this group. I can't say how much of that was due to a crazy hurricane, but it was certainly a force, a factor, a challenge that we all navigated with trust.

And that's only the beginning.

It was this training and a particularly amazing student that led me to Sonoma to a beautiful Ashram and more importantly the monk that lives there. A place I can't wait to get back to. The five days I spent there closed out my year in the sweetest of ways. This was also the time I was so scared about Mama Alice and the Ashram brought me so much peace and comfort.

Last weekend 10 of 12 students gathered together in three lil pods. Sarah and I joined with four yoginis in Lexington, four gathered at Sonoma Ashram, and two in Banff, Canada. None of that was planned. It was all one big delicious cosmic coincidence.

When I think of what happened when my worst case scenario came true I can't help but grin and feel such appreciation for the wild ways of the Universe.

Sometimes it's hard to see that during the midst of challenge and crisis, but time and time again I see that if we go with the flow, do the best we can, and keep trusting, not only will we be free from suffering but we'll live a life of deep peace and inner joy.

I'm reminded that we never really know how things will play out in life. What appears to be great one moment can result in a disaster. What appears to be a disaster can result in a blessing.

I'm reminded that few things are certain in life and that leaning into trust and love is the way to go. I'm reminded that having people and practices in place to support you during tough times is so important.

When I forget this because I'm stuck in the land of challenge and crisis, I hope you'll remind me. :)

Thanks for reading. Much love to all of you....

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