Thursday, February 25, 2016

Endings and Beginnings

We hear it often said that when one door closes, another door opens.

I suppose it’s finally time to write again. It’s been so long. There have been many times over the past year when I’ve tried to write and then just ended up discarding page after page. I suppose it wasn’t the time.

Today, strangely is my father’s 75th birthday (I love you Dad, I wish you were still here in your sweet body).

Today also marks the end of an era for me.

This morning was the last early morning immersion class I will be teaching for the near foreseeable future.

Why is this significant? I have been teaching these classes for literally almost 20 years with little to no break. Monday through Friday, for years I’ve gotten up at 4, done my practice and gone in to teach.

I started teaching early morning immersions right here in Seattle at the Yoga Tree (the original one started by Kathryn Payne, major bow to you by the way). That was sometime in 1997 I believe.

I kept teaching monthly up until the time I moved to Portland in 2000 and then continued my early morning immersions there. I taught the early morning classes Monday through Friday all the way through 2009, when I moved with my family to New Mexico.

I taught early mornings in Santa Fe up through 2013 until we again moved back to Seattle, where I picked them up again.

And now we are here in 2016. My early morning students are only a handful of the numbers they once were.

I could blame my low numbers of this past year on the modern state of yoga but I won’t do that. If anything the last few years have been a reflection of me.

I’ve had a hard time since leaving New Mexico. Hell, my life has been difficult since about 2007, in Portland. So many developments in my life…

Moving countless times, divorce, separation from my children, and working through the transition of a very strange gender journey…

For those students that have stuck with me through this crazy ride, I thank you with the deepest gratitude. Sometimes I’ve wondered why the hell you keep coming back for more…. Lol. I know I can be difficult at times. I do think I’ve mellowed out and changed however. Time has tempered me. My transformation has tempered me. So thank you. Thank you so damn much. I would have to say I’ve probably learned a lot more from you than you have from me. I am so filled with gratitude for you.

For those students and friends that got fed up with me and left, I thank you with the deepest gratitude. Why? Because you’ve taught me things, not always immediately perceptible, but sometimes only after years in reflection… I’m not an easy friend. I’m sometimes a person of vast apparent contradiction. I just wanted to let you know that I acknowledge you and am grateful for your lessons. Thank you.

For those students who still aren’t done with me. We are never really done are we? Life always has more to teach us… I’m still here. I’m still teaching a couple times a week. A little more on this at the end of this piece…

A little fill in, for those who have been following me. I haven’t updated my life in some time…

Last year, as some of you know, I changed my name finally. I still haven’t changed it legally, but I hope to soon. After moving out of my apartment last year and moving in with Brandy (my sweet love, kiss kiss), I fell into a deeper depression. A big part of me was still contracted around who I was, where I wanted to go, how I wanted to live.

Sometime around summer of last year I began to shave my body daily and wear more feminine clothes. You might argue that this has nothing to do with actually being female and perhaps you are right. However, I needed these daily rituals and external reminders to help myself be ok on some level with not being male. It was like baby steps. There was something about the ritual of it which helped me as well. All I ever saw before in the mirror was someone who was not me… Gender dysphoria can be so intense and I wonder if those who do not have it can ever truly understand its magnitude.

So my daily rituals and changes began to help with my depression and anxiety. Then I changed my name. At this point, for the first time in so long (we are talking years and years) I began to actually feel like I could see light. My life for so long has been a dark tunnel. Sure I have the yoga, sure I can rest in my essential nature, but the arisings within that eternal space had been filled with such darkness.

So light began to shine. I decided to poke my head into uncharted waters. I started off slowly with herbal hormones, phyto-estrogens. I began to feel even better. There is much to say of this time…

Finally I took the leap off of the cliff which I had been so afraid of, so ashamed of for so long. I got health insurance (thank you Washington State, thank you tax payers, I’m really really grateful…) and I began hormone replacement therapy.

It was a little rocky at first but as of today I feel better than I have felt in so long. So long…

Right around the time I started taking hormones last fall, something sparked in me. I realized that the time had come to change it up. I was tired of making 15 thousand dollars a year. I had been living in poverty for years now. The yoga world has changed. So much…

I realized that if I was to change it up I needed a new career. I had been bending my mind around this for so long.

Then one day it hit me. Back in my early teens and high school years, once upon a time, I used to enjoy computer coding. So I started again. I began to do online courses. I finished some online courses. I applied to an immersive school for computer coding. I got in. I am currently applying to another school (so I have multiple options).

If all goes according to plan and the Goddess continues to shine her blessing, I will start school in the fall. Depending on which school I pick, a few different roads will open up. I feel good about this. Really good… It feels good to know that I will be able to support my children.

What about the yoga? Well, what about it?

I still practice every day. I could tell you that new doors are opening all the time there. The hallway of open doors that appeared to me 5 years ago is still there. I just open them a little more carefully now.

What about teaching?

I will continue to teach a very limited schedule through July of this year. I will most likely take off 6 months to a year of teaching starting in August. From there on out, I cannot say. 

As of right now, I will continue to do call in conference calls every Friday morning at 6:15 am Pacific Time for studies in the Yoga Vasistha. We've been doing that since 2001 and I really don't want to stop. :)

I have ideas and plans still to produce more video. The video that I already did shoot, I plan to make public soon.

Lets just say that I don’t think I’m done with teaching. On the contrary, I think this is just the beginning of a much deeper phase.

There is a lot I cannot see right now. I am going on faith, a deep feeling. But I know that it will all lead to a powerful good place.

I will most likely pick up writing again soon. I actually may finish that book at some point. I will say that when that time comes, the time will be right.

Is this an ending or a beginning? Is there a difference?

Many blessings to you all... My heart is filled with love and gratitude for you.