Thursday, March 2, 2017

Personal Update March 2017


It has been some time since I’ve written. 

A year? 

Why now? Who is this for? 

I suppose the answer to the first question is: ‘because I felt like it and something kept gnawing at me to…’ 

The answer to the 2nd question is: ‘This update is for anyone who wants to read it. But it is mostly for those folks who over many years studied yoga with me and walked in the same circles I did for so long.’ 

I realized something in the fall of 2015, strangely after I began taking hormones… 

I realized that I didn’t want to teach yoga any longer. Hell, in all honestly I realized that I had never really wanted to teach yoga. 

Oh don’t get me wrong, I loved many things about teaching. Mostly those moments when lightbulbs went off inside of people’s minds, including my own. Those moments of shared experience when student and teacher dissolved and there was only a miraculoushappening, a buzz, something that crossed over… Yoga Vasistha Fridays when a ‘student’ would suddenly break out with the craziest thought… Standing in horse or on one leg collectively for 45 minutes… Yes, there were some good times for sure… Or how when many of us chanted 4000 Maha Ganapati mantras into a massive fire for 10 hours after a nine month long collective purascarana… 

I laugh at the thought that all the time I spent learning in my first teacher training in the early 90s, that I didn’t ONCE think about being a teacher. I was quite selfish really, I wanted the ‘knowledge’ for myself. 

A dear old friend asked me to teach one day in 1996 and I said ‘What? You want ME to teach?’. Crazy shit… Funny how my favorite memories are about the shared experience. I never did much like the ‘I am the teacher, you are the student’ shit… But something about the collective experience was nice. I never was very good at being a salesman, marketing myself (some of you cringe I know…). I loathed fame (although the fortune part might have been fun… who knows?)… I knew deep down I’d never make it big in the yoga scene and honestly I didn’t want to. I became crass at times, ornery and even later on quite pessimistic and cynical (which perhaps was not so good). I didn’t want to be ‘that person’. 

Anyway, this is an odd way to start a new blog piece yes? Perhaps. Perhaps I am just reminiscing on what it was exactly that pushed me so hard out of that whole field and subject that had absorbed me for 30 years. 

There has definitely been more than one transition over the last few years. I actually do feel bad about the falling out with some of the students. I’ve apologized before for some of that. 

Looking back at it now, I suppose I just say this: I’m open to any who want to come to me in friendship and reconcile. And we can leave the teacher/student thing behind and open the door to what comes.

You know, I look at my yoga/knowledge/liberation/whatever books (my hundreds of books) on my shelf and I think to myself, “I don’t really give one crap about what is in any of those texts”. They are just paper. The lofty concepts, theories, practices, meditations, all of it… Stuff I studied so in depth, for so long… Just air… 

It might sound perhaps as if I’m being negative. I’m not. I just don’t have any interest in fabricated reality any more.

I’m into what is in front of my eyes and under my skin. I want to get a job, pay the bills, have a great time with my daughters when I see them on the weekend, geek out on coding or Twitter, or some book I’m reading, go dancing, or spend time with my new girlfriend (   :)  yes … we are not Facebook official ‘yet’ ) … 

I had surgery a few weeks ago. An orchiectomy. Don’t want to say any more about it but I thought I’d bring it up because it was real, happened and I’m very happy about it. Google it if you want to know what it is. My ‘transition’ has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. I feel awake, real, normal… Thanks to hormone replacement therapy, I no longer suffer from depression, obsession, anxiety, wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks, drink too much, smoke, suffer… Yes, I suppose that’s pretty nice   :)     

Funny, I think many years pushing intensive yoga was just to break through. Maybe to break those masks… I finished up school in January of this year. I completed a 6 month intensive 40-hour a week coding ‘boot camp’, studying JavaScript, and other crazy web development technologies. And LOVED IT. I spend most of my days coding now. Crazy huh? 

I don’t have a job yet but I’m looking actively, applying to many places, currently building a website for a local non-profit that deals with building permanent homeless shelters, and continue studying technologies I want to learn more about. 

One of my old students and a good friend contacted me today and told me she would love it if I’d come down to Portland to lead a group, like teach yoga I suppose. I am open to that, as I’m also open to continued private work with folks. Probably would be some kind of donation thing I’d imagine. I’m not too much into making money off the scene anymore. That’s why I went back to school. I suppose I’d mostly do it just because it might be fun and some of us would get to hang out together and see what kind of space we could co-create… Let me know if it sounds interesting. 

I don’t feel like the same person I was 2 years ago. (laughs) Of course none of us are right? No but really… Whereas most of the time I’ve felt consistency between the years, my transition has really shifted some things. In a good way. I say this because I can’t go backward. My dear ‘brother’ Matt died at some point in the last year or so… Or maybe he was never really here and I was just wearing his mask for some time. I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t really matter any more. Sure, I’m positive that whatever you knew good inside of Matt, maybe his smile or the sparkle in his eyes is still there in me, but the part that made you want to cringe, hopefully that stuff is mostly gone, burned up… Yikes, it makes ME want to shudder thinking about that stuff… 

So what can I leave you with? What sublime wisdom? You are nothing but consciousness? Hmmm no. Of course you are but you still have your life to live and you’re probably like me, like and um, what else? And how does that knowledge help me fight Trump? And all the other crazy shit going on on our planet right now? 

Ok I’ll leave you with this. 

You be you. Be authentic. Be real. See where that takes you. 

Wake up. 

As my teacher used to say ‘there is plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead.’ 

I guess we’ll see. 

Warm hugs to everyone. 

Big smile.