A few months ago, I got in a fight with my best friend. It was the first time we had ever fought, and I was devastated (to say the least). She told me that I let her down and that I wasn’t there for her in a moment when she really wanted me to be present. As hard as it was to hear all of this, I listened. I heard what my dear friend told me and, faced with a decision, responded by doing the work necessary to help rebuild the fissure that was running through our friendship: I took full responsibility for what I had done. I apologized with sincerity. I found ways to step back into our relationship with a deeper sensitivity to her needs, while still keeping mine intact.
I am reflecting on my current situation not to assert my place at a higher level of consciousness but, rather, to make sense of the shit show that is currently the state of Anusara Yoga. Amid all of the madness of teachers leaving, and hearts breaking all over the damn place, I have been asking myself some hard questions: As a student steeped in this method, where do I fit? As a teacher, is it possible to teach with sincerity? As a human, what do I do when I have let someone down, especially when that person is someone that I love?
One thing I know for sure is that we are built for many things, including effing up. Sometimes, we eff up by accidentally hurting the people that we love the most. Sometimes, we eff up by hurting those same people on purpose. We are so gifted at effing up, that we have devised ways of placing the dark feelings that we have for ourselves onto others and telling them that they effed us. Indeed, a tie that binds us together is the one where we have created infinite ways to screw each other over and, just when we think we have reached the cap on this, we shock ourselves and find more.
My teaching focus for the past month has been to teach First Principle. Three weeks in, I thought I had exhausted this concept but now, as I watch the foundation of Anusara Yoga began to crumble around me, I find more to contemplate. As it turns out, one aspect of Open to Grace that I had not yet considered has been the ability we have to root into our shit; that standing with clarity is not just standing well in the places where we are whole, but also standing unambiguously in our cracks. Opening to Grace is one avenue where we get to say, “I did this. I hurt people I love the most. Now, I get to make a choice on how to fix it.”
I do not currently hold any Anusara status, although I recently completed a Level I Teacher Training with an unwavering sense of pride and accomplishment. I do not know the ins and outs of the business of Anusara Yoga (or other yoga brands, for that matter), but I do know that the most gifted teachers I have had the honor of studying with over these past several years have all been a part of this tradition. I do not know how I will continue down this path, yet I am clear that I am not ready to walk away completely. I am working hard not to judge those teachers who are staying, nor am I casting sideways glances at those who are leaving.
With so many cracks rising to the surface, more space is being made for me to make my beliefs and intentions clear. Today, I believe in feeling the sadness and healing it. Today, I believe in looking at different choices I have made to misalign with my Highest, at the expense of those around me and finding deep reserves of compassion for myself, and others who have done the same. Today, I send gratitude to all of my teachers for teaching me to know that when I have let someone down, the best thing for me to do is love myself enough to love them even more.