Why I want to be a yoga teacher (and other things). From Kat
I was watching the Perks of Being a Wallflower the other day. I love how Charlie says, I can’t take it, the way they are all in pain. It’s why I chose my career. It’s depressing to see myself and the people around me make mistakes, live in fear, and settle for the wrong choices. Why do we do that? I want to laugh. I’ve met plenty of people who wanted to die. But death isn’t the end. Our soul goes on, it wants to experience and understand, and so it tries this life again. So death is really an illusion. You can’t escape this life. You have to try to live fiercely. You can’t give up on love or friendship, or wonderful moments. When I’m making a difference with my acupuncture practice and as a yoga teacher, I can feel how I’m making the world the way it should be, filled with light and love. I really want to be that beacon of light for people who are in the dark, or sad and alone and fearful. Because It doesn’t have to be like this. It’s a choice. Chose every moment to live more fiercely. Roar a little. Let it out. Don’t stiffen up and try to shut love and joy out in order to protect your heart.
A lot of people talk about enlightenment, but I think many of us don’t understand what that means. In the Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie asks his English teacher,” Why does everyone I know chose people who treat us like crap?” The teacher says, “we accept the love we think we deserve.”
But I think it goes deeper than that. When we accept less in our lives…when we settle for things that aren’t right for us…when we don’t follow our passions or open our hearts…we are letting the darkness in. These things do profound damage to the soul and to the body. I was talking only yesterday to a patient about how pain starts on the emotional level. The people who are healthier are often doing things to release the pain of this life. They may have transformative experiences in a yoga class, or find themselves releasing tension and tearing up at the relief. They may talk it out with friends who love them. They may come in pain for acupuncture, and find themselves finally relaxing and falling asleep when they have not been able to rest their minds or their bodies the whole week.
As a society, we cut ourselves off constantly. We wear invisible metal shields to prevent ourselves from feeling, from experiencing, from getting hurt. We tighten up the moment pain comes. We try to stop it, to push whatever might cause pain away. I do this, but I see it in everyone. We are a society in crisis. Life is hard, relationships are hard, and too often, rather than open up to the pain of what the difficult moments are teaching us, and thus transforming, we shut down and close ourselves off. This damages the people we interact with. But it also damages us, creating disharmonies and disease. It cuts us off from love and light.
So what does enlightenment really mean?
I think it means having a heart fully open. You accept the experiences you encounter. You laugh. You find joy. You make jokes with even raw moments, because it is good to play and not take the dramas too seriously. But you are also honest. Totally honest. No BS. You open to all the love and light that the universe will give you. You don’t push away love or kindness from anyone, and you give the same back freely. You cry when you are sad, rather than trying to push away the emotions. You are not shut down.
By doing all of this, you begin to transform. It changes you. Your vibration becomes one less in line with all the fear and the darkness, and instead becomes one more in line with love and light. You become a beacon of light, and in the process, you set on fire all the people around you, so that they too can become beacons. This is what getting acupuncture treatments is really all about. This is the journey that having a regular yoga practice is all about. You work these things out, and work on staying open, and not shutting down. It is a practice, but it is one that can truly change us, and everyone we know. Working this stuff out is why we are on this earth. It’s why we are here.
So why do I want to be a yoga teacher? Because I want to be a beacon. But I also think it’s really important to have the physical practice of yoga in order to open up the soul. By not letting ourselves tighten up, by twisting and bending and opening, we keep our soul open and flexible to everything around us. This practice helps us change into the people we want most to be. I want to help others on this journey, just as I have people who help me with my journey. Let’s light up the dark and roar. Live fiercely, baby!