Expectations, Exceptions and Yoga



Ironic twist of fate...my earlier words of the late student...got thrown back at me. I didn't even see them coming. My heart must have deflected them...being a quiet warrior making it impossible for the logical, rule oriented, professional fraction of my brain to even remember the rule. Staring at my computer, waiting for words to assemble into article idea, it happened...right after reading an employer's reminder about the company's rules.

A year ago, I wrote about the "late student" and leaned to establishing the rules to follow mindset. Mixed responses legitimately set stable defenses for both sides of the fence. I kept my opinion and I am sure each of us did despite the opinions/experiences of another. Things sure change when love presents itself to validate your well established opinion. Yoga. we're on a first name basis now, you certainly have made me more flexible. You gave me an energy to let go of what I used to see or think. I needed that energy.

Forgive me reader, I'm so moved by this revelation, I almost forgot to tell my fate lesson. My sweet, awesome, better than I could ever be, daughter was home for vacation. 24 years old...on her own...teaching science to sixth graders...came home to show her love and gratitude to her mom and dad. She understands and lovingly expressed gratitude for us being the "tough parents" with so many rules. The parents who made her pay for her own cell phone. The parents who admitted their faults and sometimes spilled them on her...showing a deeper side of where they are and going. The parents who grounded her and didn't bend. The parents who made it crystal clear evading education was not an option...the parents who stood firm by their rules. Until today.

I have a 10 a.m. yoga class Saturday mornings. Doors have signs I have to flip when I close them which state: "when doors closed, do not enter." Don't even recall closing the door, much less the signs. I only saw my smiling daughter and close college friends coming in the room to practice...with my class. I could have been oblivious to other's eyes, but all I could see and feel was a delicious energy fill the room like a flower scented spring breeze in the morning. Love all my students. They teach me. They don't even know it. They tell me what I need to learn just by showing up. And, my daughter auspiciously taught me something about rules.

We find it easier to break rules for ourselves. We know our reasons and have the justification outlined to the letter. Breaking the rules for another...different ballgame. Expectation flexibility tighter. Breaking rules for someone we know...an exception. Why? Simple...Love. All rules and bets are off.

How could I, even if I consciously was aware if the situation, if my daughter was a few minutes late to my yoga class...send her out the door to make a "corporate" point with conviction? I would be a double hypocrite. I leaned to the side of the island I feel most at home...my heart.

And, to add to my stalwart opinion betrayal, I was late to a yoga practice a week ago. I had no idea it would take 45 minutes to get there after work. Sunday driving time is 10 minutes. It was a Tuesday evening. Traffic has amplified in Nashville. And, when it rains...better have a full tank of gas and an empty bladder. I needed to practice. I needed to move. I needed someone else to guide me. I needed the juiced energy absorbed in a group class. My GPS tells me I will be 11 minutes until destination arrival. Need drives me...ignoring the knowledge I'd be a yoga teacher...walking in late...doing what I gently protest. I try to follow the rules. Teacher eyes smiled upon my hesitant entrance. I quickly set up in the back and shoved the inklings of guilt under my mat. Time to think wasted precious yoga practice time. I practiced and got what I needed. No one seemed cheated or holding grudges when we finished an hour later.

I wasn't told to leave...silently guilted to stay out...or reprimanded post practice. I was one of "those" students who was, shake your head in slightly judgmental assumptions, late. On the other side of the mat, I broke my rule. But, the lesson didn't click until now. "When the student is ready, the teacher will come" overstated, not completely understood until it happens, truism tapped me on the head again. Not the first time...definitely, not the last. My favorite yoga teacher doesn't love me like I love my daughter; but, she senses her class is meant to help people shine. She welcomes students wanting to be part of the yoga dance we are swept by. We shine together.

And, with that said, how could I even think of not letting my love for my daughter shine along with my love of teaching yoga? She and her soul mate friends made in college...re-united for a week of laughs, talking, crying, and living life together for awhile on the mat. I knew my daughter's hippie habit that contradicted with my instilled like a ligament rule of timeliness. I learned tonight what I taught today as my theme. Nothing is fixed. Flexibility is beyond the physical. Lesson: You can deny rules based on collective expectations and rules; but, if you don't bend the rules, get a bit more psychologically flexible, a lot more willing to admit you don't always practice what you preach...you stay stuck in the quicksand of past perceptions. There are exceptions to expectations...we all make them. And, when you think about exceptions you've made in the past...it was probably a push from the heart.

I am grateful for the kind reprimand I got via e-mail. With a strong pride in my heart, I thank my daughter for making it impossible for me to compromise my soul. Situations to open doors and shut others happen all the time for all of us. You'll know when you're ready. You can't help but see the teacher staring you right through the eyes to your soul. The teacher came because you were ready to learn, be loved and show love.
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