I found myself standing in a restaurant waiting for my soup to go. I had toyed with the idea of sitting in and eating, but the introverted me wanted to go home and relax and stop having to do stuff. And I still had stuff to do when I got home; walk the dog, clean up after the dog, get the fire going, clean the bathroom - all this is tough to get done on a teacher training weekend. Hence - I gave up on cooking. Or rather, I knew myself well enough to know I would not go home and prepare something healthy and nourishing.
As I wait a couple arrive and begin to ask the hostess questions. The busy hostess offers them menus to peruse and turns her attention to other customers. The gentleman seems curious about everything. He asks if I eat here often and what I recommend. I offer him a suggestion to take a look at the pizza just being brought out of the pizza oven. We continue our conversation and I eventually ask them about themselves. They seem a little reserved at first, but gradually tell me about this trip to Halifax and previous visits.
Soon my soup arrives and I make my departure, saying good night to the couple. As I made my way to the car I realize how unlike me that was. I normally don't just chat with strangers. I normally keep to myself, I observe, analyze. Create stories about what I am seeing. I realize there is a smile playing on my lips and I feel light. Funny... I think, I didn't do the asana practice today, I taught the class. But I am pretty clear that this is my best self shining in this moment. Tejas. This is why people go to Yoga. This is my goal for the people who come to my class; that at the end of all those postures, they shine, feel lighter.
For me, being able to offer what I know and to help others settle into themselves is an incredible experience. The challenge is how to get them on my side, excited to challenge themselves. We are afraid that if let go of all the mental effort, if we admit we don't know, we will somehow lose something, perhaps respect of others, perhaps it is the idea of ourselves as good enough. It is hard to have faith that if we surrender we will be safe. This probably explains why I love teaching material that I am just getting to understanding, because just maybe I won't know the answer, but that just somehow ignites my spirit to understand more. I know I can't know happiness when I sit in comfort. If I am not a little uncomfortable, struggling to understand the next thing or teach it better, I really don't shine. It's like rock climbing, the next hard route put me in a place of having to open myself to bringing everything I knew and considering what I didn't - and even then I would fail the first 50 times. What kept me inspired - the curiosity of whether I could do it. Perhaps that's what keeps me sitting trying to meditate - curiosity of what will happen if I stay. :)