Warning: the material you are about to read may be erratic and unorganized. For that I am sorry, but New York City kicked my ass.
I wrote that one sentence over a week ago, and then stared at my screen for a while, reliving moments in my head, searching for words to accurately describe what I was seeing and feeling. All week long I have been trying to write this piece, and every time I sit down to do it I fall short. I just wasn’t ready.
Thinking about it now, I wasn’t giving myself enough time to internalize what went on while I was at the Yoga Journal Conference in New York City. It was a weekend of many firsts for me, and that can be overwhelming. So while I am aware that this isn’t exactly the most timely of posts, I am super glad that I didn’t force myself through it prematurely just for the sake of getting something up.
Aside from the fact that attending the conference was the first time I was away from my family—by myself, overnight—I have only taken a “real” yoga class one other time—I was up at Kripalu, meeting with two very dear friends and colleagues, Jessica Durivage and Diane Ferraro, for the very first time.
At this rate, when I am finally able to take classes outside of my home on a more constant basis, am I setting myself up for disappointment? Seriously, I have made some pretty incredible yoga/life memories this year.
Now, that’s not to say that I don’t practice at home via DVDs and Gaiam, but it’s a totally different ball game when you are in-person in a class. And it’s sort of mind blowing when your second class is with Seane Corn or David Romanelli or Dharma Mittra.
So I take my first class of the weekend with Seane Corn, Yoga For A Broken Heart, and I have all of these crazy moments happening. First, I am awestruck by Seane. I thought it would be intimidating because, well aside from the fact that I am intimidated by nearly everyone, Seane is incredible. So I was pleasantly surprised to feel like I was sitting down talking with an old friend.
Aside from Kate, I know no one in the class, and yet I feel as though these women—sharing these stories that are inadvertently coaxing mine out from a place long forgotten—are great comrades.
Grief is a funny bastard. It has no rhyme or reason. By the end of class I was able to identify not only the source of my grief—my childhood, which came out of left field—but also specific losses that deserve proper mourning. For the first time though, I felt like it was ok to let those emotions come, and that was liberating.
I left that class and I was genuinely blown away by the intensity of the emotions that were running through me. Blown away—but I’ve no time to internalize this, there are people to see and places to go.
Speaking of people to see, that weekend was the first time I saw the three dimensional faces, and had in-person conversation with people who have played integral parts in this journey I’m on. It’s quite surreal when you see, say Waylon Lewis—who is much taller than you imagined—in the flesh for the first time, but you have been in contact on a near daily basis, over the internet, for the last year.
I saw so many people whom I have known for some time now, but have never truly “met”. I mean some of these people I am crazy close with. Basically I was on the verge of tears for the first 24 hours, and I am pretty sure I turned 50 shades of red for each hand I shook or body I hugged.
My next class was David Romanelli’s Yoga & Steve Jobs: Unlocking the Collective Consciousness. Again, it’s sort of surreal. The discussion was amazing, and one quote has followed me around since:
“Genius is the rare ability to translate seemingly coincidental events into unique and massively influential innovations.” ~Steve Jobs
We did this amazing Vinyasa Flow, and after that some really soothing Yin Yoga. The whole time I was completely ecstatic. Dave played this incredible playlist while we practiced, and for me it absolutely made the class. In fact the first song was Jack Johnson’s Supposed To Be, and as soon as it began to play I knew I was in the right place—exactly where I was supposed to be.
The feeling attached to the absolute rightness of a moment is extraordinary, I’ve never felt anything like it before.
I know I am married, and I have children, but this is different. I was not this person I am now at those moments in my life, and while they are memorable, they weren’t exactly right, because I wasn’t right. I have come into my own over the last year, and this me discovered that feeling in Dave’s class, and I’m hooked.
I walked away blissfully happy, and even scored a new favorite song—it’s permanently on repeat:
The Wailin’ Jennys, Long Time Traveler
The music was so exciting to me. You can find the playlist on Spotify, it’s 4-15-12 by David Yeah-Dave Romanelli, but I want to share the list of songs here with you too—it was such a significant part of my experience, and again, pleasantly unexpected.
>New Soul—Yael Naim
>Miracle (Acoustic)—Matisyahu, Adam Weinberg
>40 Day Dream—Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
>Modern Man—Arcade Fire
>Sugaree (Live @The Palladium)—The Grateful Dead
>Oxford Town—Bob Dylan
>New Slang (Live)—The Shins
>Wonderful (The Way I Feel)—My Morning Jacket
>Just Like A Woman—Bob Dylan
>Ten Thousand Words—The Avett Brothers
>Look At Miss Ohio—Miranda Lambert
>Kathleen—David Gray, Jolie Holland
>I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For—Modern Meditatons
I also sat in on a lecture by Ray Crist, on Yoga and Shamanism, and I was so aligned with everything that was said, I haven’t finished thinking about what it all means. I’m just not ready to share yet.
It’s a completely personal thing when you find your place among the ranks. It was like sliding two puzzle pieces together, or like coming home—it makes all of those cliches make sense. For now, all I will say is that the entire time my inner goddess was alternating between the running man and the cabbage patch—insanely happy.
Working for Where Is My Guru has been an amazing opportunity, and I have learned so much. I conducted my very first live interview with Sri Dharma Mittra while at the conference as well.
He was so busy but was kind enough to sit down with me, literally between his classes, and I thought that was pretty spectacular, but to say I was nervous would be a huge understatement.
I had taken his class, and I’m not going to lie, I was in way over my head, but his assistants were helpful, and it was the first time I had someone making adjustments, which was great. Watching him demonstrate the asanas was unforgettable. And he was hysterical! He cracked jokes nearly the entire time.
By the time we had gotten to the interview I was beat, and overly concerned about getting the audio. I won’t even pretend to have understood and taken in everything he said. In fact he even reminded me at the end that my job now was to understand his guidance.
He spoke about eternal happiness, divine perception, meditation, diet, and so much more. I had had myself another first/once in a lifetime experience.
The interview was my last stop before leaving New York and even though I went into it totally fried, I walked out buzzing with ideas and possibility.
The whole conference was, for me, the equivalent to Christmas morning for a five year old. You’re so excited to open gifts that you tear through each one without really looking, and then when everything is open you go back through and play with all of it.
I had so much trouble writing about it because I wasn’t ready to share it with the world quite yet. There was just so much flowing through me, I needed some time to figure out what everything I experienced meant.
That feeling I was talking about before, when you know, without a doubt that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, was the most amazing thing about all of this, and I felt it for three days straight. I just hold so much gratitude in my heart for being given the opportunity to be there. Clearly the stars were aligned.
hot on elephant
The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. These People are Rare Gems—Keep Them, Fight for Them, don’t Give Up on Them. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.” Waylon shares 10 transformingly beautiful Quotes about Love. My Marriage had to End—for my Life to Begin. Why your Yoga Goals are (Probably) Irrelevant, if not Downright Dangerous. The Day I Stopped Running. Dear Woman in the White Car at Margaritas Mexican Grill in West Memphis, Arkansas on July 15th, 2012.