Monday, June 16, 2008

One Week Home: I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be!


It's been a week since I got home and it feels like a month, or even two. I'm not kidding - and it's a good thing, not a bad one.

Now, I don't know how 'deep' my reflections on teacher training can really be at this point - a whoopin' 1 week out - but I have a few thoughts I'll share at this point.

I loved it. I really, really loved it. In thinking back on it this week, I collected my thoughts on a lot of things and came to a few conclusions...

First, Teacher Training - for me - was not the hardest thing I have ever done. I realized this around the middle - Week 4 or Week 5 - and at the time, it was a good learning and it kept me going (i.e., "You've survived worse). Like what, you ask? Well, anyone I've said this to has asked the same - "Jenn, what was harder??" I easily came up with 4 things - the tornado I was in when I was 14, my two grueling break-ups (the first was more about co-dependency; the second was more about facing my own mistakes/darker side); and the crowning jewel: My weight.

Losing the weight after weight loss surgery was by far the hardest thing I've done to date in this lifetime. Possibly because it was the wrap-up of no less than 10 serious attempts over 15 years - each resulting in 50+ pounds of weight loss only to be gained back the minute I so much as walked by a bakery. It required me to look at every part of myself - emotional, spiritual and physical - while have the eyes of everyone I knew upon me, wondering (though not wanting to wonder this way)... "will she just gain it back this time, too?" Hell, I wondered if I'd gain it back! Or fail in some other way - either not losing to begin with, or cheating, or whatever. Along with this came the task of figuring out how NOT to equate the number on the scale with the potential of my day or self-worth; that is, if I gained, I was bound to feel like shit about myself (even if only .5 lbs), and if I lost, I was on top of the world. This was all messed up, no? And conquering a good 35 years of thinking this way was no small feat. Waking up asking, "How will I lose weight today?" was a given back then, and really, it was a veil for, "Will I like myself today?"

Thankfully, that time has passed. While it may ebb and flow, at least now I know what it looks like to be on this side of it. Defeating that part of myself, which was a primary shareholder, let me tell you, far outweighed the challenge of Teacher Training - for me. Which leaves y'all asking, "Then what did teacher training do for you??" Well, let me tell you... :)

For me, at this point, I would say there were a few outcomes of teacher training:

1) The first, most obvious, is that I am certified and can now teach Bikram yoga! Yay! More on that later.

2) As mentioned in my goals post, physically, I couldn't have asked for more from my body. It really showed up for me and I have never loved it more. This is HUGE (unlike me, at this point ;) Seriously, to not feel body-hate is weird, it's like something is missing but in a good, good way.

3) Emotionally, it validated that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be (to steal a quote from my sister Kate, who's blog has this as a title). Theoretically, we all are exactly where we are supposed to be - I suppose - but we don't always like it. Right now, I think I learned that I'm in fairly good order. I've worked my ass off these past three or so years - again, the weight loss is so little about food and so much more about your inner self, so much about not using food as a weapon, a tool for self-love (or hate), and learning to forgive yourself when you aren't perfect. (Shock! Newsflash: I am not perfect. Amen!)

So with this, I came home gleefully to a renewed sense of validation around loving my life right now. A lot of people who were at training are not having this experience - many are going home to break-up relationships, move, quit jobs, go to therapy, and deal with confusion, lack of direction and a myriad of fears - for all of us, removing ourselves from our daily lives let us take a good hard look at what it is we are doing with ourselves. Lots of different people got lots of different answers - and I'm not assigning judgment to my experience (or conclusions) or anyone elses for that matter. It's all good - we all learned something and now have to decide where to go from here. I was open to whatever came my way, as best as I could be, and being home has just shown me that at this point in my life, things are nicely lined up. Sure, I worry a little about my business, still in its infancy, and thus worry about money (but trust I will have enough); I get a little scared when I step on the scale (which is far rarer now that my compulsive weighing of the past), and overall, like anyone, all of the relationships we have in life have ups and downs, which are challenging. I'm not saying my life is 'perfect' but rather that I'm plum satisfied with the choices I've made and I feel the challenges that face me are fair and doable.

All that heavy stuff said, I'm also happy to just be back in my world. To go to the coffeeshop and run into friends, walk around the lake, to have people call and stop over and hang out for an hour, to see my 90-year-old friend and cook dinner at home!!! So good, all of it. Oh good lord the first vegetable I chopped nearly brought a tear to my eyes (and it wasn't an onion) - and while I was literally afraid to cook the $18 piece of fresh King Salmon from the farmer's market for fear I would ruin it (it's been so long since I cooked!), it came out perfectly! Even yesterday, mopping the floor, I felt this strange sense of joy. It's just nice to be home, back to my life, my stuff, my hobbies, and most of all - my people.

An aside: For those of you who like this kinda thing, I have another blog where I post a photo every day - sometimes I slack and then catch up, but I'm re-committing! No words, or very few, but just a little pic of something that I saw that day. It's at:

p.s. More on how yoga is going, and a teaching update in my next post!

Above, the farmer's markets are back in full swing!; My birthday; dinner prep!;
me and Xaven, Jill's coffeeshop co-owner's baby, born 3 days after I left for TT; Greenlake; 4 - count'em - 4 cats; and Me and Leela, my friends' Paige & Joe's daughter who I swear grew 6 inches while I was away.


Macontateabbyaaron said...

Thanks for your recent post. I have been going to your blog every morning, hoping for a few gems from Jenn and, alas, there was nothing! Anyway, it was worth the wait. This was a good one. Your attitude and writing abililty have kept me inspired for the past few months because I'm going to training in September.
After being originally skeptical and apprehensive, I am now ready and excited about training, thanks to your blog.
You mentioned in an earlier blog that you were going to do a list of "things to bring" for training. I would love it if you could do that.
I live in Bend, OR and I do get to Seattle occasionally. I want to take a class from you when I get up there next.
Thanks for your inspiration and humor. You are a remarkable person and I hope to get to meet you someday.

Ruth said...

Hi Jenn,

Thanks for the inspiration I am trying to make my final decision about Sep teacher training in the next week so all inspiration is welcome and I have found so much in your blog. I too would love to see that revised list and get an idea of how much in total it cost as I know with no salary and rent and dog boarding etc it adds up to more than double the cost paid for the actual training its an enormous amount of money so your thoughts on that would be great. Thanks for the reminder that everything is as it should be:)

San Francisco

Clau said...

Dear Jenn,

I've been reading your blog since before you left for teacher training. I've been practicing Bikram yoga for about 1.5 years and am considering going to teacher training one day. That's why I started reading your blog. I wanted to learn more facts about training. Looking back, however, I have learned so much more from it. Thanks for sharing with us the things you struggled/struggle with in life, and how you are learning to deal with them. I have been inspired to think about non-attachment, letting things go, not making excuses for myself, and being more focused on what really matters to me.

I wish you all the best for your future, take care and please keep blogging! I'm starting to have withdrawal symptoms! ;o)


bob said...

I may have missed it in your blog, but how muck do Bikram teachers make? Thanks