There will be Blood

Transformation? True learning leaves me a bigger person in compassion and love and better able at embracing the world. Everything else is just accumulating knowledge. False learning. False learning undergirds false transformation. Have you met the false teacher? The smoke and mirrors find yer-inner-child type? The I’ll triple yer business or guarantee you ace the interview – promisers? The lose weight without diet or exercise gurus? The internet shields snake-oil salesmen. I’m smarter than the average bear, but I done been fooled by million-hit vids, excessive thumbs-up and five star reviews.

Some of the most transformational teachers are reserved, quietly hidden away gems. Diamonds in the rough.

I’ve had yoga instructors who came highly recommended “She’s amazing,” others would crow. Teachers certified with reputable schools. Teachers with 500 E-RYT who turned out to be ho-hum, so-so or downright awful. ouch. What went wrong? They taught asana like shapes – adjusted to textbook configurations without a word of confluence. Said teacher failed to merge internal with exterior. There was no compassion within their passion. No physiology to their psychology. No yin to the yang.  No depth to their breadth. Union? Not so much. To have a connected yoga practice I need to know where the blood flows. Spirit, the kind that jumps from me to you and back again lives in shared joy, in the blood work.

Compassionate teachers have empathy. They don’t narrow their attention to the thin, the attractive and the symmetrical. They find room in their class for the quirky, the challenged, the unconventional student. A certain kind of teacher has studied and memorized, parrots and replicates, but lacks deep understanding. This kind of teacher often venerates their own teacher, bows to tradition, doesn’t question authority. That’s how they fool me. They may have lots and lots and lots of knowledge without a peck of understanding. This kind of person gets very nervous, takes  offense if I don’t agree with them. This kind of person loves to know what not why.

If I know “what” I know something. Just not much. When I taught  people how to use computers (it was the 90s, lol) most of ’em just wanted to know what to do. More than once I was asked to create lists of steps. I demurred. I preferred to show them how to find a pull down menu, where to look for links or tabs. If a person began to grasp the idea of a website they would quickly intuit how to manipulate new data bases, operate software and even hardware. Those who steadfastly insisted on the checklist approach were at a loss with each additional program. “Just teach me the computer!” they would whine, failing to realize that spreadsheets work differently from word processing and insurance rating programs.

Level one learning is a “what to do”. Level two learning is a “why”; conquer the “why” of anything,  and you’ll rule. I’m not discounting the accumulation of knowledge. I’m saying “Don’t stop there!” Define the box to think outside of it. But don’t skip the box. Does that make sense? Dumping basics to skip to siddhi is a dangerous practice. It’s practicing magic in lieu of making love. I didn’t use magic to transform; I lost weight and became a yoga dork by having compassion for myself, by treating myself gentle, and going at my own pace in the privacy of my soul.

I was lucky that I never had a voice in my head that put me down. That voice was clearly External. As soon as I got away from the madding crowd, the nay-sayers, the TV, the advertising industry hearing my own voice was simple. Turn off the media. Stop subscribing to women’s mags, yes even the “family” ones are chock full of ads and articles that send the wrong message. Forgive me, but even “O” magazine is of questionable value. A recent tableau on beauty-at-any-age showed women in their 20s through 90s all sporting high heel shoes. I swear I don’t make this shit up.

If you’ll only, dear heart, commit to taking care of yourself in lieu of fixing yourself, you’ll feel better. Trust me on this one. I could write a blog with the sole intent of manipulation, most all the marketers do, but that would be evil. That would represent exploitation of the vulnerable. That’s not my monkey, not my circus. is here for you. You can transform. If the transformation is successful you won’t just be thin, rich, happy and healthy – you’ll be kind, graceful, generous, indulgent. I sincerely hope you will use your powers for good.

I mean, what would you do if you were suddenly the exact weight you want to be? No longer a smoker? Fit and strong? Would you use your beauty to snag a hot guy? Is that really what you’re waiting for? Be honest. No one is reading but you. Here’s the thing, people will certainly, absolutely, truly like you more for being beautiful – but think about what kind of people they are. Shallow right? How about being rich? What would you do differently if you were suddenly filthy f n rich? People will surely, unquestionably, undeniably indulge you. I guarantee you’ll enjoy more power, more freedom from, more luxury. So will you use your newfound influence to be more charitable or to be more asshole? Because either one will be available at your whim.

My point is, and I do have one: is, if you achieve beauty, authority and status when you’re at primary level understanding, you’re going to use that influence to common ends. Sorry. You’ll be the pretty girl who’s divorced by the age of 40. Or an aging child star with a raging drug addiction. You’ll be that gal who lost all her real estate in the recession to foreclosure. The poster child for “Where are they now?” The whatever happened to? ? ? Remember the first time Oprah lost weight? She came out on stage with a little red wagon piled high with fat. Sales for Slim-Fast skyrocketed. Then she started to eat again, as we all must and we all do, and her weight returned to her set point. Relax. There’s already a happy ending.

Ask yourself who you are in 144 words or less. Why? Because one word answers are needlessly limiting and because getting too wordy can defeat the purpose. You’re a mother, a daughter, a realtor, a friend, a hiker, a crocheter, a magic brownie baker I get it I get it – but narrow your focus. What are you really made of? Do you define yourself by your looks? Your education? Your socio-economic class? By your interests? Your hobbies? Stay calm, there’s not wrong answer. The point is getting to see yourself how You see you, so you can stop blaming everyone else. Right? Am I right?

When your only tool is a hammer all your problems looks like nails. Right? But problems are not the power axis, power lies in solutions. Problems are the transformation axis. Can you turn your brain around, inside-out, interior to exterior so that world is a puzzle, a game and not an issue, not a challenge? Spoiler alert: there will be blood. Nobody’s life is a G-rated movie, not even Lewis Carroll, not even Sir Isaac Newton (and they were virgins if ya know what I mean.) That’s good news, lol. Once you know it’s meant to be hard you won’t think you’re a weirdo because you experience anguish, disappointment, frustration and grief. You’ll know they are merely the signposts along the way to a life worth living. Signposts I tell ya! Not final results.

The final result is a depth of character. A richness, vivacity, profundity worth mining for. Go ahead, what you’ve got to lose is ignorance and shame, and petty shallow rifts. Trade ’em in I tell ya for something that really matters. Matter, you may recall, is energy at a very slow rate. It’s substantial.

Now Y’all play nice!

Sat Nam