Earlier this year, I was driving home from teaching yoga. It was a warm night. Just the right temperature to roll the windows down. As is typical, I put on the music that I had taught with that night and prayed out loud for my 15 minute drive home.
Most of my driving prayers are gratitude and reflection on where I want to be. But that night? I was mad. I had a rough week at work. Everything there was just hard (and, honestly, it still is). But teaching? It was EASY. My coaching clients? EASY. My work with integrating deep body awareness meditation in my teaching? EASY.
As I ended my class with the blessing “may we all live in ease,” I got mad. And that’s how I prayed on the way home.
Why do you give me this gift and let me use it only 10 hours a week?
Why would you give me such ease in working with yoga and psychology and intuition and yet I spend 40+ hours a week in a corporate job?
Why would you give me these skills and not give me the opportunity to utilize them most?
Clearly, I heard a question: Are you ready now? It wasn’t a challenge or a confrontation. It was asked in the same tone as Nathan would ask me if I was ready to go to dinner. Or in the same way I invite my students to come out of savasana when they are ready.
But I didn’t want to answer the question. I wanted to stay in that feeling of being wronged. Of not having control or choice. I wanted to stay angry about being shortchanged. And, most importantly, I didn’t want to admit that any of it was within my power. I wanted to continue to believe it was out of my control.
Through my work with Jess Lively’s C-School, I think I may have realized the unconscious pattern that has me stuck in this place of not being able to enjoy what I have been given.
When I was little - elementary school little - someone in my family had the idea that I needed to collect holiday Barbie dolls. And collect meant, of course, keeping them in the box and not playing with them. I have a very distinct memory of being at my grandparents house, on Christmas Eve, in front of the fire, and unwrapping a beautiful Barbie. Of course, because she was a holiday edition, her dress was big and ornate and beautiful. And I also remember the argument and tears (on both sides, I’m sure) because I wanted to open this Barbie and the intention of the giver was for me to have it and not play with it.
Over the years, I was given 3 holiday Barbies before the tradition faded. And they sat on the top of my bookshelf (because even young Krissie had books galore). For years, these three barbies sat way up where I couldn’t reach them. And they taunted me. They were a reminder of what I had but couldn’t use.
But I am no longer a child. I am tall enough to reach my joy. I have agency over my life to take control. I am ready now.
When I have this feeling of not being able to reach what I have and what I want, I picture myself taking a Barbie out of the box. I am not that little girl. I can play with what I have. I can do this by taking control, claiming what I want, and playing with my toys.
I am still scared. I am scared of breaking what I’ve been given. I am scared of it not being as special as I hope or expect. I am afraid of having it taken away.
But I am also ready.
My mantra since that night has been the same. I am ready now. To utilize what I have. To be open to what is coming. Even when it is scary.
I am ready now.