Steph wrote two blog posts about her experience teaching in Central Park. The first one she wrote on the train on Saturday morning on her way to the event.
Post #1, on the #2 train to CPW: I’m nervous to go teach at this thing, even though I talk about being a beginner what seems like all the time. I’ve never done anything like this before. Much of my “beginner-ness” takes place amidst the privacy of my mat or amongst people I know quite well. So, the strong desire to throw up takes me by surprise. What’s striking is how hard it is to stay in my physical body. It’s like there are a zillion little helium balloons firmly attached to every nerve ending, every cell in my body and I’m being pulled away from the good stock of my bones. The further I float, the more my storyline of doubt gets intensified.
It’s hard to be a beginner as an adult. I say this a lot in class, and I make this my mantra on the train. I figure doing so will conjure up some self-compassion, as beginner-ness and compassion are truly inseparable. As I keep watching my thoughts and my breath and fight the urge to just not go today, I realize I love “new”, but I don’t love any situation where I may be judged. I’m incredibly sensitive and part of the reason I am a bit of a wise-ass it that it protects me. But, I know this is my wiring.
I keep watching my own little crazy unfold. And I breathe. I force myself to keep hitting the pause button when the skidding-on-emotional-black-ice begins. Today won’t be perfect, but it also won’t kill me. I am not on fire. It might be OK. It might even be fun. I’ll certainly get some funny stories out of it. Whatever happens, I am showing up. And as a testament to this stuff works, the practice part of myself takes over and keeps me from stepping off the ledge of ‘wtf’ for most of the train ride to the Upper West Side.
As I step off the 2 train at W. 72nd Street, a guy gets onto the train. “Thank god for your blessings, miss,” he says to me as we pass each other. I hear him exhorting the whole car to do the same as the doors close and I walk up the stairs. As I walk up the steps, decidedly out of my protective bubble, I turn around and shout thanks to him for the good advice.