By Erin Anderson
Posted in The Real Deal, on August 16, 2013
It was the last day of the Baptiste Level 2 Teacher Training in Kenya when something hit me and I couldn't stop crying. I had a bitter taste of my dark side, my inner flake.
I had experienced an incredible week of assisting this training on the east coast of Kenya. I was given a dream role of managing the production of an extended documentary on the Africa Yoga Project. The setting was beyond beautiful and all was running smoothly.
A team of teachers came from all over the world to assist the training with Baron Baptiste and Africa Yoga Project. We supported the 120 students, 70 of which are Africa Yoga Project teachers. We got to know and love amazing people from Sierra Leone, South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Canada, and the US. This was the MOST powerful and out of the box training I've ever experienced.
What I saw changed me.
I witnessed people from all backgrounds, share, sweat, play, dance and deeply inquire. We heard about every experience imaginable, from horrific to wonderful, no one was different. This powerful process left me truly seeing us as one and not separate.
As each person stood up for their moment and experienced glory, each of us experienced glory. Not one person was left unmoved, untouched. The kinetic energy shifted a group of 120 people from a sense of "me" to "WE"!
It was in the moments of wrapping up the training that I began to unravel. My tears came from the magic of witnessing how utterly beautiful humans are when they show their essence. For many of the participants, they have a lot to complain about, a lot of brutal challenges that I can't imagine dealing with. The gift of serving them brought me to my knees.
My truth bomb is that I had been waffling, flaking in my commitment to Africa Yoga Project right before the training. I was experiencing burnout. I was easily offended, passive aggressive, testy, feeling entitled. I have been working for the Africa Yoga Project for over 2 years and wasn't it time to move on? Isn't there someone better than me out there who can do bigger things for them? What am I getting out of the deal anyway? Would anyone notice if I just quit? The thing about a truth bomb is that's exactly what it feels like when it hits.
I needed to do violence to my limitations, to the dullness in me. It was time for an emptying out.
At my most empty I got that service is showing up. Service is when it's easy and rewarding AND when it's dark and gloomy. Service is not knowing what my impact is. Service is taking a risk. It's courageously putting myself out there, sometimes in simple and small ways. Service is here and now - not later or over there. True service is not expecting any gain or reward. Service is abundance. It's giving and accepting love with grace.
I acknowledge Paige Elenson, Pauline Caballero and Kelly Boudreaux for holding the space for me to move from eager to resistant to flake to mess to committed. It's with compassion that I admit this cycle happened and may happen again. What I'm most grateful for is the insight that as soon as I get a whiff of flaking out I know I'm onto something amazing!
I'm now left feeling renewed with a fresh batch of passion and fire that I enjoy expressing daily in my unique ways. And now, I'll turn to my sweet children and serve them with a hug and a bedtime story.
It's here and now.
Enjoy some photos from the training, no explanation needed!