Dropping My End of the Rope
“I seem to have become a workaholic,” I wrote back.
In the midst of the crisis, right before the second wave of resignations, I set up a Facebook group for Anusara teachers who wanted to connect with the community. I literally couldn’t approve the requests to join that came in from around the world as fast as they came in. They just kept coming–and coming. At the time of this writing there are 1, 106 members of the group.
Initially, I’d thought the Facebook page would be a place where certified teachers would converse but requests like this poured in:
“I’m an Inspired teacher. Can I join the group?”
“I’m in the certification process. Can I join?”
“I’ve completed 2 Anusara teacher trainings. Would it be okay to let me into the group?”
“Yes,” was my answer every time. “Yes, absolutely. You are welcome here.”
I had had quite enough of exclusivity.
Some of the conversation happening on that page was pretty gritty. It wasn’t long before a second group, limited to licensed teachers, was set up. I was removed from that one–without comment or door prize–about 40 minutes after resigning. Fair enough, I guess.
Post-resignation, I collaborated in the organization of yet another Facebook group for teachers who had resigned. It was the place I wished I could have landed after “jumping”. It felt so comforting to come together there, and to know that life outside the walls of the organization that had given me my first sense of belonging did not–as I’d feared–have to mean going it all alone. I knew firsthand what other teachers who were “jumping,” might be experiencing. I wanted provide as soft a landing as possible.
I was pretty much glued to the action on those pages in the wake of the resignations. Conversation got pretty hairy. Personally, I felt an obligation to transparency.
Having a community split into Those Who Are in the Know and Those Who Are Not in the Know is divisive and is, as I see it, a huge Part of the Problem. So, I felt obliged to speak up for myself, and for my community. I felt compelled to speak out against too much unquestioned authority invested in one person for too long a time. My conscience obliged me to point out that in addressing the problem there has been too great a distance between words and actions.
The obligation I felt to speak up was partially self imposed, and partially the result of all the correspondence that poured in. I am committed to a yoga that heightens my reception, and perception, of my own moral compass. I am equally committed to a yoga that pulls my head out of my own navel to look beyond just myself.
God knows that kind of yoga is seldom easy but I sleep well at night. (Sort of. I mean–I totally would sleep well if not for a lifelong history of insomnia. You get my drift, right? I am trying to say that my conscience is clear.)
I have now said what I have felt compelled to say. My decision to resign was thoughtful, and my own. I do not regret it, and have little interest in persuading others to my point of view. Rehashing with increased vehemence begins to feel at best pointless and at worst disrespectful. Questions that I have asked–yes, admittedly unflinching, difficult, pointed questions–have provoked accusations of hatefulness on my part.
Sigh. Maybe I should expect that it comes with the territory but it is wearisome. For the record, I do not hate John Friend or Anusara yoga. I have, in fact, devoted a good chunk of my life to helping both flourish.
Personally, I will believe that the re-organization of Anusara, Inc. is possible when I actually see actions and words reflecting each other, but I might be wrong. I could be wrong in deferring to the sage voices of the business wizards who say that re-organization without a dormant period for the brand is a mistake. I hope that I am wrong. I wish my family of origin the very best.
I also do not foresee any circumstance under which I am going back. Never say never but, at the time of this writing, I can not imagine it.
I am not invested in pulling anyone who doesn’t want to come along with me. I am dropping my end of that rope. What feels most useful to me right now is to draw my energy and efforts in, in order to orient them to re-imagining my future.
Already, I have ideas about what I might want to do, and who I might want to work with. Already, I have had ideas–and conversation–around a loose consortium of teachers with whom I share an ethos, and who are committed to excellence. Already, I have ideas about re-thinking a yogic education, what it could look like, and what it no longer looks like.
I’m mobilized to collaborate, to stretch, and to evolve as a teacher and human. It’s keeping my up until midnight, and it’s thrilling.
It’s like the entree I didn’t order but that wound up being exactly what I wanted.
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