As I sit here this morning, I look at my calendar. It is full. I feel like Captain Holt on the FOX comedy series “Brooklyn 99.” I thrive off of optimization.
So yes, my application as a complete nerd is accepted. The idea of efficiently running my life so that I experience every possible thing is fun. I love the idea of having so many experiences and opportunities throughout my day. My middle school classes can sometimes suffer from this because we try to do so many awesome things each and every day. However, I’m constantly brought back by Brahmacharya. I interpret it as “stop and smell the roses.” If I rush in my personally and professional life, then I’ll miss the amazing moments created along the way.
One of my scholars (as we call our students at Allen Jay Prep) gave me an incredible reminder of this about two weeks ago. The sixth grade Math content in Common Core asks teachers to cover a whole lot of concepts throughout the year. We move at a pretty brisk pace. Debora decided to remind me of Brahmacharya because the innocence of her mind naturally connects with an understanding of nonexcess. She delights in the moments created in class. As an educator and a yoga instructor, you never truly know what participants are experiencing and taking from the moments we aid and guide them through. Debora gave me an incredible moment because she said I challenge her. She said I ask her to struggle, I ask her to think deeply and I ask her to get upset, frustrated and sometimes even mad. We roll a four gear system in my class. Gear two asks scholars to actively think and use prior knowledge and instruction to problem solve. Its hard. Its pain-staking. The reason behind it is that I don’t want to be the excess. I don’t want to be a “sage on the stage.” I want to provide just enough to spark wonder and inspiration. And that inspiration needs to be intrinsic. I want scholars to see the mystery in the moment of instruction and find their own interpretation. Its fun.
I need to continue to grow in adding this to my personal life. I keep myself so busy that I sometimes miss the mystery. I have mystery very organized and neatly packed. Sometimes it needs to be random and free.
Walking with the Divine
When I didn’t know the day, or the time, or the temperature, an innate intelligence began to set the next thing in motion. Without a schedule or a plan, being and doing blended until they felt the same. There was no purpose, except for the pure delight of the moment. God’s heartbeat.
I have read many self help books and have benefited greatly from them. That said, I think mystery is what begins to shape-shift us into a deeper understanding of our humanity. As we move deeper into the practice of “walking with God,” we will find that excess doesn’t own us quite as much as it used to. When we get the real nourishment that divine mystery gives us, the pretend nourishment of excess becomes less and less interesting to us.
We don’t need to to be the center of attention and activity all the time. I think it might surprise us to realize how much crazy activity we create in our days just so we can feel important. We wear our busyness like a badge, like our busyness would somehow impress the rest of the world, or impress ourselves.
Brahmacharya reminds us that we aren’t embodied in this form to feel dead but to feel alive. We aren’t embodied to snuff out our vitality and passion through excess but to bring it to full expression. “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Book – “The Yamas and Niyamas” by Deborah Adele