weekend in dallas / by vanessa

weekend in dallas
I just returned from assisting at Baron's PRW in Dallas and if it's possible to be both exhilarated and exhausted at the same time, well that's me. I started the weekend anxious with anticipation and have returned feeling indescribably blessed, lucky, fortunate, honored... Over 200 people showed up and as I started to adjust the first few people in my row, I felt conscious of assisting when I was so nervous. I didn't want to transfer any of my energy to them. I went on, worried that I was doing it right, what if I was screwing up, oh sweet jesus let me do this right, etc. but then as the night continued I thought back to the class I had to video and to the problems there which started when I was concerned about my own experience. So at some point, I dropped expectations of myself and just focused on hoping that the students found some love over the next ~36 hours. Truthfully, I wasn't entirely released from self-doubt -- I still shudder to think about the students I knocked off balance or my misjudged assists -- but it was a lot easier. I also trusted that as long as my intentions were pure, it would be okay. I don't have to be the best assistant EVER, I just have to be there to serve. Ha, it's funny - now that I think about it, much of this weekend was about being okay w/ not being perfect. There were a couple times for example, where I assisted someone and then Baron assisted them afterwards, and he helped them in a way that I would never have thought of. Initially this stung -- how did I miss something so obvious?! ("idiot" ala Napoleon Dynamite) -- but in the end I accepted that this too is "a 70 year process" so there's no rush? If pushed to admit it I guess I'd say that in some way I still put this pressure on myself to be *enough*. Just when I think I've grown past it, it manifests itself in a new way. After Level 2 I thought I had "cured" myself of needing to please others and though yes, I am exponentially better at setting boundaries and speaking my mind, I still have some work to do. When I dig under the disappointment felt from messing up some assists, or simply not knowing how to assist some of the students, I notice there's a slight feeling of inadequacy and wanting to be liked. Though I didn't have this level of understanding during the workshop (there wasn't the time), thankfully I noticed the doubt building and knew that it wasn't serving any helpful purpose. I consciously replaced the thoughts that at least for the time being I was going to act as if who I was at that moment *was* enough, and I'm so glad I did as watching a couple hundred people practice is one of the most beautiful things I've ever witnessed. Last night, during the final practice, as the room prepared for savasana taking one last last supine twist, a wave of compassion and warmth swept across the room. I felt in my own cells the sadness, happiness, disappointment, courage, fear, joy, and collective feelings of the class and every single emotion was absolutely beautiful. Those final moments were completely awe-inspiring. And, somewhere amongst the crowd, I could feel Ruth's presence and her blessings hovering w/ sublime subtlety. I loved seeing the many faces from Bodhi there: Malia, Margaret, Kate, Clarissa, Gina, Denean, Kiki, Andrea, Erin, Paul, and Lisa went. Getting to assist them felt so grounding and safe. Their words of encouragement (shouldn't it have been me encouraging them?!) were so thoughtful and touching and I am incredibly lucky to have them in my life. Needless to say I absolutely loved assisting and can't wait to do it again! Oh, and what a completely lame friend/houseguest I am. I stayed w/ my friend Jake and her fiance Andrew while in Dallas. As usual, she completely took care of me: fed me, carted me around, listened patiently as I droned on ad nauseum about the workshop and how fun it was to assist. Naturally I should have at least bought her a housewarming gift since she bought her first home like 5 months ago. Nope. An engagement gift congratulating her on her impending nuptials? Nuh uh. Well then for god sakes, a small thank you gift for staying w/ her this weekend and all she has done for me? Nope. Okay a card? Umm, no. How 'bout leaving a handbag I've carried for a year or two (she admired it), and a thank you note scribbled on a page torn out from my journal. Doh! Very bad friend! I'm signing off from here and logging on to moma.com in hopes of finding something inspiring for her. Okay I'm tired and this post is boring even me so I'm off to get some zzzzs.