Monday, March 14, 2011


Dorothy: Now which way do we go?
Scarecrow: Pardon me, this way is a very nice way.

Scarecrow: [points both ways] Of course, some people do go both ways
Sometimes it’s hard to know which way to go once a path seemingly ends.  We could be left with no foreseeable path or too many choices, and to Dorothy the scarecrow suggests no right answer.  As with most children’s stories, the Wizard of Oz is very much about finding our way.   This journey does not end with our childhood, we carry this curiosity throughout our whole lives as we determine who we are and where we would like to be.  
Yesterday was my graduation from the Yoga Teacher Training program, so the question where do I go from here? has been lingering in my mind.  I can remember the very first night of the training; I was nervous and yet shaking with anticipation.  All day leading up to our first Friday night together I wondered about the people I would be learning with, my own experience (would it be enough?), what my teachers would be like, and if I had the ability to finish it.   It would be dishonest if I said the program was easy.  There were a lot of moments where I struggled and I questioned myself.  Both emotionally and physically, it was a challenging adventure.  If perhaps all I did was the teacher training than it would be easier, but we all know that life continues on without pause. 
Whenever we take on a new goal, project, or journey we must find a way to fit that into our lives.  I can compare this to the person who decides to get healthy and follow a strict diet and workout regime.  They need to dedicate 6 hours a week to exercising, 6 or more hours preparing healthy meals.  Further, they need to cut out some of their most cherished comforts to replace them with healthier options.  Unfortunately, they cannot simply stop doing all that they did before to focus on this (unless you’re in The Biggest Loser).  Life continues to give us work, school, stress, obligations, and time limits.  We all must make choices and sacrifices in order to see our goal come to fruition.  At some points we have to say ‘no’ to something in order to say ‘yes’ to something bigger.   There were friend dates, beautiful weather days, house chores, and even family gatherings that I missed in order to see my dream of becoming a yoga instructor come true.   Because of these sacrifices, the challenges, and even the struggles, the journey has been so rewarding. 
I feel like I am not the same person now as I was 6 months ago.  But perhaps that is not entirely true.  During our last asana class together, our teacher Nancy played for us a special soundtrack to guide us through our poses.  In a whimsical way, we listened to Somewhere over the Rainbow, by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole as we came into our final poses. Nancy left us with a quote then about Dorothy’s journey to Oz, and realizing that we had all that we needed from the start. The Lion had courage, the Tinman had a heart, the Scarecrow had a brain, and all they needed to do was find it within them.

So, when I think about the road ahead and where I may go, I must always remember that I already have all that I need. Any challenge or struggle that comes my way, I have the ability to tackle it. Know that I am not unique in this, we all have this amazing ability, and it’s just a matter of recognizing it within ourselves.

As another great mind said, “Doesn’t matter what path you choose. Just choose one and walk it.”

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