Sometimes we just exchange one mask for another.
I need to sit back and rethink my approach at this juncture. I may not be stomping around in my Laborer Mask, but I started wearing a different one, the Nurturer. I am great at expanding to fit roles, so I sounds powerful, and people respond... but something somewhere tripped me up. What had been silence in the previous tandem, became loving suggestions about deepening and strengthening, and suddenly distracting. There are things I feel strongly about in the poses, but don't necessarily belong to the character I was playing this time. One thing fell and everything slowly started to sink with it.
Like a pendulum, I went from moving too slow to moving too fast while teaching, as well as living one archetype to teaching with its polar opposite. We keep hearing in yoga school how much easier it is to find the extremes, how difficult it is to live in middle. Obviously I'm seeing everything on a continuum, linear and valued. Obviously lines exist where we draw them. I have some undrawing to do.
In meditation last week, the instructor talked about sometimes wearing a mask to experience a different point of view. It is becoming clear that I do that constantly to avoid experiencing myself. Because I am unfamiliar with it, it is harder to predict how it will land on others. That I am afraid to exert my spiky, salty self on others in such a vulnerable place. I know that I come the mat to be loved and accepted because I am unable to give those things to myself.
Who am I, to push them and pull them in and out of shape?
Who AM I?
'How can you give to others what you lack?' my tandem teacher asked me afterwards.
How can I be strong AND loving? Self AND Teacher? Architect AND Artist?
Fierce AND Thoughtful?
How can my class be an act of War AND a Meditation on stillness (for both Teacher and Student)?
When am I going to stop holding myself back to protect everyone from me, so I can reallocate that energy to focus on supporting the students inside of their practice?