Summer Solstice, Unexpected Beginnings

Wow! This week. New moon Tuesday and Summer Solstice on Sunday. 

New moon = new beginnings, an opportunity for reflection, time to connect with your true purpose, ideal for planting the seeds of intention for what you want to manifest

Summer Solstice = the longest day of the year, the most sunlight, a turning of the seasons, the end of one cycle — the beginning of the next

unsplash summer wheat field editWhile I’m not an astrologer (though maybe one day I’d like to be), this week seems to have a crackly, sparkly sort of energy to it that is completely different than what I was feeling last week. I thought it was just me — I asked around and it turns out, it might just be me… or maybe it’s all in the stars. I don’t know. Do you feel it?

Here’s what I mean…

The last few weeks for me have felt like an all-time low point in my financial sector (or one of several over the last few years), which is always a crushing blow to my self-confidence. I was at a point of desperation, with expenses piling up and income dwindling, I literally was contemplating letting go of my apartment and either sleeping on someone’s couch indefinitely or asking my parents to move in with them until I could improve my cash flow.

Hours of writing resumes and cover letters to apply for part-time, full-time, anytime, contract, temporary work consumed my days and yielded little hope. I was beginning to wonder why I couldn’t even land a part-time retail job for $9/hour. I whined about this to a friend who had been unemployed for about a year following graduation from her master’s program (and is now happily employed) and she said, “come talk to me when you’ve applied for 100+ jobs.”

Harsh. But true in this “job” market. (And also why I subscribe to Seth Godin’s theory that our economy is shifting away from an emphasis on employment/jobs/hourly pay and toward an emphasis on freelance/entrepreneurship/contractors.)

Daunting.

I was on the verge of tears at any given moment during the last couple weeks with a huge dose of the “I can’t do this” blues.

But THIS week is different. I DID start a new part-time job to help pick up the slack. And it’s super fun! The company and my co-workers are amazingly kind and creative. The environment is nurturing and energizing. AND this part-time position has already opened several professional doors for me — almost like a chain reaction of new possibilitie that all started with that one connection.

OPPORTUNITY #1: TEACHING CHILDREN’S YOGA TO A GROUP OF KIDS BETWEEN AGE 4-6, WHICH IS LIKE DISCOVERING THE MOST AMAZING THING FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER.

These kids are open to learning and trying everything – open to failing, open to succeeding.

One girl, after our very first exercise at summer camp, raised her hand and called out “Excuse me! Excuse me! I couldn’t do that last thing.”

I thought, “Oh no, she’s devastated. How could I have put something so hard right in the beginning of class?”

I said, “Well that’s okay because we’re just playing and you’ll be able to do the next thing.”

And she did. And she forgot about the first thing. No big deal. No ruminating about the thing she couldn’t do for hours, days… just moving on.

OPPORTUNITY #2: TEACHING NEW CORPORATE MEDITATION CLASSES, WHICH IS LIKE DISCOVERING A COMPLETELY NEW LANGUAGE. 

The recruiter for this position and I were discussing how yoga is different in corporate class setting vs a yoga studio — minimizing weird Sanskrit terminology, avoiding talking about anything spiritual, no touching your students for hands-on adjustments, using props or chanting mantras!

She said it’s thrown well-seasoned teachers for a loop in the past. I have experience with this (and yes, the first time I read all these restrictions in a corporate yoga contract as a new teacher, I kinda freaked out. I mean take out all the juicy bits and what’s left?) 

Ultimately what it comes down to is drawing from the vastly rich and diverse tradition of yoga practices to authentically serve the students within the context that’s provided.

Sat Nam downstairs studioI later showed up to teach my weekly yoga studio class at Sat Nam Yoga, which is at least 50% chanting mantras and talking about spirit and energy and elephant-headed Hindu deities!

Two students came and both said “Not to be rude, but there is a special solstice class starting 15min before yours ends in the other room. We want to take both. Is that possible to sneak out early?”

My ego thought, “But if you both want to leave class early, that means ending my class early. How can I possibly do asana (physical practice) and mantras (chanting & singing) in just 35 minutes? I wonder if I’ll get paid my full rate if I only teach half my class?”

And then I reminded myself, my job is to authentically serve the students who have shown up to receive within the context that’s provided. And so I taught the best 35min class, fully expressed with movement, meditation, mantras & even a 2-minute savasana (relaxation) at the end.

Some are calling this particular solstice (in Cancer) “a powerful moment of personal illumination”, recommending we spend time listening to our hearts and journaling about what we find. Some recommend looking outward to for opportunities to connect with others and seize opportunities for expressing our hearts’ desires!

My question to you is: how will you make use of this special energetic window to become more fully expressed from the deepest places of your heart?

Some are calling this particular solstice (in Cancer) “a powerful moment of personal illumination”, recommending we spend time listening to our hearts and journaling about what we find. Some recommend looking outward to for opportunities to connect with others and seize opportunities for expressing our hearts’ desires!

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