Build Thy Nest

In the past few weeks I have found myself becoming ever more clear on how I want to show up in the world doing what I am meant to do. I have been deciphering what my particular medicine is. There are various pieces that comprise the whole picture. I can tell you from the center of the wheel inside here it makes sense to me, although I know for you looking in, most likely you are seeing just one spoke of the wheel at a time so its not as easy to see how it all fits together and spins true and authentic to my SOUL journey and GREAT offering.

Trust me, it didn't always make sense to me either. It has taken me what feels like a very long time to see how all the pieces spin together. Now the experience from 8 years ago makes total sense. Now the reason I named my business Ecstatic Unfoldment makes sense.  I have used everything, and i mean everything as a way to make a wheel--a mandala--for my life of which I can both live by and live as. My hope is that each piece stands sturdy as itself, and yet the whole picture, when viewed together, has a certain magic that is accessible both by entering in at any one of the individual parts and by viewing the whole as one piece of art.

If you look at a birds nest you see that the bird has carefully chosen what was available to it in its surroundings. The nest is made of only things the bird could gather itself. The nest shows very planely the birds journey--what the bird could see and carry on any given day. The nest is the representation of the birds struggle, search, triumph, trial and error made into something magnificently ordinary. And of course the nest is meant not only for its maker, the bird, but for the birds offspring. Making a nest is not something a bird has to think about. Its instinctual and necessary for the bird to carry out its nature. I find myself much like the bird then. I have gathered all these pieces not because I wanted to. I gathered all the parts because it was my souls instinct and my hearts call to make a nest that showed from the outside the mundane, simple and even crude environment of life, that was felt from the inside as safe and secure, and that allows growth, learning and a launching pad for all its houses to fly. 

One of the spokes of my wheel or mandala or element to my nest if you will, is what I am calling "Psychology for Yogis". Its born from various struggles as well as thousands of hour of learning and money. I do a free weekly video on youtube that hopefully gives insights into various aspects of psychology as it applies to invested yoga practice and yoga teaching. Its also meant to be a platform for me to be cheeky, slightly off the cuff and a little heady (which i think is an accurate portrayal of how I am when i teach this stuff.) The other piece (or element to stick with the metaphors) is online trainings specifically for yoga teachers about psychology principles. This involves terms, applications and self personal process.

It began six or seven years ago when i created a program teaching yoga to individuals struggling with disordered eating. i was totally jazzed to share a practice that had helped me out of the trenches of such horrible pain. What i found out in teaching this population of individuals was that the asana knowledge wasnt enough to hold the space for what was truly needed. In a very short time i knew I needed skills around counseling if this program was to really work. i also knew that there were many people coming to my public classes whose issues were not as explicitly out there as a yoga for (fill in the blank) class. So I was curious about how many of those people coming to class and in various states of struggle could benefit from a teacher with simply more psychotherapeutic knowledge. So I went to grad school for somatic counseling. In so doing here is what I discovered...

1: Let the therapists be therapists and let the yoga teachers be yoga teachers.
2: Be explicit if your program will involve counseling-like activities
3: If 2 is true then make sure you have the skills to handle whats comin' your way.
4: If 1 is true then make sure you have enough knowledge around psychology to set your boundaries.
5: We are only as effective as we are healed.
6: Yoga is inherently therapeutic on every level and its not haphazard or magical. Our brains are literally wired to change through practices like yoga. We were designed to use it as a model for growth.
7: The psychologists dont give enough credit to the yogis.
8: If 6 and 7 are true then learning the terminology of the psych world will help us as yogis build bridges, close gaps, create understanding and hopefully find knew pathways for all. 
9: Both sides sometimes have chips on their shoulders.
10: While i value the benefit of counseling and find myself a capable clinician, my passion truly is in the translation and in helping fellow yoga teachers not have to go to grad school to figure all this out like i did. So I'll to teach you the very essentials and you wont have to take out a loan to learn it. 

If you are interested in learning key elements of psychological theory as it applies to yoga and in so doing take a good look at your own process this program is for you.  You can register here. 

Sometimes we cant see all the parts at the same time. Our life's work isnt always delivered in one single download but rather in Hansel and Gretle like breadcrumb trails that as we attune to the signs, bring us not only closer to our valuable contributions, but also closer to our HEART desire and unique journey.  

Livia ShapiroComment