Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Going To The River To Pray.

So filled with gratitude.

I had been holding back on paying the Rishikesh Teacher Training fee because I did not have enough funds. Having to quit my day job did not benefit me in financial terms either.

It's now barely three weeks till departure date, so I had to force myself to bring out all my monies & make the necessary calculations. I had been making a separate fund with my yoga earnings since my very first paid class, with the knowledge that it would be put to use in my future yoga studies, whatever they may be.

With the Ringgit at an all-time low, it worried me even more that I would not be able to reach the required course fee of USD1200. Thank goodness though, it was announced a few weeks back that the fee had gone down from USD1400 to USD1200. It may not seem like a lot to some, but it is to me.

Honestly, some people don't know how it is to live in a country where the minimum wage is low & the cost of living is high. A lot of small sacrifices had to be made, including rotting at home for most of the time & having to postpone doing other things that I wanted to learn or do. It is true, money is not everything, but everything is money. I even had to stop sending money back home. Luckily, those back home are self-sufficient & are able to cope with or without my help.

So, back to the topic. Collecting all the monies I had in my room a few minutes earlier. With my very limited Mathematical skills I slowly count & add up all I have. Miraculously, it all adds up to just a few USD more than what I require. I clutch the stack of paper tight & close to my chest, & tears of gratitude just start pouring out.

It is a completely different feeling when you earn money doing your life's purpose, as opposed to earning through doing something just for the sake of money. I can't even begin to explain this strange phenomenon. I had counted my yoga earnings a few months ago & the same feeling swelled up in me. I wonder if it will always be this way. I wouldn't mind if it was.

Earlier this evening, a student of mine randomly commented that I have good karma, because I have the opportunity to attend Yoga Teacher Training in India. I'd like to believe so. My whole yoga journey so far has been a series of fortunate events.

When I was first diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in 2012, I couldn't believe my ears. The way the doctors put it, was as though hyperthyroidism is a death sentence, & I would have to suffer for the rest of my life (this also shifted my perception on modern doctors & medicine). I turned to yoga in hopes of healing my physical body. Although my condition did not immediately improve, slowly but surely I came off medication.

The few months before & after I was off medication though, I was also off my yoga practice. I had just shifted to KL & had 'rusa masuk kampung' (deer entering the village) syndrome. It was mostly just home - work - home - work for me. So I did not attend any classes for about a year, & what little self practice I had, dwindled down to nothing.

The following year though, a feeling started rising within me. The feeling that the life I was leading up to that point was not enough. That something was lacking. & one day it just struck me that when I was in Ipoh, I always used to wonder what I can do to advance in my yoga practice. Even though it was so early in my yoga journey, I was already internally questioning how I can take it further; what is the next step. & by that time I had already known about Deep & his teacher training in Kajang. But it seemed impossible for me because there were no teacher trainings in Ipoh, & no way I could travel to & fro Kajang every weekend; so I put the idea at the back of my mind.

So when that feeling of inadequacy came up again, I was reminded of teacher training. But yet, the thought scared me. Me, a yoga teacher??? I had always been an extreme introvert. How to be teacher woh??? But I took the leap anyway. I could always decide whether to teach or not after the course. I did not have enough funds to pay for the fees. But my then-employer was generous enough to loan me some cash. I am eternally grateful for that. It was the first & hopefully last time ever I had to approach someone for such a big loan.

& the universe really does bring the right people together, for the right reasons. Deep is very traditional in his teacher training approach, so he allows students to come back for the teacher training course however often they feel they need to. I have attended this year's teacher training too, & glad I did because I learned a whole load of new things. As we all know, yoga workshops & training are not cheap, so I am very grateful for this opportunity to keep coming back to learn & grow.

So yes, I am again grateful for this opportunity to be going to the 'headquarters' of yoga. Although to some it may seem foolish to be paying to go for the same 200 hour teacher training course again, I see it more as a blessing because I have always wanted to go to India since I was little, but had my fears on going alone & somehow going there just on holiday never fully appealed to me. So when this opportunity arose, where a group of us would be travelling together to India & back, & to fully immerse in yoga; I jumped at the chance. I was so desperate to go that I even asked to loan money from someone I should not have. I had other personal reasons for that too, but it was wrong & unnecessary for me to do so.

So yeah. It came as quite a shock to me, to have somehow acquired enough to go. Time & time again, the signs are being shown to me that this is my path. I cannot deny it, even if I want to. Sometimes it really saddens me that not everyone will be able to share this happiness of mine.

Although I will be back to zero again when I return in October, I'm sure that everything will work out somehow or another.

You see, life is never a series of coincidences & good luck all the time. Sure enough, I didn't expect to make the required course fee, but at the same time, like I said earlier, there were other sacrifices I had to make to accumulate this amount. The universe don't owe you a rat's ass. It will give you only so much, so don't take anything for granted. If you want it, you still have to put in some degree of effort. Everything is a matter of prioritizing. Is your dream worth not eating out for a few weeks? Is your dream more important than a new dress? The little things do add up. Prioritize your finances, energy & time; & the universe will play its part when the time comes. Appreciation for the gifts the universe gives you can never only come in the form of emotions & verbalizations - these are never enough. Your actions need to be in line with your gratitude.

So just because I seem to be cashing in on karma points, doesn't mean life is all hunky dory for me. If success were easy, everyone would be doing it. There are always things that go on backstage that aren't always visible to the audience. Prioritize. Prioritize & find balance between putting in effort & allowing the universe to guide you. This year I've learned that balance is so important.

For now I'm grateful. Just truly grateful.

It feels like this is going to be a rebirth of sorts. I had the honour of 'being there' when Gobuyan went to Hawaii, & witnessing his transformation as he learned & grew with each new experience that every day brought. & I know that things will be the same for me too. We are both similar in the sense that, in our stubbornness, by hook or by crook, we *have* to go to that one place that we have always wanted to. The only thing is, Hawaii is different from Rishikesh like how an extrovert is from an introvert. I will be going deeper into myself through direct introspection, instead of learning through sharing & mingling with others.

I know I can do this. But it is equal amounts scary & exciting. I wish there would be someone to share in this important phase of my growth. But maybe I'm meant to go it alone. The thought really saddens me.

I'm going to the river to pray. :''')

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