leaving the palace


There's nothing scarier than leaving the nest, learning to fly, doing things on your own for the first time. Sometimes we do it on purpose, to stretch ourselves, to see how far we can go, where our edges are.

Then we pull back and retreat to spend some time with the things that we've learned, dive deep into the lessons that result from any expansion.

I've been in two quick periods of going (way) out and coming back in over the course of the last couple months, so I've seen this cycle up close and in gory glorious detail. After traveling  for most of May, I pulled back in June to get some perspective where I'd been, what I'd learned and what the hell I was going to do with it.

Well, now I'm seeing it in rapid cycle, in the day to day, and I'm being forced into situations that require constant evaluation to stay on track. I know that this in and of itself isn't sustainable, but for the time being, I'm getting into the curve balls that get thrown at me everyday.

Last night I sprinted to yoga after work, stoked for a class with one of my fave teachers, at my home studio. I got there to find there had been a last minute schedule change and she wasn't teaching. None of us ever wants to admit it, but I didn't want a sub. I wanted a Shan class. Dang!

A quick check of my stored list of  studio schedules: Matt K at the Yoga Pod in 17 minutes - I hopped on my bike and made it with time to spare.

Even better, I ran into one of my new yoga buddies in the locker room and we got to practice together.

As Matt began class, he spoke of the importance of 'leaving the palace' occasionally, even if just to see what else is out there. He talked about the value of not having a plan and the lessons that exist in the unknown if you give yourself a chance to get out.

(This easily carries over into asana practice - we all have a "palace" of poses we know and love, but what if we explored the ones we don't know so well or like so much? What would our practices look like if we pushed into the realm of the unfamiliar and unloved? I found that I feel like a freaking superhero in a variation of prayer twist in lunge that I'd never tried before, and it only had a little to do with my recent neon purchases from lululemon).

This is my friend Rob, rocking mad drishti.

In the micro, I was forced out of my home studio tonight, across town, and found another teacher who I love, a kick ass practice, a new favorite pose, a friend, and a thunderstorm imposed happy hour.

In the macro, I've been toying with the idea of leaving Boulder, but the thought of leaving what I've built here, the palace that is my studio full of all my incredible teachers, the palace that is my practice that fits into my life in a certain way, the palace of friendships and community that I've become a part of over the last few years, is really scary. I like it here, but I also feel like there's something missing and I am excited to find that.

Is it stupid to walk away from what you know for something that might fulfill you in a different way just because you like where you are? Is it just a case of greener grass? Is the palace always there for you to come back to, and the leaving, the pushing, the stretching, are those the teachers?

OR: (revision) do you you bring little parts of yourself, your teachers and your palace with you everywhere you go? I apparently think so (see also: Day: 53 Day: 16-17 + The Challenge). You're always at home in the shelter of the practice you've built for yourself, no matter where you are.

There is fear in the unknown that fuels a certain kind of renewal  - you either go and learn and it's something new and then you're there, or you stay and reinvest in your current situation (redecorate the palace! That's months of blog fodder!)

You never know what you'll find when you escape what you know, but if you pay close attention, you'll always find more. Here's to the not knowing.

Onward + outward.